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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, August 8 (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (54-61) at Philadelphia Phillies (52-63), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Bartolo Colon (10-9, 4.12) Philadelphia - A.J. Burnett (6-11, 4.16)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Phillies may be out of the playoff picture, but lately they're playing with something at stake.

The Phillies shoot for their fourth straight win when they open a four-game series Friday versus the NL East-rival New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies posted a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros with Thursday's 6-5 win, as Ryan Howard belted a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning off Astros pitcher Tony Sipp.

"He was really aggressive," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Howard's at-bat. "He had good swings and he was really battling. He laid off some breaking balls down low and made (Sipp) come in with a strike."

Howard batted .357 with two homers and eight RBI in the series for the Phillies, winners in nine of the last 14 games. Ben Revere and Carlos Ruiz had two hits apiece against the Astros and Mario Hollands threw two scoreless innings of relief for the win.

Jonathan Papelbon posted his 27th save in the ninth and starting pitcher Sean O'Sullivan labored through six innings, allowing five runs and seven hits, including three home runs. Philadelphia's five-run eighth inning bailed him out.

A.J. Burnett draws the start for the Phils Friday and he is 6-11 with a 4.16 earned run average. He has lost back-to-back starts and is only 1-5 in his last six decisions. Burnett lasted only 1 2/3 innings in an 11-0 loss at Washington on Saturday and gave up five runs -- one earned. The Phillies are only 1-7 in his last eight starts.

Burnett has made 22 starts in his career against the Mets and is 5-7 with a 3.89 ERA. He is 0-1 in two starts against them this season.

New York lost two of three games in Washington and suffered a 5-3 loss in 13 innings on Thursday. Nationals young star Bryce Harper belted the game-winning two-run homer in the 13th inning off Carlos Torres.

Daniel Murphy had three hits and an RBI and Curtis Granderson drove in a run for the Mets, who fell to 2-5 this month. Jacob deGrom started for New York and allowed three runs in six innings.

"I kind of struggled in my command," said deGrom. "I was throwing strikes but I wasn't really locating as well as I wanted to. It was a mental battle today. I kept us in the ballgame."

Bartolo Colon goes after win No. 200 on Friday and is 10-9 with a 4.12 earned run average. Colon dropped to 2-4 in his previous six decisions in Sunday's 9-0 loss to San Francisco and gave up six runs across 4 2/3 innings.

The bulky right-hander had won two straight starts and the Mets were unbeaten in his past three trips to the mound. Colon has a 3-2 mark and a 3.74 ERA in seven career starts against the Phillies and is 2-0 in two starts this season.

New York is 8-4 against the Phillies this season and 5-1 at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets have won three in a row in south Philly.

08/08 10:33:33 ET

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Today at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Today at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Today at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke at Virginia

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • Super Bowl: Seattle vs. New England

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

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