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ARI@BOS: Corbin strikes out six over six-plus innings

D-backs pitcher Patrick Corbin's first All-Star campaign was off to an undefeated start until he visited Citi Field on July 2.

The Mets handed Corbin his first loss and his worst outing of the season. The two teams will meet again Friday, this time at Chase Field, to open a three-game series.

Corbin has lost his past two starts, to the Padres and Red Sox, but received only two combined runs of support in those outings.

"He might be one of the top lefties in all of baseball -- not just the National League -- and we saw dominant-type stuff," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Corbin won't be facing one of the Mets' hottest hitters, as first baseman Ike Davis likely will sit in Friday's opener. Davis is on a roll as the Mets come to Arizona, hitting .286 with a home run and 23 walks since being recalled July 5.

Davis also has reached base at a .500 clip since the All-Star break, but Mets manager Terry Collins said Thursday he'll give the left-handed-hitting Davis -- who has done all his damage against right-handed starters -- a rest against Corbin.

"I'm not sure Ike's faced a lefty in the last two weeks, so right now I'd probably lean toward [Josh] Satin," Collins said.

D-backs: Montero 'not close' to returning
Catcher Miguel Montero was back in the training room Tuesday as he continues to round back into playing shape since landing on the disabled list on July 29 with a lower back strain.

He received an epidural injection in his back last Friday and feels he could return by the time the team hits the road next week, but manager Kirk Gibson said his catcher is "not close" to being ready and is not ready to place a timetable on Montero's recovery process.

In Montero's absence, veteran Wil Nieves has been handed the majority of the starts behind the plate.

"I knew I could do it," Nieves said. "I've been behind someone my whole career, but I always knew that if something happened, I could do it on a daily basis. It's just about getting good habits, so that whenever I'm in the game, it's muscle memory. I don't think about mechanics, I think about seeing the ball and hitting it. That's what happens when you practice the right way."

Mets: Hefner looks to regain form
Right-hander Jeremy Hefner was one of the hottest pitchers in baseball during a dominant stretch of starts from late June through the early part of July, but he has since regressed. Hefner, who opposes Corbin on Friday, has seen his ERA balloon from 3.33 ERA to 4.23.

He scattered eight hits while allowing three earned runs in six innings against the Royals on Saturday.

• Left-hander Jonathon Niese (partial rotator cuff tear) made a rehab start with Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday and will start for the Mets on Sunday.

Collins knows he will have to be cautious with Niese early in his return. He threw 80 pitches in his final rehab start, but Collins would like him to feel comfortable throwing 100.

"Each one of my rehab starts have felt pretty strong," Niese said. "Velocity's been back, and the command, for the most part, has been where I wanted it."

Worth noting
• D-backs outfielder Cody Ross has three home runs and eight RBIs in his past eight games.

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