Phillies' Cloyd toes rubber versus Mets

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Right-hander Tyler Cloyd faces the New York Mets for the second time in his fifth major-league start tonight when the Philadelphia Phillies meet them in game two of a three-game series at Citi Field.

A 25-year-old Nebraska native, Cloyd made his big-league debut against the Mets on Aug. 29 in Philadelphia and took a 3-2 loss after allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out five.

He bounced back for his initial win in his next start five days later in Cincinnati, allowing four hits and a run in seven innings of a 4-2 victory while walking none and striking out nine.

Two subsequent starts have yielded a pair of no-decisions - home with Colorado and at Houston - in which the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder gave up seven runs on 13 hits in seven innings.

Cloyd was 15-1 in 26 minor-league starts to begin 2012 while splitting time at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Fellow rookie Matt Harvey starts for the Mets in his 10th career outing, and second against the Phillies.

The 23-year-old was 2-3 in his initial six starts with a 2.75 earned run average, before scattering six hits and allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-2 defeat of Philadelphia on Aug. 29.

He's 0-2 in a pair of subsequent starts while allowing four runs and 11 hits in 10 innings against St. Louis and Washington on Sept. 4 and Sept. 12.

Over 52 1/3 innings in nine overall starts, he's allowed a .216 opposition batting average.

On Monday, Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown clubbed solo home runs to back a masterful Cliff Lee, as the Phillies posted a 3-1 win.

Lee (6-7) continued his recent hot stretch on the mound, limiting the Mets to one run on seven hits over eight innings. He walked one and struck out 10.

The left-hander has allowed just four earned runs while going 4-0 over his last five starts.

Jonathan Papelbon worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 35th save of the season.

The Phillies are trying to shake off a disappointing series in Houston, where they dropped three of four to the MLB-worst Astros on the heels of a seven- game winning streak.

With Monday's triumph, Philadelphia moved to within 3 1/2 games of the idle St. Louis Cardinals for the National League's second wild-card spot.

"We're running out of games. Every game is very important at this point and we need to win every one," Lee said. "I don't know if that's reality, but we need to win every game."

R.A. Dickey (18-6) gave up three runs - two earned - on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings for New York, which resumed its struggles at home.

The Mets have lost seven straight as the host and haven't scored more than three runs in 14 consecutive home games, a franchise record. They have dropped nine of 10 overall.

"You feel for him because all he does is give himself a chance to win the baseball game," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

The Mets won 10 of the first 15 games between the teams in 2012, while the Phillies were an 11-7 winner in the 2011 series against New York.