Veteran lefty Mark Buehrle faces the New York Mets for just the third time in a decade-plus career in the big leagues Sunday when the Miami Marlins host them in the finale of a three-game series.
A 1998 draft choice of the Chicago White Sox, Buehrle was an American Leaguer from 2000-2011, winning 161 games in 390 appearances before signing a free- agent deal with the Marlins in the offseason.
The 33-year-old faced the Mets twice within a 16-day stretch in late April and early May, dropping his lone decision while combining to allow 13 hits and four runs in 14 2/3 innings.
New York beat him, 5-1, on April 25, while the Marlins won, 6-5, on May 11.
Buehrle was 5-8 on the season after a 7-5 loss at Boston on June 19, but he's won seven of nine decisions across 11 appearances since, including consecutive defeats of Philadelphia, Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers from Aug. 15-26.
He's opposed by fellow 33-year-old Chris Young, who was battered while dropping a 13-0 decision to the Marlins in New York on Aug. 8.
In that game, Young lasted just 4 1/3 innings while allowing seven hits and seven runs and watching his earned run average rise from 4.22 to 4.87.
He's winless in three starts since, dropping one decisions while combining to give up 17 hits and nine runs in 17 innings.
His last win came one month ago on Aug. 2, when he tossed seven innings of one-run ball on four hits in a 9-1 defeat of San Francisco.
On Saturday, Kelly Shoppach knocked in the go-ahead run with a single to highlight a four-run ninth inning, as the Mets beat the Marlins, 5-3.
With runners on first and second, Lucas Duda ripped a single to center to score Daniel Murphy.
After Mike Baxter popped out, Andres Torres walked to load the bases. Shoppach delivered a base hit up the middle. Marlins center fielder Justin Ruggiano charged the ball to attempt a throw home, but the ball bounced off the heel of his glove and rolled past him, allowing all three runners to score.
"Things like that in that situation in this game, no matter where you are in the season, those are always big moments," Shoppach said. "Not only personally, but as far as the momentum we have going for us."
Frank Francisco pitched a perfect ninth to nail down the win for New York. It was his 23rd save of the year and sealed New York's sixth win in seven games.
Ramon Ramirez (3-3) earned the victory, despite giving up a run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Josh Johnson worked eight strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out four, but Steve Cishek (4-2) couldn't close the door in the ninth.
"It is disappointing, we played awesome today," Cishek said. "Getting the extra run makes it a little more comfortable, but they squared it up pretty good and ground balls didn't find anyone they got the job done. It happens."
The Mets won five of the first nine games between the teams this season, though the Marlins took two of three in their last series - from Aug. 7-9 at Citi Field. The teams split their 2011 series, nine games apiece.