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Phillies Send Kendrick To The Hill For Rubber Game Against Mets

(Sports Network) – The New York Mets target their first series victory of the season over the despised Philadelphia Phillies today from Citi Field.

The Mets posted an 11-2 rout of the Phillies on Saturday in the second installment of a three-game set and haven’t logged a series win over their National League East rivals since taking two of three matchups last Sept. 24-26 at Citizens Bank Park.

Scott Hairston led the New York offense by going 3-for-5 with a three-run homer and five RBI, while Daniel Murphy also collected three hits, including a solo homer, and two runs batted in for the Mets, who ended a three-game slide and rebounded from Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Phils in the series opener. Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada each finished with two hits and an RBI.

“We came out today, we played very, very well,” Mets manager Terry Collins said on the club’s website. "What we’ve got to do now is we’ve got to apply it tomorrow. This is just one game. And they’re going to come out tomorrow and get after us.

“When you’re talking about the middle of July, this is crunch time. This is when you gut it out.”

Jon Niese started for Collins on Saturday and earned the win, allowing two runs — one earned — and six hits in seven innings. Niese struck out six batters and issued one walk before Bobby Parnell and Manny Acosta preserved the lopsided victory with a scoreless inning apiece.

New York is scheduled for a make-up game with Florida on Monday and will also host St. Louis for three games on this residency. Mets All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran did not play Saturday due to flu symptoms and is day-to-day. He has reached base safely in his last 24 games, with an on-base percentage of .420 in that time period.

Mike Pelfrey gets the call for the Mets today and is just 2-5 with a 4.12 earned run average in his last 10 starts, with New York going 3-7 over that stretch. Pelfrey allowed two runs over six innings in a 4-2 loss at San Francisco the last time out on July 10.

Pelfrey fell to 5-8 in 19 starts this season to go along with a 4.55 ERA. He is 3-0 in seven home starts and 6-5 with a 5.01 ERA in 16 career starts against the Phillies, including an 0-1 mark and a 7.71 ERA in three meetings with the NL East foes this season.

Philadelphia still maintained its 3 1/2-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East standings after the Braves lost to Washington yesterday. Starter and 11-game winner Cole Hamels was saddled with the loss for giving up seven runs and eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings. Danys Baez did no better in relief by allowing four runs.

“You have to make pitches, and I wasn’t able to make pitches,” Hamels said. “It just kind of happens sometimes. When you don’t hit your spots, you’re going to get hit hard. Sometimes you can get away with it, but I didn’t get away with it today.”

The Phillies had scored 14 runs in each of Hamels’ previous two starts. Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez each recorded two hits for the Phils, who entered Saturday’s matinee affair having won two straight, three of four and 21 of its past 29 contests. They will visit the Chicago Cubs tomorrow in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.

Kyle Kendrick gets the nod for Philly today and he’s 4-4 with a 3.58 earned run average in 22 games, seven of which have been starts. Kendrick hasn’t recorded a decision since beating Florida on June 15 and made a relief appearance in last Sunday’s 14-1 pounding of Atlanta.

Kendrick allowed one hit and struck out a batter in an inning work. Before that performance, Kendrick gave up three runs — one earned — in five innings for the no-decision in a 7-6 loss at the Marlins. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 2.16 ERA in three relief stints against the Mets in 2011 and 3-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 12 career games (9 starts) in this series.

Philadelphia has won seven of 11 meetings with New York this season, including a 3-2 mark at Citi Field.