Hamels and the Phillies seek their eighth win in 10 home games Friday night when David Wright is expected to be back in the lineup for the Mets.
Wright, who leads the team with a .309 average and .904 OPS, was batting .385 during a six-game hitting streak when he suffered a high-grade right hamstring strain in early August. Following a seven-week absence, the All-Star third baseman appears ready to help the Mets (68-84) in the opener of this three-game series.
It might be perfect timing since Wright is 15 for 38 with three home runs and nine RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak against Philadelphia (71-81). He's also 8 for 20 with two homers and seven RBIs when facing Hamels the past two seasons.
Hamels (8-13, 3.48 ERA) has been on a roll lately, going 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA while limiting opponents to a .220 batting average in nine starts since his last loss July 26. The Phillies have won the left-hander's last seven outings.
Now he'll try to add to an outstanding stretch by Philadelphia starters, who have a 2.79 ERA in victories during a 7-2 home stretch.
"We have guys that are playing for positions next year, and ultimately we're trying to win a ballgame, no matter what the opponent is and no matter what they're going toward," Hamels told MLB's official website.
The Mets were the last club to beat Hamels in Philadelphia on June 21 when they tagged him for four runs and seven hits over six innings in a 4-3 victory. He's 1-4 with a 6.08 ERA in his last five home starts against New York but 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last eight there overall.
New York's Juan Lagares is 5 for 10 with three doubles when facing Hamels and 14 for 29 with seven RBIs in his last 10 games versus the Phillies. Eric Young , 7 for 17 against Hamels, has gone 8 for 19 with three doubles and five RBIs in five career games in Philadelphia.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 6.12) will try to guide the Mets to their fifth win in eight games.
Since posting a 10.95 ERA while dropping his first three starts, Matsuzaka has allowed two runs over 12 2-3 innings to lead New York to wins in his last two. The right-hander gave up one run and two hits over seven innings to earn his first victory Saturday, 3-1 over visiting Miami.
"I'm not surprised," manager Terry Collins said. "This guy competes. He has competed his entire life at any stage, any situation, never gives in."
Matsuzaka, 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA in three career starts against Philadelphia, allowed four run and four walks over 4 1-3 innings in a 6-2 home loss to the Phillies on Aug. 28.
He'll attempt to cool off Chase Utley , who is batting .414 with 13 RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak at home. Rookie Cesar Hernandez (9 for 16) and Jimmy Rollins (10 for 17) have also been hot at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies have won 9 of 16 meetings, splitting six home games against the Mets.
|New York Mets|
|September 19, 2013||Ruben Tejada||Day-to-Day||Broken right fibula - out for season|
|September 17, 2013||Travis d'Arnaud||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right shoulder|
|September 14, 2013||Frank Francisco||Day-to-Day||Thumb contusion|
|September 10, 2013||Justin Turner||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|September 09, 2013||Scott Rice||60-Day DL||Sports hernia|
|September 02, 2013||Ike Davis||60-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|August 30, 2013||Domonic Brown||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right Achilles|
|August 28, 2013||Cody Asche||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|August 26, 2013||Casper Wells||15-Day DL||Vision complications|
|August 17, 2013||Michael Young||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left ankle|
|August 15, 2013||John Lannan||60-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|August 14, 2013||John Lannan||Day-to-Day||Knee|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- David Wright surprised even himself in his return to the Mets lineup.
Wright homered, Daniel Murphy had three hits and Daisuke Matsuzaka earned his second straight victory in New York's 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
"It was just fun to be back out there," said Wright, who had been sidelined since Aug. 3. "You get those competitive juices flowing again."
Eric Young Jr. singled, doubled and drove in a run for the Mets, who have won four of seven.
Darin Ruf doubled and drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia, which has lost four of seven.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 14 opportunities. Hawkins got some help when a retreating Juan Lagares made a leaping, one-handed catch in front of the wall in center to rob Ruf of extra bases leading off the inning.
The Mets jumped on Cole Hamels for three runs in the first. After Young led off with a bloop double that bounded off the glove of diving right fielder John Mayberry Jr. and Murphy singled, Wright homered in his first at-bat since being placed on the disabled list Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring.
"It was pretty surprising to me, especially off Cole," Wright said. "To do that was fun and surprising at the same time."
Mets manager Terry Collins wasn't as surprised.
"I told him the game's not that easy," Collins said. "Special people do special things. It was great to have him back in the lineup.
"This guy loves to play. That's why he's in the lineup. He wanted to get back out there and wanted to finish the season on the field. That's why he's the captain."
The homer moved Wright past Mike Piazza into second on the club's career list with 221 homers. Darryl Strawberry is No. 1 with 252.
"You know you're doing something right to be mentioned in any sentence with Mike," Wright said.
New York added lone runs in the third and fourth on RBI singles by Andrew Brown and Young, respectively, before the Phillies scored four times in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 5-4. Ruf did the bulk of the damage with a two-run double. Hamels also drove in a run with a groundout to first.
But the Mets got an insurance run in the seventh on Josh Satin 's RBI groundout.
Matsuzaka (2-3) pitched six innings, allowing four runs on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
"Overall, my command was pretty good except the fourth inning," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "Looking back I could've pitched differently to keep those runs from scoring."
Hamels (8-14) lost for the first time since July 26. The left-hander entered Friday 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in the nine starts since his last defeat. But he left after seven subpar innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
"Cole pitched well," Philadelphia interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He had good stuff, but luck wasn't on his side. He adjusted after the first, but things just didn't go his way."
As has been the case for much of the season, particularly during the first half, Hamels was victimized by some bad luck. The Phillies committed one error and couldn't make some other plays that went for hits. And at least two of the Mets' 10 hits were bloops.
"It's baseball," Hamels said. "You try to make the right pitch. You just have to give them credit for getting the bat on the ball. It's tough but you can't do much about it. You just have to make the same pitches next time."
NOTES: Wright's homer was his 18th at Citizens Bank Park, matching his total at Atlanta's Turner Field for his most in road ballparks. . Besides Wright, the Mets activated Wilfredo Tovar before Friday's game. Tovar hit .263 with four homers and 36 RBIs in 133 games with Double-A Binghamton this season. . Young stole his 40th base of the season and MLB-leading 24th since the All-Star break. . The series continues Saturday night when New York right-hander Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.47 ERA) faces Phillies right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-5, 5.06).