(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of National League East rivals trying to build off recent wins clash Monday at Citi Field, as the New York Mets commence a three-game series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Mets are 6-3 against the Phillies this season, with five wins over the past six encounters, and are back home following a 10-game western road trip (5-5).
New York recently split a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers and posted a 2-0 win in Sunday's series finale from Miller Park. Mets rookie hurler Jacob deGrom improved to 5-1 in his last seven starts by holding the Brewers scoreless through 6 1/3 innings of work.
DeGrom was backed by Lucas Duda's two-run homer in the sixth inning. Duda homered three times in four games against the Brewers and drove in six runs.
"He's had a tremendous road trip," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "You certainly can't say enough about the way he's hit the ball."
Duda has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games.
Chris Young doubled twice and Daniel Murphy went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Mets, winners in four of their last six games. The Mets will also host San Francisco for four games on this homestand and have scored three or fewer runs in each of the previous nine games.
The Mets have won three straight and seven of eight at home.
New York has scored three runs or less in four of the last five starts for veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon and he gets the nod Monday night. Colon could possible by dealt by the trade deadline and last toed the rubber in a 3-2 win at Seattle last Wednesday, charged with two runs in 7 1/3 innings.
Colon, a right-hander, had given up at least three runs in his previous four starts (17 total) and is 4-4 in eight appearances at Citi Field. In six career starts against the Phillies, Colon is 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA. Phillies slugger Ryan Howard is batting .500 off Colon with two homers and four RBI.
Meanwhile, the Phillies were able to take two of three matchups with the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend and are coming off Sunday's 4-2 win.
Howard set the tone early with a two-run homer in the first inning and scored the go-ahead run with two out in the sixth inning. Howard was initially ruled out at the plate, but was called safe after the umpires determined D-backs catcher Miguel Montero was in his lane.
"Very fortunate," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "This year, that's a run. Last 100 years, it's not a run."
Ben Revere added an insurance run with an RBI double in the seventh. Roberto Hernandez picked up the win in the start for the Phils, as he limited Arizona to two runs in seven innings. Jonathan Papelbon, a possible trade piece for Philadelphia, worked around two hits in the ninth for his 25th save.
Phillies outfielder Grady Sizemore was given the day off Sunday and has hit safely in each of his eight games out of the leadoff spot. Sizemore is batting .319 (15-47) with a .360 on-base percentage in 12 games this season.
Philadelphia has won three of four since losing four straight and seven of eight games. The club will play the next seven games on the road and has Washington on the slate for four games. It is 5-2 in the last seven games as the visitor.
Taking the mound Monday against the Mets is A.J. Burnett, who said he wants to stay in Philly with the trade deadline looming.
"I signed here to play here," said Burnett. "I'm not a guy who looks for an out or wants to get out because things aren't going the right way. If that happens, then it happens, but I'm not looking to move on."
Burnett is 6-9 with a 3.86 ERA and has lost four of his past six decisions. The veteran righty did not record a decision in last Wednesday's 3-1 loss to San Francisco and was on point with eight shutout innings of four-hit ball. He allowed six runs and 10 hits across five innings the previous time out in a 6-4 loss at Atlanta on July 18.
He is 3-5 in 11 road assignments and 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 21 career starts against the Mets. Burnett was touched for five runs in seven innings versus the Mets on May 30, but struck out 11 for a no-decision in the 6-5 victory.