Cliff Lee had never gone more than two starts to begin a season without earning a victory, but he's about to head into his eighth outing of 2012 without getting in the win column.
The Philadelphia Phillies' offense hasn't been much of a help.
The left-hander tries once again to end his winless drought and Philadelphia seeks a positive conclusion to its road trip when it faces the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
Lee (0-2, 2.82 ERA) has pitched well overall, but run support has been lacking. He's receiving 2.12 runs per nine innings - third-lowest in the majors.
He allowed three runs and struck out seven over seven innings before the Phillies beat St. Louis 5-3 in 10 innings Friday.
"It's just one of those things," Lee told the Phillies' official website. "My job is to get deep into the game, give my team a chance to win and put up as many zeros as I can. That's what I'm going to try and do every time. If I get a win, great. If the team gets a win, even better."
The Mets dealt Lee his first loss April 13 in Philadelphia after he gave up four runs in seven innings. He didn't earn a decision May 9, when he allowed two runs in six innings of New York's 10-6 victory - again at Citizens Bank Park. Overall, Lee is 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA in five career starts versus the Mets.
The Phillies could use a solid outing from Lee after Tuesday's 6-3 loss to New York - especially after learning ace Roy Halladay will miss six to eight weeks with a strained right shoulder.
"I'm concerned about our starting pitching right now,'' manager Charlie Manuel said.
Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.92) opposed Lee in the May 9 matchup, not earning a decision after allowing four runs in 5 2-3 innings. He's 2-1 in five career appearances - four starts - versus Philadelphia, but he's compiled a 7.50 ERA in those outings.
The right-hander, though, has won his last two starts overall with a 2.63 ERA after allowing one run and striking out a career-high nine in seven innings of a 6-1 victory over San Diego on Friday.
Gee had allowed 11 runs over his previous two starts.
"That's what I want to be, is a consistent guy that you know what you're going to get every night out," Gee said. "Lately I haven't been that guy, and it really gets under my skin."
Gee's solid performance helped begin a stretch of four wins over the last five games for the Mets (28-22). Scott Hairston hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the sixth inning of Tuesday's victory, and Omar Quintanilla went 3 for 4 with two doubles in his Mets debut.
Quintanilla - New York's sixth player to start at shortstop this season because of injuries - hadn't played in the majors since going 1 for 22 for Texas from July 22-Aug. 25 last season.
"I'm ready to play short as long as it takes," Quintanilla told the Mets' official website. "It's unfortunate what happened to (Ruben) Tejada and (Justin) Turner and (Ronny) Cedeno. I'll just go out there and play hard and help this team win."
Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco each had two hits Tuesday for the Phillies (26-25), who have won five of seven - including an 8-4 victory in Monday's series opener - but dropped to 4-2 on their road trip.