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NYM@MIA: Wheeler fans five over seven strong frames

Although they've dug themselves a bit of a hole, the D-backs remain very much alive in both the National League West and Wild Card races.

But with the Dodgers (5 1/2 games up in the West) and Reds (4 1/2 games up in the Wild Card) playing quality baseball these days, Arizona can ill afford any slip-ups.

And the D-backs haven't slipped up recently -- at least not in their past three games. They'll look to extend their current winning streak to four against the Mets on Saturday night at Chase Field.

Mets rookie right-hander Zack Wheeler will have something to say about that, however. The highly touted 23-year-old has yet to face the D-backs, and he's looking to establish a bit of consistency to his game.

Wheeler (4-2, 3.91 ERA) has shown flashes of brilliance since making his big league debut on June 18 against Atlanta. He's lasted at least six innings while allowing two runs or fewer three times. But he followed each one of those quality starts with a dud.

That's exactly what happened his last time out. Coming off a start in which he took a no-hitter into the seventh against Miami, Wheeler allowed four runs in five innings to the Royals on Sunday.

Brandon McCarthy (2-5, 4.94 ERA) gets the ball opposite Wheeler. The right-hander made his first start off the disabled list on Sunday in Boston, but he lasted just 4 1/3 innings.

After missing two months because of shoulder inflammation, McCarthy is in search of his first victory since May 24.

Offensively, the D-backs have used the same lineup for three consecutive games -- marking just the second time all season they've done so. In those three games, they're 3-0 and have scored a combined 20 runs.

"We had been struggling with our offense, so when I made this lineup out, it was aimed to get as much offense in there as I can, and it has worked great," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Beyond the offense, the defense has played phenomenal as well."

Mets: Wright may be out for year
Mets manager Terry Collins said Friday that star third baseman David Wright might not return this season from his strained right hamstring.

"There's nothing etched in stone," Collins said. "We're hoping certainly that it's four weeks. If it's five, it's five. If it's six, it's six. If he gets back, tremendous."

D-backs: Montero tests lower back
Arizona catcher Miguel Montero, who has been sidelined with a lower back strain, threw on the field for the first time since being placed on the DL July 29.

"It went good, man," Montero said. "I felt fine."

It's possible Montero could take some light swings this weekend, but he'll have to be re-evaluated by a team doctor before his rehab goes any further.

Worth noting
• John Buck is the lone Mets hitter with more than three at-bats against McCarthy. He is 1-for-7, but the one hit was a homer.

• Since July 24, Mets first baseman Ike Davis has 16 walks in 16 games.

• Arizona's 23 last-at-bat victories lead the Majors.

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