Philadelphia signed Eaton away from Texas in the winter, giving the 29-year-old right-hander a three-year contract worth $24.5 million.
Eaton went 7-4 with a 5.12 ERA in just 13 starts for the Rangers last season after spending time on the disabled list following right finger surgery. He won five of his last six outings in 2006, but got off to a rough start this season.
Eaton allowed seven hits and eight runs while walking four in 4 2-3 innings as Philadelphia lost 8-4 to Atlanta on Thursday, part of the Phillies’ 1-6 start.
“Are we pressing?” he said. “It’s too early for that.”
Eaton (0-1, 13.50 ERA), though, has won all three of his starts against the Mets, posting a 1.33 ERA in those outings.
Philadelphia can use a solid start from Eaton after its bullpen was roughed up for eight runs in two innings in Monday’s 11-5 defeat to New York. Cole Hamels held the Mets to three runs in the first six innings, but New York scored once in the seventh and seven times in the eighth to send the Phillies to another loss.
“Right now we are just out of sync,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We do some great things, and the rest of our game falls apart. … I think we’ve got to fix our bullpen, yes. If we have the people in house, good.”
The Mets aren’t out of sync, winning five of their first seven games after losing to St. Louis in Game 7 of the NLCS last season.
Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Moises Alou and Jose Valentin all drove in two runs on Monday for New York, which improved to 7-3 in its last 10 home games against Philadelphia. Alou is batting .429 (9-for-21) with two homers and five RBIs against Eaton.
“It reminded me a lot of last year, the way we battled and never gave up,” Wright said.
The Mets now turn to left-hander Oliver Perez (1-0, 1.29) as they look to win a fourth straight meeting with the Phillies. Perez gave up one run and five hits while striking out six in seven innings of an 11-1 win on Friday in Atlanta. It was the second time in Perez’s 112 career starts that he lasted at least seven innings and did not issue a walk.
“He threw strikes and he was pounding the zone,” manager Willie Randolph said of Perez, who went 3-13 with a 6.58 ERA last year with Pittsburgh and the Mets. “He was pretty dominant.”
Perez is 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA in five starts against the Phillies. He didn’t get a decision in his last outing versus Philadelphia, allowing five runs, two hits and five walks while striking out seven in five innings of New York’ 11-5 win on Aug. 26 at Shea Stadium.
Pat Burrell is 4-for-12 with three homers and five RBIs against Perez. Burrell is hitting just .257 versus New York in his career, but has 36 homers and 92 RBIs in 118 games.
Reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard homered for the first time this season on Monday. He is 1-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs against Perez.