(SportsNetwork.com) - Henderson Alvarez has been as close to a lock lately as there is in major league baseball, and the Miami Marlins will try to ride the momentum again on Friday night when they travel to Citi Field to open a three- game series with the New York Mets.
Miami has won Alvarez's last 10 starts -- a team record -- in which he's won four decisions. His earned run average in his last nine starts is a sparkling 1.04.
"I've always wanted to be a leader," he said. "I'm just focused on being a pitcher."
Alvarez was not included on the National League's first-run All-Star roster, but could be named as a replacement for Tuesday's game in Minneapolis.
His most recent start was All-Star quality, as he gave up a single run in seven innings of Miami's 8-4 win at St. Louis on Sunday.
He's performed similarly against the Mets in his last five chances, winning four decisions with a 1.01 ERA and nursing a scoreless streak of 18 1/3 innings -- the second-longest by a Marlins pitcher in the all-time series.
Alvarez defeated them, 3-2, on June 20, which was the lone Miami win in a four-game home series.
New York had won four straight overall before a loss to Atlanta on Thursday and Zack Wheeler takes the mound for Friday's opener with a chance to prolong his own series dominance.
Wheeler has faced the Marlins four times and has a ridiculously low 0.96 ERA in this games, though he's won just one decision while the Mets have scored five runs overall.
He tossed a three-hit shutout against them in a 1-0 win on June 19, the first complete game of his career. He's not allowed a run to Miami in 16 innings, one-third of an inning short of Dillon Gee's team series record.
Wheeler was an 8-4 winner over Texas in his last start on Sunday.
On Thursday in New York, Aaron Harang tossed seven strong innings, Craig Kimbrel recorded a four-out save and the Braves beat the Mets, 3-1, to avoid a four-game sweep.
Bartolo Colon (8-8) overcame a shaky start to pitch eight innings for the Mets. He allowed three runs on 10 hits and had a total of seven strikeouts with no walks.
On Wednesday in Arizona, Paul Goldschmidt's two-run, game-winning double in the 10th inning gave the Diamondbacks a 4-3 victory over the Marlins in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Donovan Solano supplied a two-run double in the 10th and Christian Yelich finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Marlins.
Miami and New York have split 10 meetings this season.