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Milone makes Mets debut in series finale vs. Giants

NEW YORK -- Tommy Milone is probably one of many Americans returning to work Wednesday after a vacation. He likely will be the only one headed to a major league mound, though.

The left-hander will make his New York Mets debut Wednesday afternoon when he starts the finale of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. The Mets will be going for a sweep after five pitchers combined to two-hit the Giants in a 6-1 win on Tuesday night.

Milone (1-0, 6.43 ERA) will be pitching Wednesday for the first time in 12 days. He gave up four runs in two innings of relief for the Milwaukee Brewers on April 29 and was designated for assignment two days later. The Mets, in search of a replacement for injured ace right-hander Noah Syndergaard, claimed Milone off waivers on Sunday and added him to the active roster Monday.

"You just don't know what's going to happen, get in that kind of situation (where) you're in that limbo stage," said Milone, who last started for the Brewers on April 19. "You don't know what's going to happen. It's exciting, and I'm happy to be here."

While Milone has made a handful of big league appearances on 10 or more days of rest, he has never done so with a trip to his California home in between.

"Usually I'm still on a team, it's not like I can just do whatever I want," Milone said with a grin. "It definitely wasn't the same."

The struggling Giants may be a good first opponent for Milone as he tries to lift the Mets (16-16) over .500 for the first time since April 18. San Francisco (11-23) has the worst record in baseball after losing five straight and eight of 10.

"Got to stay behind them and keep thinking that you're going to come out of this," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday night. "It's been a while, and we're just sputtering here."

San Francisco right-hander Matt Cain (2-1, 4.70 ERA) will look to stop the losing streak as he tries to bounce back from one of his worst starts ever. Cain took the loss last Friday when he allowed nine runs over 3 1/3 innings as the Giants fell 13-3 to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. He tied career highs in runs allowed and walks (six) as his season ERA more than doubled from 2.30.

The lopsided loss snapped a four-start stretch in which Cain allowed just three runs in 23 innings while engendering hope he had reversed the slide he experienced over the previous two seasons.

"Just did a great job of pitching, hitting his spots, staying away from (the) middle of the plate, using all four pitches," Bochy said of Cain's strong stretch. "We just ran into a hot team there that when they didn't hit it hard, they placed it well."

Milone won his lone career start against the Giants on May 29, 2013, when he allowed four runs over five innings in the Oakland Athletics' 9-6 win at AT&T Park. Cain is 6-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 15 career starts against the Mets.

Both teams could get back their starting shortstops Wednesday. The Mets' Asdrubal Cabrera is expected to return to the lineup after missing three starts due to a sprained left thumb.

The Giants' Brandon Crawford played in his second rehab game Tuesday and may be activated Wednesday, especially since San Francisco needs to make a corresponding roster move after placing closer Mark Melancon (right pronator strain) on the 10-day disabled list just before the first pitch Tuesday.

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