(SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Harang tries to follow up a terrific first start to the season on Monday when the Philadelphia Phillies visit the New York Mets in their home opener at Citi Field.
Harang, who inked a one-year deal with the Phillies this winter, made a strong first impression on his new team on Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox, as he scattered two hits and struck out eight over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.
"You don't want to come in and be the goat," Harang said of his Phillies debut. "To be able to come in and be aggressive and get us deep in the game, you know save the bullpen from any major innings, is always nice."
Philadelphia was denied a sweep in its series with the Washington Nationals over the weekend, as it fell, 4-3, in 10 innings on Sunday.
Cody Asche went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Darin Ruf homered for the Phillies, who were coming off a 3-2 win Saturday night thanks to Odubel Herrera's walk- off hit during the bottom of the 10th inning.
Philadelphia starter Sean O'Sullivan, who was brought up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley prior to the game, gave up two runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six frames.
"O'Sullivan gave us a big lift today with his outing," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Hard-fought game right down to the last out."
New York, meanwhile, handed the Atlanta Braves their first loss of the season on Sunday, as Daniel Murphy drove in the winning run in the eighth to help the Mets to a 4-3 win.
Michael Cuddyer hit a two-run home run for the Mets, who had dropped the first two games of the set by identical 5-3 decisions. Bartolo Colon (2-0) gave up three runs on six hits while striking out one and driving in a run over seven innings.
"It was really important that we salvaged the series and we were able to do that today so it was nice," said Cuddyer.
Heading to the hill on Monday for the Mets will be the National League's reigning Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom, who pitched well, but suffered the loss to Washington in his first start. deGrom gave up two runs and six hits in six innings of that one with his one mistake being a two-run first inning homer to Ryan Zimmerman.
"I got it in where I wanted it, and he just put a good swing on it," said deGrom.
Of course, the 27-year-old right-hander entered the year with huge expectations after winning nine of his final 11 decisions to close the year. He was 5-3 in 10 starts at Citi Field and pitched to a 1.70 ERA in those contests.
The Mets won 13 of 19 from the Phillies last season.