The New York Mets' Dillon Gee and Philadelphia Phillies' A.J. Burnett snapped lengthy personal skids in their latest outings. Judging by their most recent performances against each other's teams, Gee might have a better chance at starting a win streak.
The Phillies, though, will be seeking their eighth win in 10 games Sunday and attempting to move out of the NL East cellar for the first time in two months.
Gee (5-6, 3.77 ERA) had lost a career-worst five consecutive decisions before a 3-2 win over Atlanta on Tuesday. The right-hander gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings after compiling a 5.71 ERA in his prior seven starts.
"That's as crisp of stuff as I've seen him have," manager Terry Collins said.
Burnett (7-14, 4.30) matched his single-season high with six consecutive losses before Monday's 3-2 victory over Washington. He yielded one run, three hits and a walk in seven innings while striking out a season-best 12.
Burnett credited an adjustment in his mechanics for the performance and might rethink his declaration that he would "probably not" pitch next season, which was made after a 5-2 loss to Seattle on Aug. 19.
"I wish I could have found that little glitch about a month, two months ago," he said. "Unfortunately it took a long time, but better late than never."
Burnett, who had a 6.41 ERA in his previous seven starts, was charged with five runs and a season high-tying 11 hits over six innings in a 5-4 loss to New York on Aug. 8. That performance left him 0-2 with an 8.50 ERA in three starts versus the Mets this season.
Gee, meanwhile, gave up one run and three hits in seven innings in Philadelphia on Aug. 9 but the Mets needed 11 innings for a 2-1 win.
Philadelphia (62-73) had dropped 11 of 14 to New York (63-73) before a 7-2 victory Saturday. Ryan Howard drove in three runs and Marlon Byrd homered on his 37th birthday to help the Phillies rebound from the end to a four-game win streak in Friday's series opener.
Trailing the Mets by a half game in the NL East, Philadelphia can move out of last place with another win Sunday. The Phillies haven't been alone in fourth since June 27.
Jimmy Rollins, batting .324 with two homers in his last nine games, will try to help by adding to his success against Gee. He's 13 for 28 (.464) with two homers lifetime in their matchups. Howard, batting .310 with 10 RBIs in his last 12 games, is 9 for 23 (.391) with six home runs in his career versus Gee.
The Mets' Juan Lagares, batting .345 in his last eight games, is a career .365 hitter against the Phillies. He's 4 for 10 with two doubles lifetime against Burnett.
Ruben Tejada is hitting .361 in his last 26 games against Philadelphia but is 7 for 41 (.171) in 14 contests this month and is 1 for 9 against Burnett in his career. Travis d'Arnaud is 5 for 9 with two homers versus the veteran right-hander.
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