The weather provided the New York Mets a break before their longest road trip of the season.
The NL East-leading Mets will see if the unexpected rest pays off on Friday, when they open a four-game series - and the 11-game trip - with a day-night doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Although New York (43-33) dropped 14 of its first 18 games in June, it has bounced back to win five of its last six and holds a three-game division lead over the Phillies (41-37).
The Mets took two of three games in an abbreviated series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Thursday’s finale was rained out, but with 11 road games over the next 10 days, New York isn’t complaining.
“If we were going to get rained out, it’s probably a good day for it,” Mets right fielder Shawn Green told the team’s official Web site.
Friday’s afternoon game against Philadelphia is a makeup of an April 16 rainout. Orlando Hernandez (3-3, 2.77 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets.
Hernandez, who was scheduled to pitch on Thursday, was originally going to pitch the second game of this doubleheader, with John Maine (8-4, 2.87) taking the mound for the first, but Hernandez requested a switch.
Hernandez threw a season-high 119 pitches in seven scoreless innings on Saturday, but he did not factor in the decision in the Mets’ 1-0 win over Oakland.
The 37-year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.58 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies. He threw six scoreless innings against them on June 6, but did not receive a decision in a 4-2 defeat.
The Phillies are the third organization already this season for the right-hander, who was 2-4 with a 4.55 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Ottawa. Durbin began the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being picked up off waivers by the Boston Red Sox on April 9. He was designated for assignment again one day later, and the Phillies acquired him April 13.
His only appearance was on April 4, when he allowed seven runs and seven hits in two-thirds of an inning of relief against the Colorado Rockies.
Cole Hamels (9-3, 3.80) will go for the Phillies in the nightcap, making his third attempt at winning his 10th game of 2007.
A rain delay forced Hamels from Sunday’s start at St. Louis after only three innings, allowing one run. The 23-year-old left-hander yielded six runs and eight hits over five innings in his previous outing, a 10-1 loss at Cleveland on June 18.
Hamels is 1-0 with a 2.14 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.
Maine is looking to win his third consecutive start for New York. He has a 1.88 ERA in his last two outings, and allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 10-2 win over the Athletics on Sunday.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA in five career starts against the Phillies.
Philadelphia has won five of its last eight, including two of three against the Cincinnati Reds. The Phillies closed out that series Thursday with an 8-7 victory in 10 innings. Jimmy Rollins had four hits and drove in the game-winning run with a single in the 10th.
“It’s a big win for us,” Rollins said. “A lot of things tend to carry over from series to series. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum against the Mets.”