Gee hopes for a better showing this time around against Phils

The last time Dillon Gee squared off against the NL East- rival Philadelphia Phillies he was hammered in just three innings of work.

The New York Mets hope it will be different this time around on Friday when they send Gee to the mound in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.

Gee tossed a season-low three innings in an 8-3 loss in south Philly on April 8 and was hammered for seven runs and 10 hits. He was tagged for three home runs that day, struck out two and did not walk a batter. Gee, who lost his first three starts of the season, has walked batters in three of his four outings.

A 21st-round draft pick of the Mets in 2007, Gee ended his losing streak the last time out in a 2-0 win over Washington on Sunday. The right-hander hurled 5 2/3 shutout innings, struck out six and scattered three hits. The win lifted Gee's record to 1-3 with a 5.95 earned run average.

"I'm just happy to finally contribute to a win," Gee said. "That's the truth. We needed to step it up. It's been really eating away at me the past few weeks, not going out there and doing my job."

Gee has made seven career appearances (6 starts) against the Phillies and is 2-2 with a lofty 7.75 ERA in 33 2/3 innings.

The Mets will need Gee to pitch as well as Jeremy Hefner did in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hefner did not record a decision when he held the visiting Dodgers to a run and three hits in seven innings.

It was the bullpen that blew it.

With the score even at 1-1 heading into the top of the ninth, Nick Punto led off with a double and one out later Matt Kemp was intentionally walked for good reason because of his power. Andre Ethier, though, made the Mets pay with an ensuing RBI single and Kemp later came around to score when Juan Uribe reached on an infield hit.

Scott Rice was credited with both runs earned to absorb the loss and Ike Davis got a run back for New York with a home run in the home ninth. The Mets struggled against Dodgers rookie hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed three hits and one run to go along with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

"I think we only had three hits off him," Davis added of facing Ryu. "One was a broken bat and the other one was a little soft liner to right. We didn't find a lot of barrels off him."

The Mets are 3-3 so far on a nine-game homestand and 7-5 as the host.

Philadelphia lost the last three portions of a four-game home series versus the in-state rival Pittsburgh Pirates and its bullpen blew a second straight lead in Thursday's 6-4 loss.

The Phillies, who have squandered consecutive 3-1 leads, allowed five runs over the seventh and eighth inning in the series finale. Reliever Phillippe Aumont fell to 1-3 after he gave up three runs in just one-third of an inning and starter Cliff Lee tossed seven innings and surrendered three runs on 10 hits, including a homer, with seven strikeouts and only one walk.

"Today we had a one-run lead. (Then), Gaby Sanchez hits the home run," Lee said. "We regain the lead, then they caught us back up. That's where I got to do a better job."

Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown had two hits and two RBI apiece for the Phillies, losers in three straight and eight of 11 games.

The Phillies will begin a five-game trek Friday against the Mets and Cleveland Indians and have dropped three straight and four of five road games. They were swept in three games at Cincinnati the last time on the road from April 15-17.

Making his fifth start of the season Friday for the Phillies will be Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick is 1-1 with a 3.28 ERA this season and has posted back-to- back no-decisions since his only win of the season on April 10 against these Mets.

Kendrick was previously in action on Sunday in a 7-3 win over St. Louis as he struck out six, walked one and surrendered two runs through six innings. He has pitched at least 5 2/3 innings in each start this season.

The right-handed Kendrick defeated New York with six solid innings in a 7-3 win at home and gave up two runs. Kendrick has appeared in 19 games, 16 of which have been starts, lifetime against the Mets, going 6-7 with 3.52 ERA in 87 innings of work.

Philadelphia won two of three versus the Mets at home earlier this month (April 8-10) and are 6-1 in the past seven encounters.