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Morning Briefing: Mets set for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball

SAN FRANCISCO -- Noah Syndergaard can pitch the New York Mets to a split of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday Night Baseball.

Syndergaard (10-7, 2.76 ERA) opposes right-hander Jeff Samardzija (10-8, 4.24) at 8:05 p.m. ET at AT&T Park.

After picking up a game on Saturday, the Mets (61-62) trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 4½ games for the second wild-card spot.

SUNDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Yoenis Cespedes homered twice in his second game back from the disabled list and Alejandro De Aza contributed a three-run homer as the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 9-5 win against the Giants on Saturday. Bartolo Colon allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Neil Walker returned Saturday after missing four games with lower-back stiffness and went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. But Walker is soon planning to depart. He plans to take a redeye flight on Sunday night to Pittsburgh, where doctors will induce labor with his wife late Monday. Walker plans to be on paternity leave for the entire three-game series at St. Louis and expects to rejoin the Mets on Friday at Citi Field. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Jim Henderson was activated from the disabled list before Saturday's game, with Erik Goeddel demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more at NJ.com.

  • Jay Bruce, hitting only .176 since joining the Mets, was held out of the starting lineup Saturday. Bruce did walk as a pinch hitter.

  • Mike Puma in the Post examines the Mets' handling of Michael Conforto, who is not expected to rejoin the club from Triple-A Las Vegas until rosters expand on Sept. 1.

  • Dwight Gooden tells the Daily News he was dealing with a "minor health issue" when he missed an appearance and Darryl Strawberry's concerns that he may have relapsed were "unreal." Read more in Newsday.

  • Terry Collins tells columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post that the Mets will reach the postseason if Cespedes "gets going" offensively.

  • Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post looks at a litany of areas in which the Mets have underwhelmed.

  • This year's Mets remind columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post of the 2013-14 Knicks and 1999 Jets.

  • Carlos Gomez, released by the Houston Astros, signed a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers.

  • Phillip Evans had his fifth straight game producing at least three hits, but Portland beat Binghamton, 10-8. Former Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard walked two batters and hit two others without recording an out, which helped lift St. Lucie over Palm Beach, 3-1. Dash Winningham had a two-run homer in the nightcap and Columbia swept a doubleheader against Augusta. Read the full minor-league recap here.

  • From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear prepares last rites for the 2016 Mets. ... Mets Report wants Colon back in 2017.

BIRTHDAYS: Felix Millan turns 73. ... John Stearns is 65. ... Bruce Berenyi is 62.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets bring Conforto back to the majors now?