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PIT@NYM: Colon strikes out nine to earn the win

If the Mets and Phillies are a little sick of each other when they take the field for their series finale on Monday night, it would be hard to blame them. It'll be the fifth time in as many days the teams are squaring off at Citizens Bank Park, and the previous four contests -- including two 14-inning, five-hour marathons -- have averaged 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Exacerbating matters is that both teams' most recent off-day was May 19. The Mets and Phils are both in the midst of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days that won't end for another week, the prolonged run due in part to Monday -- originally a scheduled off-day -- being used to make up an April 30 rainout.

It's not officially the first day of summer for a couple of more weeks, but the dog days are here for the Mets and Phillies.

"It's exhausting," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It goes a long way with the pitching staff, that's for sure."

Added Mets manager Terry Collins: "The veterans on the team know what it's about. The younger players, they've got to learn how to get through it. It's part of their growing process to learn how to get through back-to-back days like this. They're very uncommon. I don't think anybody's got a foolproof answer of how to respond."

Both teams brought in pitching reinforcements from their respective Triple-A teams -- Buddy Carlyle and Dana Eveland for the Mets, Phillippe Aumont and Cesar Jimenez for the Phils. But the state of the bullpens is questionable, at best, considering the recent workload. The Mets have squeezed their relievers for 23 1/3 innings this series, while the Phillies have gotten 21 1/3 out of theirs.

It's worth noting, however, both relief corps have been very effective. The Phillies have yielded three runs on nine hits, while the Mets have allowed three runs on 16 hits.

But it goes without saying, the teams desperately need some length from their starters after playing 39 innings the past three days. Righty Bartolo Colon (4.73 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) has done just that of late, going at least seven frames in three of his last four starts. His counterpart, right-hander Roberto Hernandez, has allowed four runs in 12 innings over two starts since rejoining the rotation late last month.

Of Hernandez's three appearances against the Mets this season, only one (May 9) was a start. He lasted five innings and gave up one run on six hits and three walks. Colon hasn't faced the Phillies since 2008.

Mets: Lagares good to go, temporarily
After sitting out most of Saturday's 14-inning win with muscle spasms near the back of his right ribcage, outfielder Juan Lagares was back in the starting lineup on Sunday.

He finished 1-for-5 with a strikeout and a stolen base before leaving the game in the 10th inning with rib cage pain. The team sent him back to New York for an MRI following the game.

Though manager Terry Collins said Lagares would not have been able to swing the bat, if needed, on Saturday, Lagares downplayed the severity of his injury, calling it "nothing big." As if to prove it, he singled and stole a base to open the first inning on Sunday against Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels.

Lagares has been the Mets' best lock-down defender this season, earning everyday playing time by hitting consistently, as well. Until Saturday's scratch, he had started in center every day since Eric Young Jr. went on the disabled list on May 16 with a strained right hamstring.

Phillies: Depleted bullpen gets a boost
With the Phillies' bullpen stretched thin after back-to-back 14-inning games, the club made a pair of roster moves before Sunday's game against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

Philadelphia recalled right-hander Aumont and selected the contract of left-hander Jimenez from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Jimenez chipped in a scoreless inning, but Aumont yielded Lucas Duda's game-winning, two-run homer in the 11th.

Right-hander Jeff Manship, who suffered a strained right quad while trying to beat out an infield grounder in the bottom of the 13th on Saturday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf was optioned to the IronPigs.

Jimenez, who got into 19 big league games for the Phils in 2013, posted a 1.67 ERA in 19 games (two starts) for Lehigh Valley. He allowed 15 hits, while striking out 22 and walking seven, in 27 innings. Aumont, who has spent time with the Phillies in each of the last two seasons, had a 4.12 ERA but hadn't allowed a run in six of his past seven relief appearances.

Worth noting
• Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is just one save shy of his 300th career save. To date, only 25 pitchers in Major League history have amassed 300 or more career saves.

Papelbon has not allowed an earned run in 20 of his last 21 appearances.

• The Mets are winners of five of their last six games, and six of their last eight. They are back to two games under .500 for the first time since May 17. Comments