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Santana Vs. Hamels Today As Mets Try To Slow Phillies

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies have won each of Cole Hamels' last five starts and hope to keep that trend going when the left-hander takes the mound tonight in the second installment of a three-game series versus the NL East-rival New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

Hamels is 1-0 with a 2.08 earned run average in his last five starts, but hasn't figured into the decision in each of his previous four outings. The 2008 World Series MVP last took the hill in Sunday's 6-4 win at Washington and yielded four runs in seven innings with a season high-tying 10 K's.

The southpaw, who is 7-7 in 22 starts this season, hasn't enjoyed much success against the Mets in his career, going 2-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 10 starts. Hamels faced them in a 3-0 loss on May 27 at Citi Field and allowed three runs -- two earned -- and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings to absorb the defeat.

The Mets are eight games off the lead in the NL East.

New York ace Johan Santana will try to get back into the win column when he gets the nod Saturday. Santana was 3-0 with a 2.06 earned run average in six starts before losing at Atlanta on Monday, when he gave up four runs and nine hits with 11 strikeouts through seven innings of a 4-1 setback.

Santana fell to 8-6 in 23 starts and raised his earned run average to 3.20. He has fared well in his career against Philadelphia and owns a 4-2 record in 10 career appearances. Santana, though, lost to the Phillies on May 2 at Citizens Bank Park and was hammered for 10 runs in a season-low 3 2/3 innings of work.