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New York Mets (11-4) at San Diego Padres (6-9) at 10:05 on 4/21/06

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Bannister looks to continue impressive start to his career

New York Mets (11-4) at San Diego Padres (6-9) 10:05 pm EDT


SAN DIEGO (Ticker) - Brian Bannister will look to prolong his magical first month in the major leagues Friday, when he and the New York Mets face the San Diego Padres in the second of four games at Petco Park.


The 25-year-old Bannister (2-0, 2.50 ERA) has allowed just five runs and 11 hits in his first 18 major league innings. He has won his last two starts, limiting Washington to a run and three hits on April 11 and outdueling Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets with five strong innings in a 9-3 triumph on Sunday.


Bannister is among an intriguing crop of rookies who are sons of former major leaguers. His father is Floyd Bannister, who won 134 games with six teams in a career that began in 1977.


Another one of those rookies is San Diego's Josh Barfield, who entered this series riding a five-game hitting streak over which he batted .450 (9-for-20). He is the son of Jesse Barfield, who led the American League with 40 homers as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1986.


Bannister will encounter the son of a former AL home run leader for the second time in as many starts Friday. On Sunday, he faced Prince Fielder, whose father, Cecil, led the AL with 51 homers in 1990 and 44 the following year.


The Mets will face Woody Williams (1-0, 4.50), who is coming off his first win of the season. Williams allowed three runs and six hits in six innings of a 4-3 win at Atlanta on Sunday, striking out nine.


The 39-year-old Williams has won five of his seven lifetime decisions against New York despite posting a 5.02 ERA in 11 starts.


The Mets recorded a 7-2 win in Thursday's series opener on the strength of a pair of historic home runs. Kaz Matsui legged out an inside-the-park homer in the third inning, making him the first player in major league history to homer in his first at-bat in each of his first three seasons.


Five innings later, 47-year-old Julio Franco broke a 2-2 tie with a pinch-hit blast to becoming the oldest player in major league history with a homer.

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