Facing the New York Mets may keep them both hot.
Howard and Young look to continue pounding Mets pitching while helping the Phillies to a fifth straight win at Citi Field on Saturday.
Howard is hitting .345 over the past 15 games, increasing his season average 134 points to .282. He has two homers and six RBIs in his last three games.
Young’s production has been much more consistent, leading the Phillies (10-14) with a .333 average and providing them with a strong presence at third base after starting seven players there last year.
The duo was responsible for all of the scoring in Friday’s 4-0 win in the opener of this three-game set. Young went 3 for 4, hitting an RBI single in the sixth inning before Howard followed with a three-run shot.
“Power stroke’s always been there. You can’t control where the ball goes,” said Howard, who has two of his three homers on the season against the Mets (10-11).
He’s homered four times and driven in 12 runs in the past six meetings with New York. Three of his four hits over the last three games at Citi Field have been homers, and he has 10 RBIs in those contests.
That power display may continue since Howard is 4 for 8 with three homers against Shaun Marcum New York’s scheduled starter.
Young owns a .415 average with five homers and 12 RBIs in 13 career meetings with the Mets.
The Phillies have won seven of eight against New York, including four straight on the road for their longest streak since a seven-game run at Shea Stadium bridging the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Jonathan Pettibone will get a chance to keep that run going after he impressed in his major league debut Monday.
The right-hander, filling in for the injured John Lannan allowed two runs and struck out six before leaving with one out in the sixth inning and not getting a decision in a 3-2 home win over Pittsburgh.
“My game plan was to be aggressive, go after guys,” Pettibone said. “I have to pitch to my strengths. Once I got on the mound, the nerves were flying. Once I settled down, I got in a rhythm.”
The Mets are looking to rebound from a season-low three hits - all singles - while being shut out for the first time Friday.
David Wright had one of those hits, but he’s 3 for 16 with one RBI in four meetings with Philadelphia this season.
Marcum is scheduled for his 2013 debut after starting the season on the disabled list with a neck injury. The right-hander was signed after going 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 21 starts with Milwaukee last year, missing 10 weeks with elbow tightness.
“Obviously, it’s all about the health issues. He says he’s feeling great,” manager Terry Collins told the team’s official website. “We know he’s going to sink it, he’s going to change up, he’s going to work the corners. He’s one of those guys - even though we’re going to watch him pretty close pitch-count wise - he’s going to get us to the fifth or sixth inning easy.”
Marcum is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA in five starts against the Phillies. He hasn’t faced them since giving up five runs, nine hits and four walks in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-3 loss with the Brewers on Sept. 9, 2011.