Mets host Rockies, attempt to avoid 0-6 homestand

NEW YORK — An unusual spate of efficient starting pitching for the Colorado Rockies has put the New York Mets on the verge of achieving a dubious feat they haven’t recorded in almost six years.

The Mets haven’t endured a winless homestand of at least six games since Sept. 7-12, 2012, when they went 0-6 against the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

The Rockies will look to complete a three-game sweep of the host Mets Sunday afternoon, when the two teams play the series finale at Citi Field.

Colorado left-hander Kyle Freeland (1-4, 4.24 ERA) is scheduled to oppose New York right-hander Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 3.10 ERA).

The Rockies won their fourth straight game Saturday, when Chad Bettis twirled seven strong innings and combined with two relievers on a six-hitter in a 2-0 victory.

Playing half their games in the thin air of Coors Field has made for some adventuresome days and nights over the past 25 years for the Rockies, who entered the season with an all-time ERA of 4.98 and have never registered a single-season ERA below 4.00.

But on Saturday, Bettis became the seventh straight starter to last at least six innings for the Rockies (19-15), whose starters have compiled a tidy 1.61 ERA over the last 10 games, a stretch that includes nine quality starts. Eight of those games have been played on the road where the Rockies are 14-8.

“When that happens, you’re going to win most of the time,” Rockies manager Bud Black said Saturday night. “So that’s the challenge, that’s the expectation for our group.”

The Rockies enter Sunday ranked 12th in the NL in ERA at 4.27.

“It’s been good for going on 10 days now,” Black said. “All these guys have sort of made a second turn and they’ve pitched well. So Chad just followed along the string of good starts.”

It’s been going bad for almost three weeks now for the Mets (17-14), who have lost five straight and are 6-13 since an 11-1 start. New York has been outscored 31-9, hasn’t led for a single inning and been blanked three times during a six-game homestand that concludes Sunday.

Despite the recent skid, Mets manager Mickey Callaway preached patience following Saturday’s loss.

“Nobody can really say if we’re in trouble or not at this point in the season,” Callaway said. “I think in baseball these spurts happen. I think we have to stick with our processes and our routines, That’s the way to counteract what’s happening.”

Freeland took the loss in his most recent start last Monday, when he allowed three runs over seven innings as the Rockies fell to the Chicago Cubs, 3-2. Syndergaard was the losing pitcher last Tuesday, when he gave up three runs over six innings as the Mets were edged by the Atlanta Braves, 3-2.

Freeland tossed three hitless innings of relief last July 15 in his lone career appearance against the Mets. Syndergaard is 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two career starts against the Rockies.