Mets-Yankees Preview

The Associated Press

If the New York Mets are to continue their current win streak, they must find a way to end their recent struggles at Yankee Stadium.

The Mets can record a season-high fourth consecutive victory Wednesday night by snapping a five-game road skid to the Yankees, who have dropped three in a row for the first time this season.

Though the first two months of the season have been rough for the Mets (20-29), they rebounded from a five-game slide to win three straight for the second time in 2013. Runs in the seventh and eighth innings gave the Mets a 2-1 victory over the Yankees (30-21) on Monday, then David Wright and Lucas Duda hit RBI singles off Mariano Rivera in the ninth for a victory by the same score Tuesday.

The blown save was the first of the season for Rivera and prevented budding Mets star Matt Harvey from being saddled with his first loss.

"I think we surprised ourselves,'' Wright said, "because when you get Mo coming in, it's usually game over.''

Rivera converted the first 18 save opportunities during his farewell season.

"Hopefully, it's the last one,'' said Rivera, who has converted 22 of 25 save chances against the Mets, including postseason, during his stellar career.

Duda has batted .333 in his last 12 games while Wright has hit .407 with five RBIs in his past seven against the Yankees.

Though the Mets have built some momentum, they could face a stiff challenge the next two days in the Bronx, where they have been outscored 34-13 over the last five games. Since recording a sweep at Yankee Stadium in 2008, the Mets have dropped nine of 12 there.

Jeremy Hefner (0-5, 4.76 ERA) makes his 10th start in search of his elusive first victory for the Mets on Wednesday. The right-hander allowed a two-run homer and two other hits in six innings of a 7-5, 10-inning loss to Atlanta that was suspended by rain Friday and finished Saturday. He struck out seven.

"I was so excited that he pitched so well after he's been so down about not winning a game," manager Terry Collins said.

Hefner's only appearance against the Yankees came in one scoreless inning of relief June 23.

The Yankees' David Phelps (3-2, 3.96) appears healthy enough to take the mound after he was struck on his pitching arm with a line drive in a 9-4 win road over Tampa Bay on Friday. The right-hander retired the first 13 batters he faced and gave up four runs without a walk over a career-high 7 2-3 innings before the injury.

Phelps will make his sixth straight start since replacing Ivan Nova in the rotation. He's never faced the Mets.

While Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis appear close to returning from their injuries, the Yankees' makeshift lineup has totaled five runs during their slide. Lyle Overbay delivered a run-scoring single in the sixth and Brett Gardner added two of their seven hits Tuesday.

Yankees star Robinson Cano is batting .340 in the last 12 games against the Mets.