MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Tonight marks the beginning of what should be a great NL East matchup.
The New York Mets own the best record in baseball and have already swept a series from the Miami Marlins this season.
It’s the Marlins, however, who are the hot team heading into this three-game series.
Miami goes for a sixth straight win Monday night while the Mets attempt to rebound from a sloppy loss.
New York (14-5) has won 12 of the past 15 meetings with the Marlins (8-11) after sweeping a four-game set at home from April 16-19.
That sweep was part of the Mets’ 11-game winning streak, which came to an end with Friday’s 6-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. After posting an 8-2 victory Saturday against their crosstown rivals, the Mets committed four errors in Sunday night’s 6-4 defeat.
“In a game like this, you can’t make those mistakes,” manager Terry Collins said. “Just a bad night for us.”
The Marlins haven’t made many mistakes lately, hitting .324 while averaging 6.4 runs during a five-game winning streak, their longest since taking six straight from July 24-29.
They pulled closer to that mark Sunday, beating Washington 6-2 and sweeping a series from the Nationals for the first time since May 2012.
“When we play our way, when we play relaxed and loose and confident, we’re as good as anybody,” manager Mike Redmond said.
Adeiny Hechavarria has been at the forefront of Miami’s turnaround, hitting .460 with 15 RBIs and 13 runs in 13 games after going 1 for 22 to start the season.
The shortstop is 11 for 20 with nine RBIs during the win streak and ranks among the major league leaders with 16 RBIs.
“I feel great at the plate right now,” said Hechavarria, who has a .326 average in his last 13 meetings with the Mets, but just a .146 mark in 15 at home.
He’s 1 for 8 against scheduled starter Dillon Gee.
Gee (0-1, 5.60 ERA) is 3-1 with a 3.30 ERA in seven career starts against the Marlins, but wasn’t terribly sharp April 16. The right-hander gave up four runs and two homers with seven strikeouts over 5 2-3 innings in a 7-5 win.
That performance resulted in a meeting between Gee and Collins after it appeared his spot in the rotation was in jeopardy. However, Gee responded by allowing two runs in seven innings in a 3-2 win over Atlanta on Wednesday.
“I think I just needed to talk and he was there for me and we talked about a lot of things. I think I was going about a lot of things the wrong way,” said Gee, who expressed frustration about being the subject of trade rumors during the offseason. “It comes down to me executing and resolving to stay out there.”
Miami will again counter Gee with Jarred Cosart (1-1, 3.63). The right-hander tossed four scoreless innings April 16 before surrendering five runs and being pulled with one out in the sixth.
He bounced back by yielding one run and four hits in six innings of a 6-1 win at Philadelphia on Wednesday, ending the Marlins’ five-game slide.
New York’s Juan Lagares had six hits and four runs in his last two games against the Yankees and is 13 for 32 (.406) in his past nine at Marlins Park.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)