NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) – After winning two straight in Atlanta, the Miami Marlins headed to New York hoping that their early season troubles were behind them.READ MORE: Officials: Man On American Airlines Flight From Guatemala Hitched Ride To Miami Inside Plane's Landing Gear
That just hasn’t been the case as the red-hot New York Mets have taken three straight from the visiting Marlins, who now have to face the ace of the home team’s staff.
Having won each of his first two games since returning from Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey will attempt to keep that streak going by leading the Mets to their best home start in franchise history.
The Mets will try to reach 7-0 at Citi Field and win their eighth in a row overall Sunday while registering their first four-game sweep of the Marlins.
Harvey (2-0, 2.25 ERA) wasn’t nearly as sharp in his first start in New York since his surgery in 2013 as he was in his season debut but gave the Mets enough for a 6-5 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday. The right-hander struck out eight while yielding two solo homers and three runs in six innings.
Harvey fanned nine in six scoreless innings and outdueled Washington’s Stephen Strasburg in his long-awaited return April 9.
“I’ve had too many great pitchers tell me that the first start is easy and the second one is really hard,” manager Terry Collins said. “I told him when he came out of the game, ‘Now your job is to get ready for Sunday.'”
The Mets (9-3) have continued to roll since Harvey’s latest outing despite sending David Wright to the disabled list Wednesday for a strained right hamstring. They’ve batted .295 with 22 runs in four games without their star third baseman and had 10 hits in a 5-4 victory Saturday.
Wilmer Flores homered and Eric Campbell had an RBI single in a three-run sixth inning as New York tied its 6-0 home start from 1985 and moved closer to matching its eight-game overall win streak from June 2010.READ MORE: Assisted Living Facility In Lauderhill May Lose License After Woman Dies
“We’re all having a blast,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “Every day we show up to the park and it’s instant jokes and laughing and just having fun.”
Tom Koehler will try to spoil that fun while winning back-to-back starts for Miami (3-9). The right-hander split his two outings against Atlanta to begin 2015, giving up two runs in each.
Koehler went 5 1-3 innings in an 8-2 road win Tuesday after pitching six in a 2-0 home loss April 8. The New York native is 1-3 with a 2.73 ERA in nine career starts against the Mets and went 0-1 with a 2.22 ERA in his final four matchups in 2014.
Giancarlo Stanton will try to assist his teammate by starting another home run streak against the Mets. He went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Saturday after going deep in each of his previous five matchups, tying Hank Aaron and Ryan Howard for the longest streak versus New York.
He was also 6 for 14 with seven RBIs in his prior four overall contests after going 3 for 23 with eight strikeouts in his first seven games.
The Marlins have opened 3-9 or worse for the second time in three seasons.
“When we put it all together, there’s going to be hell to pay,” pitcher Mat Latos said. “We’ve got a great ballclub and I believe that.”
Stanton is 0 for 6 with two strikeouts lifetime against Harvey, who is 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four career matchups versus the Marlins. He had all of those starts in 2013, a season in which he won in his first four outings.
Miami’s Dee Gordon, 5 for 5 on Saturday, is batting .462 (12 for 26) in his last six games against New York.MORE NEWS: Boca Raton Man Faces Charges In Fatal Crash That Killed Homestead Mom, Daughter On Thanksgiving Eve
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