MIAMI (AP) — As part of a dominant stretch at home, Matt Harvey isn’t walking many batters. He’s looking to carry that success to the road .
Harvey attempts to snap the longest road losing streak of his career by helping the NL East-leading New York Mets sweep this three-game set with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
Harvey (9-7, 2.91 ERA) is 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in his last five home starts. The right-hander was outstanding there again Friday, yielding one run with nine strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-1 win in 12 against Washington.
Harvey, one win short of a career high, has issued one walk in his last two games after totaling 13 over the previous three.
“I think the last couple outings have been a huge improvement for that,” Harvey told MLB’s official website . “I think being able to throw the slider and work off of that, and also be able to locate my fastball a little better has made a huge difference.”
He’ll try to do that on the road, where he’s lost three straight starts with nine walks and seven strikeouts in 12 innings over his last two.
Harvey is 1-2 with a 4.14 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins, splitting two this year while allowing eight runs with 18 strikeouts to just one walk over 14 innings.
Miami ranks 14th in the NL in walks with 247.
The Mets (57-50) have outscored opponents 27-7 during a five-game winning streak that’s put them one game ahead of second-place Washington in the division race .
New York’s 17-2 scoring edge in this series has it seeking a sweep at Marlins Park for the first time since Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2012. A four-run eighth spurred Tuesday’s 5-1 win.
“Our offense is pretty exciting,” left-hander Jonathan Niese said. “At any given time during the game they can explode. It’s a great feeling.”
Lucas Duda is hoping his 2-for-5 effort can start a turnaround on the road, where he’s batting .196 with three homers and nine RBIs. He owns a .351 average with nine homers and 12 RBIs in the last 10 games overall.
Juan Lagares’ two-run triple in the eighth improved his case to remain in the lineup. He’s started just three of his last 10 games but is hitting .348 in his last 18 matchups with Miami.
“I know he’s down a little bit because he’s not playing, and I understand it,” manager Terry Collins said. “I totally get it and as we all know there’s one way to get back in the lineup, and that’s do what he did.”
The Marlins (43-64), losers of nine of 11, could fall into a tie with Philadelphia for the worst record in baseball with a defeat Wednesday.
They’re turning to David Phelps (4-7, 3.93), who is 0-4 in seven games – five starts. However, the right-hander isn’t entirely to blame, posting a 3.86 ERA with the offense backing him with six total runs.
Phelps has no record and a 2.70 ERA in three starts against the Mets this year.
He’s held Duda, Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson to a combined 2 for 30.
New York acquired left-hander Eric O’Flaherty in a trade with Oakland on Tuesday, trying to improve their chances of returning to the postseason.
O’Flaherty was designated for assignment by the A’s on Aug. 1 after going 1-2 with a 5.91 ERA in 25 games. He’s held left-handed hitters to a .201 average during his career.
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