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Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

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The Mets face Roy Oswalt (center) on Friday, followed by Cole Hamels (left) on Saturday and Vance Worley (right) in the series finale.

METS (23-26, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (31-19, first place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Chris Capuano (3-5, 5.36) vs. RHP Roy Oswalt (3-2, 2.77), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-4, 5.37) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 3.06), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jon Niese (3-5, 4.33) vs. RHP Vance Worley (2-0, 2.14), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Chase Utley returned from a season-opening stint on the disabled list for knee woes Monday. He is 2-for-14 since returning and will be given regular rest. Utley delivered his first homer since returning Thursday, off Jose Arrendondo. The previous inning his knee briefly locked as he pursued a grounder to his right.

Howard Smith/US Presswire

Ex-Mets infielder Wilson Valdez pitches for the Phillies in the 19th inning on Wednesday against Cincinnati.

• Ex-Met Wilson Valdez made history in Philadelphia's 5-4, 19-inning win over Cincinnati on Wedesday. In a game that lasted six hours, 11 minutes, Valdez plunked Scott Rolen but hit 90 mph and required only 10 pitches. Valdez became the first position player to earn a win since Rockies catcher Brett Mayne on Aug. 22, 2000. The last position player to start a game in the field and eventually earn the win on the mound was Babe Ruth in 1921. The last Phillies position player to earn a win was Jimmie Fox in 1945. Valdez took the duty seriously, even summoning catcher Dane Sardinha to the mound for a conference.

• Center fielder Shane Victorino is on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. He is due to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Class A Lakewood. The Phillies are targeting next weekend's series against the Pirates for Victorino's return.

Jose Contreras returned from the disabled list Thursday but will not resume the closer's role he held before being shut down with a right elbow strain. Ryan Madson is now handling the closing duties in Brad Lidge's absence. Lidge (rotator cuff) has started throwing bullpen sessions.

Raul Ibanez has been on a surge since snapping an 0-for-35 skid on May 3. Subtract an 0-for-4 performance against the Mets to open the month and Ibanez is hitting .353 with five homers in 85 at-bats in May.

Vance Worley entered the rotation with Joe Blanton shut down. Blanton does not intend to undergo surgery. Worley required 93 pitches to toss five innings Tuesday against the Reds, while allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. Worley had one alibi: He had not been used for more than three innings in a game in nearly three weeks.

Matchups

Capuano vs. Phillies (career: 0-2, 3.20 ERA)

Ryan Howard .375, 1 RBI, 1 K, 8 PA

Placido Polanco .333, 3 PA

Jimmy Rollins .250, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 13 PA

Chase Utley .125, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K, 12 PA

Carlos Ruiz .000, 1 RBI, 5 PA

Raul Ibanez .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Pelfrey vs. Phillies (career: 6-5, 5.25 ERA)

Ryan Howard .412, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 2 K, 40 PA

Ben Francisco .400, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 PA

Raul Ibanez .310, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 30 PA

Chase Utley .300, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 35 PA

Jimmy Rollins .281, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 33 PA

Carlos Ruiz .250, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 23 PA

Placido Polanco .188, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 18 PA

Ross Gload .167, 6 PA

Wilson Valdez .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 PA

Niese vs. Phillies (career: 1-3, 3.73 ERA)

John Mayberry .500, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 4 PA

Chase Utley .400, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 PA

Placido Polanco .375, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 PA

Carlos Ruiz .364, 2 RBI, 4 K, 11 PA

Wilson Valdez .333, 1 RBI, 2 K, 12 PA

Raul Ibanez .200, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 12 PA

Ben Francisco .200, 2 BB, 1 K, 8 PA

Jimmy Rollins .111, 1 BB, 2 K, 10 PA

Ryan Howard .100, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 11 PA

Dane Sardinha .000, 2 BB, 3 PA

Oswalt vs. Mets (career: 6-5, 3.33 ERA)

Carlos Beltran .375, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 27 PA

Jason Bay .355, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 35 PA

Jose Reyes .281, 1 RBI, 3 K, 33 PA

Willie Harris .250, 2 BB, 6 PA

Daniel Murphy .167, 2 K, 6 PA

Ronny Paulino .154, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA

Scott Hairston .125, 1 BB, 8 K, 25 PA

Angel Pagan .125, 2 K, 8 PA

Josh Thole .000, 3 PA

Hamels vs. Mets (career: 2-9, 4.35 ERA)

