On Sunday, the Phillies hope 22-year-old Kyle Kendrick can turn the tide as they try to avoid a four-game sweep by the Mets.
Philadelphia (41-40) has had a trio of youngsters start the first three games of the series without success. J.D. Durbin, 25; Cole Hamels, 23; and J.A. Happ, 24, have a combined 9.22 ERA in losses to the Mets (46-33), and none have lasted more than five innings.
Happ was the sixth pitcher this season to make his major league debut with the Phillies. He pitched four innings in Saturday’s 8-3 defeat, allowing five runs and seven hits, and was sent back to Triple-A Ottawa after the game.
“I feel good at the plate,” said Beltran, who is 6-for-10 with five RBIs in the last two games. “I’m seeing the ball good.”
David Wright also homered for New York, which has won eight of its last nine to overcome a slow start at the beginning of June and finished 11-15 for the month.
The Phillies went 15-13 in June despite a bevy of injuries to their pitching staff, including starters Freddy Garcia (shoulder) and Jon Lieber (foot), as well as closer Tom Gordon (shoulder) and starter-turned-closer Brett Myers (shoulder).
“We got in a spot where we had to throw some young pitchers at them,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We’ll stay together. We’ve got to get Brett and Gordon back healthy. That would really help.”
Kendrick (2-0, 5.00 ERA), who began the season at Double-A Reading, took Garcia’s spot in the rotation. The team is 3-0 when he pitches, and he’s been on the receiving end of two solid offensive games in his most recent starts.
“A big credit goes to the offense,” Kendrick said after his last outing on Tuesday in which he was backed by 10 runs.
The rookie right-hander allowed four runs and six hits, including two homers, in six innings of the 11-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
“Right now, he’s right there,” Manuel told the Phillies’ official Web site. “He’s given us three very good starts. He’s a young kid and he’s doing fine.”
Mike Pelfrey (0-5, 6.53) will be recalled from Triple-A New Orleans prior to this game after scheduled starter Oliver Perez developed stiffness in his lower back. The 23-year-old right-hander will be making his first start since May 12, when he was reached for four runs and eight hits in five innings of a 12-3 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Pelfrey, whose last win came July 18 at Cincinnati, will be making his first-ever appearance against the Phillies.
A win on Sunday would give the Mets their fifth series sweep this season, including a two-game set against the Florida Marlins in April.