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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, May 30th (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (25-28) at Philadelphia Phillies (23-28), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Rafael Montero (0-2, 4.96) Philadelphia - A.J. Burnett (3-4, 3.51)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Mets will try to keep the Philadelphia Phillies' bats quiet once again when the NL East foes resume a five-game set Friday from Citizens Bank Park.

The Mets took Thursday's opener by a 4-1 score thanks to starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, who struck out nine and did not allow a walk in 6 1/3 innings. He scattered four hits and gave up one run, a homer to Marlon Byrd.

"He was ahead in the count on just about every hitter ... and that made him tough," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Wheeler.

Jenrry Mejia struck out the heart of Philadelphia's lineup in the ninth, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard went down in order.

Chris Young hit a two-run homer for the Mets, winners in three straight and four of five games.

New York opened an 11-game road trip in south Philly and will also visit the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. The club, which is averaging almost five runs per game on the road, is aiming for its first four-game winning streak of the season.

Taking the mound for the Mets Friday will be Rafael Montero. Montero is 0-2 in three starts with a 4.96 earned run average and did not post a decision in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Arizona, as he fanned a career-high 10 batters and yielded only a run across six innings.

Montero, a right-hander, will get his first taste of the Phillies and this ongoing rivalry.

New York is expected to put former longtime Phillie Bobby Abreu in Friday's lineup. Abreu, 40, has been used sparingly to rest.

The Phillies mustered only a run on Thursday and totaled 17 over the previous three games. They have alternated results in the past seven games on this 11- game homestand and couldn't get anything going for starter David Buchanan in his second career outing.

Buchanan lasted 6 2/3 innings and was reached for four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Byrd's homer in the seventh accounted for one of Philadelphia's four hits.

"So far, we haven't put it together," Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz said on the club's website. "We have to fix that. We have to stay strong, come out tomorrow with a different mentality."

Rollins is still 14 hits shy of passing Mike Schmidt (2,234) for the most on the club's all-time list. Rollins has just one hit in his last five games.

A.J. Burnett gets the call for the Phils Friday and he has lost three of his last four starts, including Sunday's 6-0 setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was outdueled by former Marlins teammate Josh Beckett, who tossed a no- hitter. Burnett struggled to the tune of six runs -- four earned -- and 11 hits in seven innings

The veteran right-hander, who fell to 3-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 11 starts, has allowed at least three runs in each of the past four trips to the hill. Burnett is 1-2 in five outings at Citizens Bank Park and 5-6 with a 3.39 ERA in 20 career starts against the Mets.

The Mets are 3-2 against the Phillies this season and have won six in a row as the visitor in this series. The six-game slide at home to the Mets is Philadelphia's longest since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004.

05/30 10:31:57 ET

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