Philadelphia at New York

Venue: Citi Field

Cole Hamels has seemingly found an answer to his struggles. Now he'll try to correct his recent inconsistency against the New York Mets.

Hamels looks to win a third straight decision while the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup hopes for yet another big game at the Mets' expense Saturday at Citi Field.

Much of the season's first half saw Hamels (4-11, 4.05 ERA) put up uncharacteristically poor results. He lost six straight starts at one point and recorded a 4.58 ERA through his first 17 outings while throwing at least seven innings only five times.

But he owns a 1.57 ERA over his last three starts, going at least seven innings in each.

The left-hander gave up two runs over eight innings Sunday and would have claimed a victory for the third straight start if not for Jonathan Papelbon's blown save in a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Hamels has also issued one walk over his last 23 innings after previously averaging 2.8 per nine.

"To put the team in situations where we win, that's ultimately the big idea," he said. "(Earlier in the season) I was a little wild and not able to pitch deep in ballgames."

Hamels saw mixed results while splitting two outings versus New York, giving up one run and six walks over six innings in a 5-1 road victory April 28 and four runs in six innings in a 4-3 home loss June 21.

He's 4-4 with a 5.26 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Mets. Hamels held them to two runs or fewer five times during that stretch but also gave up four runs or more six times.

Poor run support was also part of the reason for Hamels' 2-11 start, as he received an average of 3.1 runs in his first 17 games. However, he won't have anything to worry about if the Phillies continue to hit the Mets like they have been this year.

Friday's 13-8 win marked the fifth time Philadelphia has scored seven or more runs in the teams' 10 meetings, with the Phillies (49-48) winning seven times. The series-opening victory was their seventh straight at Citi Field and pushed them above .500 for the first time since a 31-30 mark June 6.

Philadelphia is slugging .490 with 17 homers in the season series with the Mets (41-51), including one each from Domonic Brown, Chase Utley and Michael Young on Friday.

Eleven of the Phillies' runs came in the first three innings.

"After four days off, to see the bats come alive like that, that was good to see," said Brown, whose 24th home run tied him with Pedro Alvarez for the NL's second-most.

Trying to keep Philadelphia in check will be rookie Zack Wheeler (3-1, 3.54), who's won two straight starts while allowing two earned runs in 12 innings. In his last outing he knocked off San Francisco, the team that originally drafted him in 2009 before he was traded in 2011, by yielding one run and three hits over seven innings July 10.

"That's the best all-around stuff I've seen," manager Terry Collins said of Wheeler, who retired 14 of the first 16 batters he faced.

David Wright is 19 for 57 off Hamels, trailing only former teammate Jose Reyes (22) for the most hits against him. Wright was 2 for 5 on Friday with his 14th homer.

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Probable Starters

Cole Hamels, LHP
2013 stats
129.0 Innings Pitched 28.0
4-11 Wins-Losses 3-1
4.05 Earned Run Average 3.54
34 Walks 16
118 Strikeouts 21
104 Pitches Per Start 100
Career vs. opponent
141.0 Innings Pitched -
6-11 Wins-Losses ---
4.28 Earned Run Average -

Zack Wheeler, RHP
weather image  Widely scattered tstorms. Partly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Philadelphia 00.000-0-0-
NY Mets 00.000-0-0-
vs Zack Wheeler
De Fratus000000
vs Cole Hamels

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Series Game Log
Apr 3NYM 1:10 PM EDT  
Apr 5NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 6NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 25NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 26NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 27NYM 1:10 PM EDT  
May 1ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
May 2ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
May 3ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
May 4ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
Jun 9ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
Jun 10ATL 4:10 PM EDT  
Jun 11ATL 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 15ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
Sep 16ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 17ATL 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 25NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 26NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 27NYM 7:10 PM EDT