New York Mets (24-28) at Philadelphia Phillies (23-27), 7:05 p.m. (ET)

 

The Sports Network

(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of National League East rivals begin a five-game series Thursday, as the Philadelphia Phillies play host to the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies and Mets have split four meetings already this season and the fifth game of this set was made possible after a rainout in April.

Philadelphia just won its series with the Colorado Rockies thanks to Wednesday's 6-3 win courtesy of a four-run bottom of the ninth inning. Ryan Howard's three-run homer snapped a 3-3 tie and won the game for the Phillies, who are 3-3 on a stretch of 11 straight games at home.

"I knew I hit it into the gap in left-center, I really didn't care too much if it was out or not." said Howard, who has 997 career RBI. "I knew it was going to be a base hit and the game was going to be over."

Chase Utley tied the game with an RBI single and Howard followed with a home run to left center field. Howard ended with four RBI and both Utley and Marlon Byrd finished with two hits and an RBI in the win.

Roberto Hernandez started for Philadelphia and posted a no-decision with 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball. Closer Jonathan Papelbon tossed the ninth for the win.

Jimmy Rollins, who played in his 2,000th game, had a hit and is 14 shy of passing Mike Schmidt (2,234) for the most on the club's all-time list.

The Phillies will send David Buchanan to the mound Thursday for his second career start and he won his debut in Saturday's 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Buchanan gave up two runs in five innings, scattered five hits and struck out two with no walks.

The right-hander will get his first taste of the rivalry with the Mets.

New York will play the next 11 games on the road and went 4-5 on a recent homestand. The Mets took two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates and posted a 5-0 win on Wednesday, as veteran hurler Bartolo Colon was solid on the mound with 7 1/3 scoreless innings and nine strikeouts.

Jeurys Familia tossed 1 2/3 innings of relief for his first save.

David Wright and Lucas Duda both homered in the win.

"I'm enjoying the home runs there, it's kind of instant offense," Wright said. "I judge my at-bats and I judge my production by other things than just home runs."

Zack Wheeler hopes Wright can keep the homers coming when he toes the rubber against the Phillies tonight. Wheeler is 1-5 with a 4.63 earned run average in 10 starts and was dealt the loss in Saturday's 3-2 decision against Arizona. he gave up three runs -- two earned -- in 6 2/3 innings.

Wheeler is 1-3 in six road assignments and 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies.

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