Two weeks, ago, the New York Yankees began a 10-game winning streak with a three-game sweep of the New York Mets. After back-to-back losses, they'll be looking to begin a new run against their rival.
The Yankees bring their potent lineup to Citi Field on Friday night to face a Mets team that's on a streak of stellar pitching.
The Yankees swept the Mets from June 8-10 in a Subway Series marked by strong pitching and solid hitting by the team from the Bronx.
Robinson Cano and Russell Martin each homered twice in the set as the Yankees went deep eight times in the three games. Yankees starters Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte - who takes the mound Friday - posted a 1.86 ERA.
The Yankees (41-27) have won seven of eight against the Mets (38-32).
"Citi Field's going to be rocking this weekend," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira told the team's official website. "A very good atmosphere, very good team."
After sweeping the Mets, the Yankees won their next seven before dropping the last two games against Atlanta this week, falling 10-5 in the series finale Wednesday.
The Yankees hit four homers, with Cano continuing his onslaught with his third in four games, but the club gave up five.
The Yankees' season-long problems with runners in scoring position continued. After going 2 for 11 in those situations Tuesday, they put runners on second or third four times Wednesday and got one hit.
The Yankees are batting .218 with RISP, among the lowest in the major leagues.
"We're a club that's going to score most of our runs by hitting home runs," manager Joe Girardi said. "But I believe eventually it's going to turn around."
Pettitte (3-2, 2.77 ERA) will try to help the Yankees avoid losing three in a row for the first time since May 19-21. The left-hander gave up two runs in seven innings of a 5-3, 14-inning win at Washington on Saturday and has a 1.77 ERA in his last three outings.
Pettitte is 8-5 with a 3.66 ERA against the Mets. He gave up three runs - two earned - in six innings of a 5-4 victory June 10.
Jonathon Niese (4-3, 3.82) opposed Pettitte on June 10 and allowed two unearned runs in seven innings.
He'll look to bounce back Friday after giving up four runs and a three-run homer in seven innings of a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. The defeat was Niese's first in six home starts this season.
Since that so-so effort by the left-hander, the Mets have embarked on a run of strong pitching outings at Citi Field, posting a 1.25 ERA in going 3-1 in their last four there.
The Mets swept three games from Baltimore to start the week, shutting out the Orioles in the first two. Dillon Gee gave up two runs in 7 1-3 innings to earn a 4-3 victory in the finale Wednesday.
"It's tough to follow those guys," said Gee, referring to the starts of R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana in the opening two games of the series. "It's unbelievable what they've been doing."
Mets starting pitchers have a 2.98 ERA at home and have lasted at least six innings in 12 straight games there.
"I like our rotation a lot," manager Terry Collins said. "If they keep getting up this deep into games. ... I think we're going to be in good shape."
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