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Perez, Mets welcome Giants into town

Perez, Mets welcome Giants into town

Oliver Perez and Tim Lincecum, who have combined to allow just 15 runs in 59 2/3 innings in May, will headline what may be a marquee pitchers' duel when the Mets and Giants open a three-game series at Shea Stadium on Tuesday.

Perez has rediscovered the form that made him an elite pitcher with Pittsburgh in 2004. The lefty boasts a 6-3 record this season, including convincing wins in each of his last three starts, and has struck out 53 hitters in 56 2/3 innings. Through nine starts, Perez has given up only 16 earned runs; he allowed 15 in his first four starts last season.

Lincecum has been equally dominant since joining the Giants' rotation in early May. He was roughed up in his first outing, but he's allowed only four earned runs in his last three starts, all San Francisco wins. Lincecum has walked three and struck out 20 in that span.

So yes, runs could come at a premium with these two studs on the mound. But don't count out either offense, as both have been rolling lately, as well. The Mets scored 19 runs in a sweep of the Marlins over the weekend, while the Giants outscored the Astros, 17-3, in a three-game sweep last week.

Pitching matchup
NYM: LHP Oliver Perez (6-3, 2.54 ERA)
Regarding Perez, catcher Paul Lo Duca said, "He's become a monster." The southpaw has won three straight starts, allowing merely three runs, 11 hits and six walks over 23 innings. His ERA in those outings is 1.17. His lone loss in April was to the Giants. The Mets' defense betrayed him in that game, but he also didn't stop the bleeding.

SF: RHP Tim Lincecum (2-0, 3.08 ERA)
Lincecum was more effective than spectacular in his last outing, which is to say that he was extremely good. He worked eight innings -- his longest Major League stint yet -- while allowing two runs and five hits in the Giants' 4-2 victory against the Astros on Tuesday. Instead of simply overpowering hitters, Lincecum, who struck out four, forced Houston to hit his pitch as he induced 15 ground-ball outs. Opponents are batting a mere .202 off the righty, who will have two extra days of rest due to a pair of scheduled off-days.

Player to watch
Rich Aurilia has four homers in 28 career at-bats against Perez, including a three-run shot when they faced each other on May 7.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• SNY, ESPN

On radio
• WFAN 660, WADO 1280 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Giants (Barry Zito, 4-5, 4.70) at Mets (Tom Glavine, 5-2, 3.39), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Giants (Matt Cain, 2-4, 3.23) at Mets (Orlando Hernandez, 2-1, 2.13), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Friday: Diamondbacks (TBD) at Mets (John Maine, 6-2, 2.79), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tom Keller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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