The New York Mets kick off a huge 10-game road trip tonight when they play the first of four straight games against the Philadelphia Phillies at
The National League East-leading Mets will play their two biggest division rivals on this trek before getting a breather in
After this four-game set, the Mets will play three in
John Maine started for
The Mets are expected to have Paul Lo Duca behind the plate after activating him from the 15-day disabled list following last night's game. Lo Duca, who completed a rehab stint on Saturday, had missed 13 games due to a strained right hamstring.
Brian Lawrence comes into tonight's start for the Mets off two straight less- than-stellar outings.
The Phillies, meanwhile, aren't playing their best ball of the season but come into tonight's game off a 14-2 rout of the Padres. Jayson Werth had a career- high five hits to go along with four runs batted in, as
Ryan Howard belted a three-run homer and had four RBI, while Aaron Rowand had three hits and two RBI for the Phillies, who pulled back within three games of San Diego for the NL wild card spot while improving to 2-4 on a 10-game homestand.
Kyle Kendrick (7-3), pitching on his 23rd birthday, surrendered only a run on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk in six innings of work.
The Phillies should get another boost today with the expected return of second baseman Chase Utley. The All-Star has been out since suffering a broken right hand on July 26 after getting hit by a pitch.
Utley, who completed a three-game rehabilitation stint with Double-A Reading, is hitting .336 with 17 homers, 82 RBI and 41 doubles on the season.
J.D. Durbin, who has shuttled between the bullpen and rotation this year, will make his third straight start for the Phillies. Durbin picked up the win against
Durbin faced the Mets for the first time in his career on June 29 and took the loss after giving up six runs in 4 2/3 frames.