Cano close to return as Mets face D-backs

mlb11METS (28-30) AT DIAMONDBACKS (29-30)
4:10 p.m. ET; FS-A, SNY, MLB.TV

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Mets enter the final game of their three-game series Sunday looking to regain their footing.

The Diamondbacks broke a five-game losing streak Saturday with their 6-5 victory in 11 innings, overcoming a four-run deficit in the eighth inning as the Mets’ bullpen imploded.

The Mets, who have lost four of six on their seven-game road trip that began against the Los Angeles Dodgers, are scheduled to start left-hander Steven Matz (4-3, 3.55 ERA). Arizona will counter with right-hander Merrill Kelly (4-6, 4.83).

For each team, reinforcements should arrive soon.

Mets second baseman Robinson Cano is eligible to return from the injured list Sunday, although manager Mickey Callaway said that would be a game-time decision. Cano is tied for the team lead with 13 doubles, but is hitting only .241 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 45 games.

Instead of activating him Sunday, the Mets could use Monday’s off day as another buffer against the recurrence of his left quad strain.

Arizona left fielder David Peralta took eight at-bats in an extended spring training game Saturday, the first day he was eligible to return from a right shoulder strain. A Monday return appears possible.

The Diamondbacks are 4-7 since Peralta left in the fifth inning of a 3-2 loss at San Diego on May 21. Over the longer term, they have lost 10 of 14. Peralta is slashing .309/.357/.524 with 16 doubles, seven homers and 30 RBIs.

“When you are missing that type of a bat, impact guy, presence in the dugout, it’s noticed,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “He lengthens out the lineup and it’s tough (for opponents) to pitch around certain guys. His ability to take over a game shows up a lot, but we’re not going to put him in until he is ready to go.”

The Mets, despite a 2-4 road trip, have won eight of 13 overall since falling to a season-low five games under .500 on May 19. Saturday’s game got away when the bullpen failed after Callaway felt forced to remove Jacob deGrom, who suffered a cramp in his right hip with two outs in the seventh inning.

“We can’t leave him out there with anything bothering him,” Callaway said. “He’s too important to this franchise. He’s here for a long time. We can’t get him hurt trying to get another out or another inning out of him.”

Matz has made two consecutive quality starts and has not given up more than three runs in any of his past six starts after recovering from the worst start of his career, when he did not retire any of the eight batters he faced in a 14-3 loss at Philadelphia on April 16.

Matz is 1-0 in three career starts against the Diamondbacks, winning his lone career appearance at Chase Field last season.

Kelly has lost four of his past five starts, giving up 18 runs in 24 2/3 innings. He made quality starts in his first two outings this season but has had only two more in his past nine. His 4.83 ERA is 38th among the 44 National League qualifiers, and his 1.51 WHIP ranks 41st.

Kelly has been much better at home this season, going 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA in five starts at Chase Field.

–Field Level Media

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