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Afternoon Delight: Mets, Phillies wrap up set

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies are set to close out their four-game series this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

The Mets will try to take three of four from the Phillies, while Philadelphia looks to salvage a series split after rallying for a 7-6 victory on Sunday.

Ryan Howard played the role of hero for the Phillies, as he came through with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Cody Asche led off the inning with a double off Jenrry Mejia, and Marlon Byrd drove him in with a single up the middle to tie the game.

"Good come-from-behind win," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "The guys are going to continue to fight and battle."

Zach Wheeler started for the Mets and allowed three runs in six innings, while Kyle Kendrick yielded six runs (five earned) in five frames for the Phillies. Reliever Ken Giles got through the ninth inning to record his first career big league win.

Toeing the rubber for the Mets in Monday's series finale is left-hander Jon Niese, who has lost four straight decisions since returning from the disabled list with a left shoulder injury. Niese has a 5.76 ERA in those four starts and says he is working through some mechanical issues.

He went six innings against the Nationals on Wednesday and yielded six earned runs on eight hits.

"It's easy to talk about the should've-would've-could've when you're struggling," Niese said after that outing. "I'm at the point now where my stuff's back. My arm feels great. But I'm not very consistent hitting my spots. I've just had a couple bad innings and that's what's cost us."

For Philadelphia, David Buchanan eyes up his third win in as many starts. The right-hander scattered nine hits and three runs across 6 1/3 innings against Houston his last time out. Buchanan, who has slid in for an injured Cliff Lee in the Phillies rotation, struck out five and walked nobody.

New York has won nine of the last 12 head-to-head meetings. The Mets are currently in fourth place in the NL East, followed by the last-place Phillies, who are 11 games off the pace of division leader Washington. The Phillies were coming off a three-game sweep over Houston prior to this four-game set.

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