Marlins at Mets series primer

Just a weekend remains in a disastrous May for the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins (18-30) have dropped 14 of 17, falling into last in the National League East standings with the third-worst record in the majors.

Miami opens a three-game set against the Mets (27-21) in New York seeking just their third series victory of the month. It won’t be easy since the Mets have a 20-6 mark at Citi Field, the best start in club history. Though New York’s hot start is a thing of the past, the Mets still sit in second place in the division and recently swept the Philadelphia Phillies.

Veteran Dan Haren will oppose ace Matt Harvey on Friday. Haren, the rotation’s only consistent starter, has given up just two runs over his past 14 innings, but doesn’t have a win to show for it. He pitched six scoreless innings on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles. Harvey, who owns a 4.03 ERA in five starts versus the Marlins, experienced his worst outing as a big leaguer this week. The Pirates scored seven runs on six hits — two homers — over four frames.

Since returning to the rotation with Jarred Cosart on the disabled list, righty Tom Koehler has allowed three runs in 13 innings. He has gone at least six frames in four straight starts. In April, he surrendered seven fourth-inning runs after three perfect frames in a loss to the Mets. Southpaw Jon Niese’s ERA has risen from 1.95 to 4.08 over his past three outings. He has permitted four runs or more in each of them. Niese beat the Marlins twice in 2014.

Righty David Phelps closes out the trip on Sunday looking for his first win since May 9. In four of his no decisions, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer. Phelps took the loss earlier this week in Pittsburgh after giving up four runs on eight hits, including two dingers. Bartolo Colon, 42, has posted a 6.52 ERA in five starts this month. He did earn a victory over the Phillies this week in six three-run innings.

The Marlins are 2-5 against the Mets this season, including an 0-4 mark in the Big Apple. New York dominated a four-game series in April during Miami’s first road trip. The Marlins, did, however, win two of three at home — and would’ve earned the sweep had it not been for Steve Cishek’s blown save.

Here’s a look at the upcoming Marlins-Mets three-game series:

SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS

WHO’S HOT

LF Christian Yelich (Marlins): Yelich has a modest five-game hitting streak, matching his longest of the season. During the Pirates series, he went 4 for 12 with a homer — his first since May 12. Even in at-bats where he didn’t get a hit, Yelich produced hard contact. His average has gone from .178 to .209 in five days.

LF Michael Cuddyer (Mets): Cuddyer, riding a four-game hit streak, went 5 for 10 with three runs, two homers, five RBI, three walks and three strikeouts against the Philadelphia Phillies. He has hit in 11 of his last 12 games at Citi Field.

WHO’S NOT

SS Adeiny Hechavarria (Marlins): Since a three-hit game last Friday against the Orioles, Hechavarria is 4 for 17 with two runs, a double, three walks and three strikeouts. He has driven in just one run since May 9. He is 2 for 10 on the road trip.

3B Eric Campbell (Mets): Campbell is hitless over his last 22 at-bats, the longest stretch of his career. He has four walks and 10 strikeouts during that span. Daniel Murphy has seen action at third base because of his struggles.

Miami Marlins news

STORYLINES

1: Hit away from moving into the top 10 on the Marlins’ all-time list for Giancarlo Stanton, who currently has 660. Cliff Floyd has 661.

.000: Steal percentage for Dee Gordon in two attempts against the Mets this season

6: Man starting rotation for the Mets through August

4.03: ERA for Matt Harvey in five career starts against the Marlins, highest against a ballclub with at least three outings

QUOTE BOARD

"It’s just about executing a pitch to finish off a hitter or executing a pitch to shut down the inning. And you know what, when you get two outs, you feel like you should be able to do that and certainly stop the bleeding before five runs touch the plate." — Manager Dan Jennings, to reporters in Pittsburgh, on the decisive five-run seventh inning on Wednesday

"I fell behind guys, so they were swinging at everything over the plate. I might as well put it on a tee for them." — Right-hander Sam Dyson, to reporters in Pittsburgh, on Wednesday’s outing

LOOKING AHEAD

The Marlins return home for a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs before heading on the road again.

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.