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STL@PHI: Hamels fans nine in seven solid innings

With six games remaining in the regular season, now isn't the time for a club to go through a slump, but that's precisely where the Phillies find themselves.

Since clinching their fifth straight National League East title, the Phils have gone on a six-game losing streak. Philadelphia is hitting just .221 and averaging two runs per game during that stretch, with its vaunted pitching staff posting a surprisingly high 4.42 ERA.

On Friday, the Phillies travel to Citi Field to try to break that streak, but the pitcher they'll send to the hill has certainly experienced his share of struggles against the Mets.

Left-hander Cole Hamels looks to rebound from two straight losses in which he's allowed four runs, the last of which began the Phillies' funk. Hamels has never fared well against the Mets -- losing 10 times in 16 outings -- but has struggled against them even more so this season, going 1-2 with a 9.64 ERA in three starts.

Taking the mound for the Mets -- who have dropped 11 of their last 15 -- is R.A. Dickey, who unlike Hamels has pitched very well as of late. The knuckleballer has tossed 11 straight quality starts, posting a 2.57 ERA in that span, though he has a 4-5 record in that stretch to show for it.

Dickey has a 2.90 ERA in five career starts against the Phillies, facing them only once this year on July 15, when he allowed four runs in seven innings.

Phillies: Pence expected back
Hunter Pence, who injured his left knee Tuesday against the Nationals, is day to day after undergoing an MRI on Wednesday that showed a mild strain of the patellar tendon. He's expected to return at some point this weekend against the Mets.

"I feel good," Pence said Wednesday. "I never really thought I needed a MRI. Hopefully I'm able to pinch-hit. I'm able to swing. A day [off] here, we'll see [Thursday]. I've had it before. I can play on it. ... I could play today, but we're trying to make the best decision. And we feel like this is best."

Mets: Rookies racking up RBIs
Lucas Duda already has driven in 50 runs this season and Justin Turner drew a bases-loaded walk in the Mets' 8-6 win over the Cardinals on Thursday, giving him 50 for the season as well. The last time the Mets had two rookies drive in 50 or more runs in the same season was in 2003, when Ty Wigginton (71) and Jason Phillips (58) accomplished the feat.

• The Mets finished the season 43-38 on the road, compiling the most road wins since 47 in 2007.

Worth noting
• I.n their last 16 games, the Mets are hitting .169 with runners in scoring position.

• Jose Reyes and David Wright are each hitting .324 (12-for-37) in their careers against Hamels.

• Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez is 7-for-22 against Dickey in his career with three home runs.

• The Phillies hadn't lost six straight since June 16-21, 2009.

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