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OAK@NYM: Colon whiffs eight in as many frames

Two veteran pitchers will match up on Saturday at Citi Field. One has a slew of experience against the opposing team, the other has very little.

It's been a dozen years since Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis made his Major League debut, 17 since Bartolo Colon made his.

Colon, 41, will be making his 34th start against the Rangers; he has a 20-8 record against them. The only other team he's seen as often is the Mariners, against whom he's 19-12 in 36 starts.

Colon is 8-6 with a 3.88 ERA on the season, but 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA since May 17.

In his most recent start, against the Pirates on Sunday, he gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings.

Whereas Colon has tossed 217 2/3 innings against the Rangers, Lewis has just 5 2/3 innings of work against the Mets to his name.

The 34-year-old Lewis is coming off his first quality start of the season, on Sunday against the Twins, when he registered a season-high eight strikeouts in a 3-2 Rangers loss.

He's 5-5 with a 5.71 ERA.

Lewis is excited to take on the Mets, especially because they are a National League team.

"I always enjoy playing on the National League side," Lewis said. "It keeps me more involved. It feels like the game goes quicker when you are doing both sides."

Though he wishes his recovery would be a bit quicker, his mechanics are coming back slowly but surely after his hip surgery of August 2013.

"I feel like I'm getting back to what made me good, and that is my fastball location," he said. "Everything works off of that. It definitely makes pitching a lot easier when you are able to locate."

Mets: Wright nearly set to return
As long as the New York weather holds up and David Wright is able to get on the field for a full pregame warmup, the Mets should know whether their third baseman is ready to return.

Wright has been out since June 26 with a bruised left rotator cuff, and New York has played shorthanded since then, declining to place him on the disabled list. Wright had been expected to be ready to play on Friday, but rain interfered with those plans.

However, Wright was able to hit inside, run and throw, and he reported feeling much better than he did a week ago. The last tests will be whether he can field grounders and throw across the diamond.

"I'm no doctor, so I'm relying on the people that are to come up with a game plan," Wright said. "The last thing to do is what the medical staff is recommending, and that's get on the field, work up a sweat, make sure I can range left and right and not have to think about it too much when I'm doing it."

Rangers: Washington continues to juggle lineup
The latest twist in the batting order had Chris Gimenez batting fifth on Friday night. Every game brings something new to a lineup that has been struggling, and manager Ron Washington has now used a different lineup in 19 straight games.

He has also used 68 lineups in 86 games, and another will be put in place on Saturday, with a right-hander on the mound and no designated hitter being used in the NL city.

"I'm just trying to find something that works," Washington said. "We just continue to keep fighting."

Worth noting
• Mets left-hander Jon Niese left Friday's game in the first inning after being hit by a ball off the bat of Alex Rios. He was diagnosed with a contusion in his lower back; X-rays were negative.

• The Rangers have dropped 10 straight on the road, including four in a row to the Orioles earlier in the week to start the current seven-game road trip. The last time the Rangers lost double-digit consecutive road games was in 2003.

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