Major League Baseball
Preview
Oakland at NY Mets
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, July 21, 2017
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York

Left-hander Steven Matz is hoping to turn the corner from a disastrous stretch, and the same can be said for the New York Mets. The 26-year-old aims to rebound from the worst start of his career on Friday as the Mets open a three-game interleague series against the Oakland Athletics at Citi Field.

Matz answered back-to-back seven-inning scoreless outings with a pair of brutal results, yielding five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 6-0 loss to St. Louis on July 9 before getting scorched on Sunday for a career high-tying seven runs on nine hits in one-plus frame versus Colorado. The latter contest began a three-game losing skid for the Mets, who responded with back-to-back victories over St. Louis to salvage a split of the four-game set. Rajai Davis recorded his second consecutive 2-for-4 performance with a run scored on Wednesday as Oakland posted its eighth win in 12 outings with a 7-2 romp over visiting Tampa Bay. The Athletics, however, took a cross-country flight and will start a seven-game trek looking to stop their woes on the road, where they have won a majors-worst 15 games.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Paul Blackburn (1-0, 1.83 ERA) vs. Mets LH Steven Matz (2-3, 4.58)

Blackburn received his second no-decision in three starts last Saturday since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville on July 1. The 23-year-old notched his third straight quality start after allowing three runs on five hits in six innings against Cleveland. Blackburn permitted four walks to drive up his pitch count after issuing just one in each of his previous two outings.

Matz surrendered four runs in the first inning against the Rockies and allowed all four batters he faced in the second to reach before getting the hook. "I feel like I wasn't really sharp. I was leaving balls right over the middle of the plate and they were hitting it," Matz said of his shortest appearance in 35 big-league starts. Matz owns a 2-1 mark with a 2.92 ERA in four career interleague starts, but he'll face the Athletics for the first time.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York 1B Lucas Duda has eight hits - including three homers - in his last seven games.

2. Oakland C Bruce Maxwell is hitless in his last three contests and is 2-for-14 in his last seven outings.

3. Mets INF Neil Walker (partial tear of left hamstring) is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Friday with Triple-A Las Vegas and could be activated on Monday in San Diego.

PREDICTION: Mets 4, Athletics 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Oakland 43-52 W1 28-23 15-29 12-9 14-8 15-27 2-8
NY Mets 43-50 W2 23-27 20-23 22-24 10-13 8-11 3-2
Last Meeting
Oakland NY Mets
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/20/14 NYM 8 OAK 5 .176 0 .565 .270 2 .790
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Oakland N/A
NY Mets N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Oakland Y. Alonso 0 0 0
NY Mets J. Blevins 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Oakland 0.00 .000 0
NY Mets 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Oakland Y. Alonso .273 75 .929
NY Mets M. Conforto .286 72 .953
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Oakland K. Davis 27 58 65
NY Mets J. Bruce 24 53 63
Pitching ERA Avg K
Oakland 4.62 .235 735
NY Mets 4.89 .250 818