The Mets look to win with Hernandez on the mound for the ninth straight time when they play the middle game of their series with the Dodgers on Saturday.
Hernandez (8-4, 3.09 ERA) has become New York’s most consistent starter. The Mets (72-55) have won each of El Duque’s last eight outings, with the veteran right-hander going 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA and a .172 opponent batting average.
In 21 starts this season, Hernandez has given up four runs or more only five times. Two of those outings, however, were against Los Angeles (66-62).
Hernandez is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this season, and 1-2 with a 5.72 ERA in five career starts against them.
In his last start, Hernandez gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in seven innings to beat Washington 8-2 on Sunday. He got six runs to work with in that start, and New York continues to be productive at the plate.
The Mets extended a team record by scoring at least five runs for the 12th straight game in a 5-2 win over the Dodgers on Friday night.
David Wright had another strong game, going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs while making two outstanding plays at third base. Wright is batting .414 (36-for-87) with five home runs, six doubles, six stolen bases and 21 RBIs in his last 25 games.
Carlos Delgado, meanwhile, continued his slump Friday, going 0-for-3 after being dropped to the sixth spot in the batting order by Mets manager Willie Randolph. Moises Alou batted fifth, replacing Delgado.
“I have the luxury of having great hitters in my lineup,” Randolph told the team’s official Web site. “Moises Alou’s a pretty good hitter, too.”
Delgado is 0-for-16 in his last four games and is hitless in four at-bats against Eric Stults (1-1, 3.91 ERA), who will start for Los Angeles on Saturday. The left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts since joining the rotation.
Stults allowed two runs and two hits while striking out a career-high nine in seven innings to beat Colorado 6-4 on Friday night. He is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.
The Dodgers had won six of eight before Friday’s game, and have fallen to 4-4 in their season series with the Mets. Los Angeles, which was swept by New York in the first round of last year’s postseason, stranded 12 runners Friday and were held to fewer than four runs for the first time since a 4-1 loss to Houston on Aug. 13.
Dodgers center fielder Juan Pierre extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a bunt single in the first inning Friday. He’s batting .396 (21-for-53) during the streak.