Mets-Phillies Preview

JEFF MEZYDLO (STATS Senior Writer)
The Associated Press

After finishing a losing homestand on a positive note, the New York Mets shift their attention to continuing their road success against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets can match a season high with a third straight victory Thursday night and sixth consecutive win in Philadelphia.

New York (24-28) dropped nine of 12 before winning two straight over Pittsburgh to conclude a 4-5 home stretch. Bartolo Colon struck out nine over 7 1-3 innings in Wednesday's 5-0 victory, while David Wright and Lucas Duda each homered and had two RBIs.

With an 11-11 road record, New York embarks on an 11-game trek and will play 25 of its next 33 away from Citi Field.

''We've played pretty good on the road, so we're looking forward to it,'' said Duda, who has homered for two of the three hits in 20 at-bats over his last seven contests.

The Mets have outscored the Phillies 29-12 during their five-game winning streak at Philadelphia. New York won 6-1 there April 29, but the following day's meeting was postponed by rain and will be played Monday to conclude this five-game set.

Wright is batting .383 with five doubles and five RBIs during an 11-game road hitting streak. He went 0 for 5 at Philadelphia (23-27) last month after going 8 for 13 with three homers and five RBIs in his previous three at Citizens Bank Park.

New York's Zack Wheeler (1-5, 4.63 ERA) had a 3.18 ERA in two starts against the Phillies last season - both at home - but went 0-1.

Hoping to avoid losing his third straight start, the right-hander allowed five runs and seven hits in each of his last two road starts during which he went 0-1 and lasted 10 1-3 innings. He was better at home Saturday, giving up two earned runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 defeat to Arizona.

Wheeler has never faced Ryan Howard, whose three-run game-winning homer highlighted the four-run ninth that sent Philadelphia to a 6-3 victory over Colorado on Wednesday.

"We've talked about trying to build on games like this. Now it's about doing it," Howard said.

He went 5 for 9 with two home runs and nine RBIs while the Phillies took of three from the Rockies. Howard was 2 for 30 with 13 strikeouts in nine games prior to that series.

''With swinging, sometimes you have to tinker with a few things, sometimes it just finds you," he said. "You don't question it. You just try to roll with it."

Howard is batting .417 (20 for 48) with four homers, five doubles and 13 RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak against the Mets.

With Cliff Lee on the disabled list, right-hander David Buchanan (1-0, 3.60) gets the chance to follow up his solid major league debut from Saturday when he allowed two runs and did not walk a batter in five innings of a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

''It's an outing he can build on as we need him," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins, who snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a single Wednesday, is 2 for 6 with a home run versus Wheeler.