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PHOENIX — Arizona left fielder David Peralta reworked his swing in the
offseason J.T.
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, moving his hands lower and closer to his body with
an eye toward getting the ball into the air. It is taking off.

Peralta has 14 homers and 36 RBIs in 62 games, and he already has tied his
career high in homers with more than half to season remaining. Along with Paul
Goldschmidt, Peralta has helped the Diamondbacks (39-30) score a major
league-high 99 runs in June after winning the first two games of a four-game
series against the New York Mets.

Peralta had two hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games and scored a
run in a 7-3 victory Friday. He had three homers in the first two games of the
series, including his second career two-homer game Thursday.

Arizona will look to build on a 10-3 June when it sends left-hander Patrick
Corbin to the mound to oppose Mets left-hander Steven Matz on Saturday. Matz,
originally scheduled to start the series opener Thursday, was pushed back
because of a blister issue.

The Mets are headed the other way. After opening the season 11-1, they have
lost 12 of 13 to fall a season-low 10 games below .500 (28-38).

Peralta’s power improvement came as a result of discussions with hitting
coaches Dave Magadan and Tim Laker and input from the Diamondbacks’ analytics
department, which showed Peralta how often his hard-hit balls stayed on the
ground.

“I made a little bit of change with my hands to try to elevate the fastball
more,” said Peralta. “Why not put it in the air and see if it is going to better
results? When I tried it in the beginning, it felt kind of weird.”

By the start of spring training, Peralta said he was feeling good with the
new stroke. Either way, he was determined to stay the course.

“I put it in my mind that it didn’t matter if I got into a slump, I was just
going to keep doing it because you have to trust the process http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-hartman-jersey ,”
he said.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo liked what he saw of the new approach in spring
training.

“It’s allowing him to get the barrel to the ball more frequently,” Lovullo
said. “He’s just a good hitter. He’s focused so much on being a complete hitter,
using the whole field. Now he’s picking his spots to drive the ball.”

While the Diamondbacks’ offense is rolling, the Mets have scored three runs
or fewer in 11 straight games, the first time that has happened since 1981. They
have lost six of their last seven series, splitting the other, and the best they
can do in Arizona is another split after losing the first two games.

Dominic Smith, recalled at the start of the week, hit his first homer of the
season Friday, which was the Mets’ 22nd homer in their last 20 games. Eighteen
of those, including Smith’s, have come with the bases empty.

“We need to go out there and score some runs. That’s simply stated,” Mets
manager Mickey Callaway told reporters.

“We haven’t scored a ton and I think our hitters will. I think we have to get
everybody in the right spot to start doing that. When we start scoring
runs Justin
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, we are going to win because our pitching has
been tremendous.”

Corbin is 6-2 with a season-high 3.10 ERA after giving up five runs (four
earned) in a no-decision against Pittsburgh on Monday. He has given up 12 runs
(11 earned) in his last three outings, including a season-high six in a loss to
Cincinnati on May 30.

He did not figure in the decision while giving up two runs in the Mets’ 5-4
victory at Citi Field on May 19. Corbin had one of his best starts of 2017
against the Mets, giving up one run and four hits in eight innings on Aug. 22.
He is 1-3 with a 4.75 ERA in eight career appearances against the Mets.

Corbin ranks fourth in the NL with a 1.00 WHIP, and his 110 strikeouts are
third.

Matz, 2-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 12 starts, faced the Diamondbacks on May 19. He
gave up four runs in four innings but did not receive a decision when the Mets
rallied for a 5-4 walk-off victory in the last of the ninth inning. He has no
decisions in two career starts against Arizona, although he has given six runs
and four homers in 10 innings. He has never pitched at Chase Field.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — If you’d like to make the Vegas Golden Knights–Winnipeg
Jets Western Conference final a little more interesting, go all-in on the
expansion franchise.

Since 1973, the team that has captured a 2-1 lead in the semifinal has gone
on to take the series 87.5 percent of the time, winning 35 of 43 encounters.
After Wednesday night’s 4-2 victory, that puts the Golden Knights in the cat
bird’s seat.

And the team that takes a 3-1 lead has gone on to win more than 90 percent of
the time.

So, yeah Zack
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, you could say Game 4 on Friday night at T-Mobile
Arena is pretty much must-win territory for the visitors.

If the Jets are to have any chance of pulling this series out, they’re going
to need some scoring from somebody not named Mark Scheifele. The No. 1 center
has scored 14 of his team’s 50 goals thus far in the playoffs, a 28 percent
clip, including both goals on Wednesday.

Scheifele would have had a hat trick if it weren’t for a couple of
spectacular saves by Marc-Andre Fleury in the Golden Knights’ net. Scheifele’s
11 goals on the road are an NHL playoff record.

Forwards Patrik Laine, Bryan Little, Mathieu Perreault and Adam Lowry have
been a shadow of their regular-season selves. Laine, who had 44 goals this year,
has but four in the postseason and has hit a half-dozen posts.

Ehlers, who had 29 goals, has yet to notch one in 13 games and was a
mysterious scratch on Wednesday night.

Little has one goal in 15 playoff games after producing 16 this season,
Perreault has just a single point and Lowry hasn’t scored since December.

Scheifele, the Jets’ first No. 1 draft pick since relocating in 2011, wasn’t
pointing fingers Duncan
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, choosing instead to praise the Golden Knights.

“We’re in the conference finals. They’re a good team, too,” he told The
Winnipeg Sun. “They’re going to have their games, we’re going to have our games.
We can’t sulk on this too long. We’ve got to pick ourselves up.”

If nothing else, it should be comforting to the Jets that home ice hasn’t
been quite the advantage that most people assume it is. Road teams are 38-35 in
these playoffs. On the flip side, the Golden Knights are 5-1 at home in the
postseason.

There’s little question that Fleury has been the star for the home side. In
addition to 33 saves on Wednesday, he also took part in a scrum in his
crease.

But instead of planting his blocker in somebody’s face, he gave Jets captain
Blake Wheeler a “wet willie” by sticking his finger in his ear.

“I did that?” Fleury said at his locker afterward. “There are cameras
everywhere.”

The three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins has a 10-3
record and a sparkling .945 save percentage in the playoffs.

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