Jason Bay .500, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA

Nick Evans .500, 2 RBI, 1 K, 6 PA

Ronny Paulino .375, 1 BB, 9 PA

Scott Hairston .353, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 18 PA

Daniel Murphy .333, 1 RBI, 1 K, 3 PA

Carlos Beltran .303, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K, 35 PA

Jose Reyes .294, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K, 37 PA

Angel Pagan .286, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 32 PA

Willie Harris .000, 1 BB, 4 K, 7 PA

Ruben Tejada, .000, 1 BB, 3 K, 6 PA

Worley vs. Mets (career: 1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Daniel Murphy .333, 1 K, 3 PA

Jose Reyes .000, 1 K, 4 PA

Jason Bay .000, 1 BB, 3 PA

Carlos Beltran .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA

Josh Thole .000, 1 BB, 2 PA

Nick Evans .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Last series results

Phillies won, 2-1, at Citizens Bank Park, April 29-May 1 (AP game recaps)

Phillies 10, Mets 3: Two big swings by Ryan Howard made it a comfortable night on the mound for rookie fill-in Vance Worley. Howard hit two homers, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs to back six scoreless innings by Worley. Howard launched a two-run shot into the second deck in right field off starter Mike Pelfrey in the fourth inning to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. After making contact, Howard dropped his bat and stared in admiration for a couple of seconds at the 427-foot drive before trotting around the bases. The big slugger is batting .412 (14 for 34) with three homers and six RBIs against Pelfrey. With the Phillies up 4-0 in the sixth, Howard cleared the bases with his 10th career slam. He connected on a 2-2 pitch from Dillon Gee and sent the ball very high and just over

Phillies 2, Mets 1: Roy Halladay pitched a seven-hitter to help Philadelphia set a club record with its 18th victory in April. He threw his first 18 pitches for strikes becoming the first pitcher since 1991 to accomplish that feat. Sid Fernandez was the last to do so. Since joining the Phillies last season, Halladay has completed 11 of his 39 starts. The NL Cy Young award winner allowed one run and walked one while striking out eight to lead the Phillies to their third straight victory. It was his seventh straight win over the Mets dating back to the 2006 season. During that stretch he has a 2.29 ERA in 55 innings pitched. Jon Niese (2-3) tried to match Halladay pitch for pitch but in the end came up short, charged with the loss after Placido Polanco's sacrifice fly in the seventh broke a 1-1 tie. Niese narrowly escaped jams in the fifth and sixth before John Mayberry Jr. tied it in the seventh with his first homer of the year, over the left field wall. Wilson Valdez then singled to right field and Dane Sardinha drew a walk. Halladay struck out after his bunt attempt was called foul by the home plate umpire. Shane Victorino singled to right to load the bases and chase Niese. Polanco followed with a sacrifice fly to right to break the tie. A stellar play by second baseman Daniel Murphy on a hard grounder by Jimmy Rollins ended inning. Murphy dove to his right and flipped the ball to shortstop Reyes -- although replays showed Victorino beat the play.

Mets 2, Phillies 1 (14 innings): The New York Mets celebrated a victory on a night when fans in the ballpark were celebrating historic news. Ronny Paulino had a career-high five hits in his first start for the Mets, including a go-ahead double in the 14th inning, and New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies after news of Osama bin Laden's death had fans at Citizens Bank Park chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Taylor Buchholz (1-0), one of six Mets pitchers used, pitched two scoreless innings in relief to help New York snap a three-game losing streak and salvage a game in the series. Kyle Kendrick (1-2), one of six Philadelphia pitchers used in the 4-hour, 44-minute game, pitched three innings and allowed four hits. The "U-S-A!" chants started in the top of the ninth inning of the game and picked up in intensity throughout the inning. People could be spotted all over the ballpark checking their phones as news was breaking that the United States had killed the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks. Chris Young pitched seven scoreless innings, but was long gone by the time David Wright led off the 14th with a single to left and went to second on Jason Bay's one-out single to center. After Ike Davis flew out to the warning track in center, Paulino laced a double to left to score Wright and put New York up 2-1.