Looking to build off his first complete game in nearly six years, Hernandez will try to help the Mets match their longest winning streak of the season when they continue a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday.
The Mets acquired Hernandez (4-5, 5.48 ERA) in a May 24 trade with Arizona for reliever Jorge Julio. Hernandez went 2-4 with a 6.11 ERA in nine starts for Arizona, but is 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA in three starts for New York.
The Cuban-born right-hander gave up three hits in Thursday’s 7-1 win over the Diamondbacks—his first complete game since Sept. 16, 2000 when he was with the New York Yankees.
“He’s a competitor, and he’s always going to compete every day,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “I’m sure that any time you play against your former team, it’s a little nicer to pitch a shutout.”
Hernandez, who has never faced the Phillies, threw 113 pitches and took a shutout into the ninth inning.
“I’m happy with my job today,” Hernandez said.
The Mets (40-23) have won six straight after Tuesday’s 9-7 victory in the series opener. David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado each homered for New York, which won seven straight April 6-14.
Wright also made a diving grab in the ninth to start a double play, helping Billy Wagner earn his first save in Philadelphia since leaving the Phillies as a free agent in the offseason. Wagner, who tallied 59 saves over two seasons with Philadelphia, earned his 13th in 16 chances this year.
Jimmy Rollins connected twice off Mets starter Tom Glavine, who gave up four homers for just the second time in his career. Bobby Abreu, Aaron Rowand and David Dellucci also homered for the Phillies (33-31), who have lost four of five.
The Mets improved to 7-1 on their 10-game road trip and lead the second-place Phillies by 7 1/2 games in the NL East.
“Right now the Mets have everything going their way,” first baseman Ryan Howard said. “It’s a long season and hopefully we’ll start getting the bounces and they’ll start making errors.”
Brett Myers (4-2, 3.44 ERA) will look to help Philadelphia bounce back. He allowed a season-high six earned runs and seven hits in a season-low three innings of the Phillies’ 12-inning, 9-8 loss to Washington on Friday.
Before the rough outing, Myers had lasted at least five innings and allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his first 12 starts. Friday’s outing was his shortest since Sept. 24, 2004, when he gave up seven runs in three innings of an 8-1 loss to Montreal.
“He’s the ace of our staff and it wasn’t his night,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “They were putting the bat on the ball, we were making some mistakes, things just weren’t going his way.”
Myers is 7-5 with a 5.18 ERA in 17 career starts against the Mets, including 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against them this season.