National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 31 (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (62-73) at New York Mets (63-73), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - A.J. Burnett (7-14, 4.30) New York - Dillon Gee (5-6, 3.77)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Phillies have had trouble with the New York Mets this season, but can record a series win Sunday in the finale of a three-game set from Citi Field.
The Phillies are only 6-12 against the NL East-rival Mets and evened this series with Saturday's 7-2 triumph behind another strong start from Jerome Williams and a five-run sixth inning. Williams is 3-0 with the Phillies and allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Marlon Byrd homered to open the scoring in the fifth and Ryan Howard drove in two runs in the sixth inning. Howard had three RBI on the night, while Domonic Brown and Cody Asche both knocked in runs for the Phillies, who are aiming to win four straight series for the first time since July 2-14, 2013.
"Guys did the job with men on third base, key hits, sac flies. We really made the most of our opportunities with men in scoring position," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Philadelphia will also visit Atlanta and Washington on this nine-game road trip and is a half-game behind the Mets for last in the NL East.
Hoping to pitch the Phils out of the division basement Sunday will be A.J. Burnett. Burnett was 0-6 in seven starts -- all Philly losses -- from July 18 - Aug. 19 and defeated Washington on Monday in a 3-2 triumph. Burnett struck out 12 batters and allowed just one run in seven innings for his first win since July 11 versus the Nationals.
The veteran right-hander improved to 7-14 with a 4.30 ERA in his first season with the Phillies and hopes to find some success on the road, where he is 3-8 in 14 chances. In 23 career starts against the Mets, Burnett has a 5-8 mark and a 4.04 ERA.
New York has lost three of four and eight of its last 12 games.
Bartolo Colon fell apart late in the start for the Mets last night and was touched for six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
"Obviously he was getting way too much of the plate," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Colon.
Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares each had an RBI, while Matt den Dekker recorded a team-best two hits for the Mets, who haven't won a series since winning three of four games in south Philly from Aug. 8-11.
New York will next visit Miami and Cincinnati after hosting the Phils.
The Mets will hand Dillon Gee the ball Sunday and he is 5-6 with a 3.77 earned run average. Like Burnett, Gee halted a winless streak his last time out in a 3-2 win over Atlanta by tossing 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball. He was 0-5 in his previous seven outings and won for the first time since July 9 versus the Braves.
Gee, a right-hander, is 3-3 in 10 home starts and 3-4 with a 6.53 ERA in 13 career games (12 starts) against the Phillies. He defeated the Phillies on the road Aug. 9 by holding them to a run in seven innings of a 2-1 victory. However, Gee gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 6-0 loss versus Philadelphia on July 29.
The Phillies have lost 11 of their last 15 games against the Mets. New York hasn't defeated the Phillies 13 times in one season since 1987. It also posted 13 wins back in 1970, 71 and 72.
08/31 10:24:13 ET