(Sports Network) - The surging New York Mets will try to keep a pair of streaks intact tonight in the opener of a three-game road series with the crosstown rival Yankees in the Bronx.
The Mets have won seven straight overall and six in a row on the road. They'll definitely be put to the test Friday at Yankee Stadium after coming off consecutive road sweeps of the lowly Orioles and Indians. In Thursday's 6-4 victory at Cleveland, Ike Davis had a pair of RBI and Jose Reyes ended 3-for-5 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored for the Mets, who are still a half-game behind Atlanta for the top spot in the National League East.
"I feel we are playing good baseball, adding on runs at different times. We are doing a lot of good things," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey won his fifth straight decision and surrendered three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks over six innings. Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez allowed the tying run to reach the plate in the ninth inning before fanning Travis Hafner for his 15th save.
Manuel's club has won 11 of 12 games and will send Hisanori Takahashi to the mound against the Bronx Bombers. Takahashi is 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 20 games (5 starts) this season and is coming off a winning performance at Baltimore the last time out. In Saturday's 3-1 win over the O's, Takahashi delivered seven innings of one-run ball with two K's and one walk.
The Japanese left-hander got a taste of the Subway Series back on May 21, when he pitched six shutout innings for the no-decision in a 2-1 loss at Citi Field. Takahashi is 1-1 in seven road outings (2 starts) this season.
Mets outfielder Jason Bay is expected to be back in the lineup after missing Thursday's game with a bruised leg. He is batting .283 with four homers and 27 RBI and collected two homers and three RBI versus the Yanks in May.
The Yankees have sputtered a bit and remain tied with Tampa Bay atop the American League East standings. After taking the opener of a three-game series versus Phillies ace Roy Halladay and winning for the ninth straight time at home, the Yankees lost the next two portions of the set and are coming off Thursday's 7-1 loss in the series finale.
Andy Pettitte dropped just his second start of the season (8-2) and was reached for three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks in seven innings of work. Joba Chamberlain yielded three runs in relief for the Yankees, who have lost two in a row since a four-game winning streak.
"They're a good team," Pettitte said of the Phils on the team's site. "They were in the World Series last year; you know they're going to be a tough opponent. [Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick] threw a great game tonight against us; we couldn't do anything. He kept us off-balance and changes speeds real well."
Robinson Cano continued his torrid play with two hits and an RBI, and still leads the majors with a .372 batting average. He entered last night's game batting .422 with 12 doubles, five homers and 25 RBI over his last 28 games, and is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak.
Yankees starter Javier Vazquez gets the nod for Joe Girardi's club tonight and has won three straight and five of his last six starts. In Saturday's 9-3 win over Houston at Yankee Stadium, Vazquez gave up three runs in seven innings and struck out at least six batters for a third consecutive outing.
Vazquez, who is 3-1 at home this season, improved to 6-5 in 12 games (11 starts) and lowered his ERA to 5.43 after beating the Astros. The righty already defeated the Mets this season on May 21, when he tossed six scoreless innings and struck out six batters. Vazquez is 10-8 with a 3.24 ERA in 24 career starts against the local Mets.
The Mets won two of three meetings with the Yankees back in May, but the defending World Series champions are 43-32 all-time in this series. The Yankees, who sport a 4-2 mark on their current nine-game residency, are 9-9 versus the Mets at home since 2004.
The Yankees are 138-99 all-time in interleague play, while the Mets own a 113-107 ledger against the American League.