Phillies seek rare series win vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin sat in his office Tuesday afternoon and expressed the hope that his team could pull off a simple yet seemingly impossible task against the New York Mets this week.

"It would be nice to win two or three in a row, just to close the gap a little bit," Mackanin said.

One down, one or two to go.

The Phillies will go for a rare series victory over the Mets on Wednesday night when they play in the middle game of a three-game series at Citi Field. Philadelphia scored four runs in the 10th inning Tuesday to win the opener 6-2.

The win was just the Phillies' sixth in the past 20 games against the Mets, who won each of the final five series between the teams last year before sweeping a three-game set in Philadelphia last week.

New York is 29-13 against Philadelphia since the start of the 2015 season and has won 15 of the past 17 series.

"There's always a rivalry with teams in your division," Mackanin said. "You play them so many times that you want it to be a fair fight. And it hasn't seemed like it's been a fair fight when we play the Mets."

The Phillies (5-8) won for just the second time in seven games on Tuesday, but they will be the less staggered team on Wednesday. The Mets (7-7) have lost four in a row, all in the opponent's final at-bat.

"It's frustrating that we've dropped four in a row," Mets manager Terry Collins said, "but we'll dig out of it, we'll get through it."

Four Mets relievers -- Josh Edgin, Fernando Salas, Addison Reed and Rafael Montero -- have taken a loss in the skid, during which New York's bullpen has posted a 7.15 ERA (nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings).

"You've got to go out there, you still have to get outs and you've got to make pitches, and that's not what we're doing," Collins said. "We're not making pitches."

The bullpens are likely to be utilized Wednesday night when a pair of struggling young right-handers -- the Phillies' Vince Velasquez and the Mets' Robert Gsellman -- square off.

Velasquez (0-2) took the loss to New York in his most recent start on April 12, when he gave up five runs on five hits and four walks while striking out seven over five innings as Philadelphia fell 5-4 at Citizens Bank Park. He has a 9.00 ERA in two starts this season despite striking out 17 batters over nine innings.

Velasquez is 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.

Gsellman didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start last Thursday, when he gave up a career-high eight runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five over 4 2/3 innings in New York's 9-8, 16-inning win over the Miami Marlins. The rough outing raised Gsellman's ERA in three games (two starts) this season to 9.28.

Gsellman is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies.

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Bruce's two home runs wins the game for Mets
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Trailing by two in the sixth, Jay Bruce bashes a 3-run shot to right field to give the Mets the lead. Then after the Phillies tie the game, Bruce does it again, this time hitting a 2-run homer to nearly the same spot for the winning runs.
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