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MIA@PHI: Lee earns fifth win with seven strong frames

Following a disappointing showing in Houston in which they went 1-3 against the team with baseball's worst record, the Phillies hope a trip back to New York can get them back on track.

Clinging to hopes of winning the second National League Wild Card spot, the Phillies are in need of a strong showing against the struggling Mets before playing nine of their last 12 games against the Braves and Nationals.

After Sunday afternoon's 7-6 loss to Houston, Philadelphia enters Monday's series opener back under .500 and four games out of the second Wild Card with just 15 games to play.

Cliff Lee (5-7, 3.36 ERA) is set to take the mound on Monday night against the New York, which has lost eight of its last nine games. Lee, who is 1-1 against the Mets this year, has won his last three decisions. Over his last six starts, he owns a 1.73 ERA. R.A. Dickey (18-5, 2.68 ERA) will continue his quest for 20 wins, which would greatly improve his chances for the NL Cy Young Award. His 18 victories ranks second behind Washington's Gio Gonzalez, but his ERA, five complete games and three shutouts are all best in the league.

In eight career starts against the Phillies, Dickey is 3-3 with a 2.94 ERA. This season, he is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the Mets' division foes.

Even if Dickey doesn't take home the hardware, Mets manager Terry Collins said the knuckleballer's 2012 season is the best for any starting pitcher he has managed.

"Chuck Finley had a real good year, and Shane Reynolds one year in Houston had a real good year, he won 17 or something," Collins said. "But the best I've had is R.A."

Phillies: Rollins steals 30th base
Jimmy Rollins notched his 30th steal of the season Sunday, marking his 10th campaign with at least 30 stolen bases.

Rollins' 403 career stolen bases rank third in Phillies history. Philadelphia's three-time All-Star needs 10 more swipes to pass Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty and move into second place in franchise history.

The shortstop has swiped at least 40 bags in four seasons, but not since 2008. His career high is 46, set in 2001, his first full season in the Majors.

• Carlos Ruiz started his third game behind the plate on Sunday since returning from the disabled list on Sept. 7. The All-Star catcher went 0-for-4 with a run scored. He has yet to start back-to-back games, as the Phillies are being cautious because of the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

"We want to get him in the there and see how he does with it," manager Charlie Manuel said on Sunday.

Mets: Collins unsure of Wednesday starter
The Mets have not yet announced their starter for Wednesday's series finale against the Phillies, but it will likely be either Collin McHugh (0-2, 4.02 ERA) or Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 4.99 ERA).

"We've got some dates coming up, and we need some starting pitching," Collins said on Sunday. "There's three that I can [think of]."

Both of the young right-handers threw in Saturday's loss to the Brewers, combining to pitch 1 2/3 innings while allowing two runs on three hits.

Hefner has made 10 starts this season, while McHugh has started three games.

Whoever gets the nod will face off against Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels.

Worth noting
• If the Phillies finish with a winning record, it would mark their franchise-best 10th consecutive season.

• David Wright's 1,411 career hits are eight shy of passing Ed Kranepool for most in franchise history. The Yankees' Derek Jeter, Colorado's Todd Helton and Texas' Michael Young are the only active Major Leaguers to lead their franchise in hits. Comments