Mets-Phillies Preview

The Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup hasn’t missed a beat despite

missing some key players. Solid performances on the mound aren’t

hurting, either.

Kyle Kendrick takes the ball Wednesday night when the Phillies

seek a three-game sweep of the visiting New York Mets.

Playing without Jimmy Rollins (groin), Ryan Howard (bursitis)

and Raul Ibanez (groin), Philadelphia had its second straight

offensive outburst, beating the Mets 9-4 on Tuesday after a 10-0

victory in Monday’s series opener.

Shane Victorino homered and extended his hitting streak to 11

games, while John Mayberry Jr. – hitting .455 with three homers and

10 RBIs over his last six – hit a three-run shot in the third.

Mayberry’s recent strong play seems to have earned him a

permanent spot on the roster after a pair of demotions to Triple-A

Lehigh Valley earlier this season.

“I think my attitude stayed the same each and every time I was

sent down,” Mayberry said. “I was disappointed, but I had to work

hard and try to stay the next time.”

The Phillies (83-44) have won 18 of 23 and lead second-place

Atlanta by 6 1/2 games in the NL East, even as Howard and Ibanez

are listed as day to day and Rollins was placed on the 15-day

disabled list Tuesday.

After Cliff Lee and Vance Worley held New York (60-68) to one

run and eight hits in 14 combined innings over the past two games,

Kendrick (7-5, 3.24 ERA) will look to help the Phillies sweep the

Mets in Philadelphia for the first time since July 3-5, 2009.

The right-hander pitched six strong innings at Washington on

Friday, allowing two runs and five hits before the Nationals

rallied for six runs in the ninth to beat the Phillies 8-4.

Kendrick beat the Mets 8-5 on July 17, giving up one run in

seven innings to improve to 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 career starts

versus New York.

He’s 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 12 starts this season, but his days

in the rotation may be numbered. Cole Hamels is expected to come

off the disabled list and pitch Monday, meaning Kendrick is likely

to return to the bullpen.

He might benefit from facing the Mets, who have lost five

straight and went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position

Tuesday. They’ve dropped 11 of 13 – all with shortstop Jose Reyes

(hamstring) on the DL.

Lucas Duda, who has two homers and six RBIs over his last four

games, hit a two-run shot in the eighth inning.

“This is the tough time of the year,” manager Terry Collins told

the Mets’ official website. “This is when, when you’re really

struggling, you’ve got to reach down inside. You’ve got to find

that energy and somehow transfer it into your performance.”

Mike Pelfrey (6-10, 4.61) will take the mound once again seeking

his first win of the month. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.64 ERA

in four August starts, including a 6-1 loss to Milwaukee on Friday

in which he gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings.

Pelfrey is 0-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four starts against the

Phillies this season. He had gone 2-1 with a 2.11 ERA in his

previous three starts versus Philadelphia.