NEW YORK– After losing their last game to the Tigers, the Mets were trying to start a new winning streak, and they got one started with a solid win over the Twins on Friday.

The game got off to a stunning start, as Denard Span led off with a home run on the second pitch from Mike Pelfrey, only his third of the season.

The Mets were having trouble getting to Kevin Slowey, who had been struggling, as they didn’t have a baserunner until a Jose Reyes leadoff single in the fourth. That was the start of something for the Mets, as it led to a three-run inning. David Wright doubled Reyes in, Ike Davis singled and a run scored on a throwing error, and Jason Bay doubled Davis in, making it 3-1.

In the third inning, Pelfrey got out of an unbelievable jam. He allowed singles to Span and Orlando Hudson to begin the inning, and he had runners on the corners with none out for Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, arguably the best 3-4 combination in baseball. Pelfrey struck out Mauer and got Morneau to hit into a double play to end the threat.

In the fifth, the Twins got one back on a Span run-scoring groundout, making it 3-2. The Mets would get the run right back in their half of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Jose Reyes, adding to his run scored in the previous inning. The Mets entered the game 132-33 all-time when Reyes drives in and scores a run.

Pelfrey finished strong in the sixth, retiring the side in order, getting his last six men out. He went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, walking none and striking out two while allowing a home run.

In the Mets’ sixth, David Wright led off with his 13th home run of the season, giving him an NL-leading 59 RBI, and giving the Mets a 5-2 lead.

Kevin Slowey had his third consecutive bad start, allowing five runs on six hits in six innings, while striking out two.

The Mets’ bullpen was fantastic in this game. Bobby Parnell had a terrific seventh, helped out by a great diving play at short by Jose Reyes. Pedro Feliciano retired the side in order in the eighth, and Francisco Rodriguez gave up a couple of hits in the ninth but got the job done, as the Mets beat the Twins in the series opener, 5-2.

The Mets are now 3-1 on the current six-game home stand, improving to 42-31 on the season and staying within a half-game of the first-place Braves. 

They will try and win the series with their ace Johan Santana on the mound tomorrow afternoon, opposing former Yankee Carl Pavano.

NL East standings (top 3 teams)

Atlanta 43-31
NY Mets 42-31 (1/2)
Philadelphia 39-32 (2 1/2)

Series probable pitchers:

June 26
New York: Johan Santana (2010: 5-4, 3.31 ERA) vs. Minnesota: Carl Pavano (2010: 8-6, 3.64 ERA)

June 27

New York: Jon Niese (2010: 4-2, 4.17 ERA) vs. Minnesota: Scott Baker (2010: 6-6, 4.61 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:

New York Mets:
June 26-27 vs. Minnesota Twins
June 28-30 @ Florida Marlins*

Minnesota Twins:
June 26-27 @ New York Mets
June 28-30 vs. Detroit Tigers

*Series to be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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