(Sports Network) – The New York Mets hope to put the brakes on their five-game losing streak when they wrap up a four-game series versus the Washington Nationals this afternoon from Citi Field.
The Mets look to salvage the finale of this series after dropping the first three installments, including Wednesday’s 2-0 setback. Mike Pelfrey pitched well in defeat and yielded just two unearned runs over seven innings with six strikeouts and two walks. The Mets are 4-7 in Pelfrey’s last 11 starts.
Justin Turner’s pinch-hit double in the seventh inning was the only extra-base hit for the Mets, who have lost seven of eight games and managed just four hits. Jose Reyes has recorded at least one hit in 16 of the 17 games he’s played in since returning from the disabled list on August 29. Reyes is not expected to play on Thursday.
“We’re getting some balls we can hit but we’re just not hitting them. It’s just one of those things that clubs go through,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
New York will begin a six-game road trip against Atlanta and St. Louis this weekend. Chris Schwinden will make his second career start for the Mets today and lost his MLB debut in a 6-5 loss to Atlanta last Thursday. The right- hander lasted five innings and was reached for five runs and eight hits with four K’s and one walk. He’s pitching in place of veteran Miguel Batista.
Schwinden went 8-8 with a 3.95 ERA in 26 starts with Triple-A Buffalo. He struck out 134 batters over 145 2/3 innings with 48 walks.
Washington has won four in a row and five of six games. In Wednesday’s close win over the Mets, Michael Morse and Jayson Werth drove in both runs during the top of the third inning and Chris Marrero ended with two hits.
Brad Peacock earned the win with five shutout innings in his first career start and Drew Storen tossed the ninth for his 37th save of the season.
“After I threw that first pitch I was fine,” Peacock said. “I just made sure I took deep breaths out there and settled in nicely.”
Peacock pitched 1 1/3 innings out of the bullpen September 6 in his only other major league appearance. Washington has not allowed a home run in its last nine games.
Taking the hill for the Nationals today will be Tommy Milone, who will make his third career start of the season. He has no record in his first two trips to the hill to go along with a 6.30 earned run average and previously pitched in Friday’s 4-3 win versus Houston. Milone allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings that day.
Milone, a left-hander, made his major league debut in an 8-7 win over the Mets on Sept. 3 and was reached for four runs through 4 1/3 frames.
Washington is 9-8 against the Mets this season and is aiming for its first four-game sweep in Flushing, NY since the Montreal Expos won all four meetings at Shea Stadium from Sept. 18-21, 2003.