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SD@NYM: Collins on the rain delay affecting Hefner

Two struggling right-handers will look to make amends in the second game of a three-game set between two National League East rivals when the Mets and Phillies meet on Tuesday at Citi Field.

The Phillies are seeking payback for two series losses at the hands of the Mets already this season in Philadelphia, and took the first game of the series, 8-4, in the Memorial Day matinee on Monday. The Mets have won six of their last nine overall.

"This team has not gotten caught up in too much of the high side, and they don't get too low," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They realize they've got to come out every day and play."

Philadelphia turns to Joe Blanton, who is coming off two of the worst outings of his career. He gave up seven runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against St. Louis on Thursday, after surrendering a career-high four home runs to Boston on May 19.

"I just threw a lot of pitches down the middle [against the Red Sox]," Blanton said. "Not good results when you do that. When you make mistakes, a lot of times, a lineup like that will make you pay."

He'll be up against New York righty Jeremy Hefner, who remains winless in his rookie campaign. He was hit hard by the Padres in his last outing, when he gave up six earned runs in 3 2/3 frames.

Hefner has never faced the Phillies, but Collins is hoping the rookie can take advantage of a beat-up Philadelphia lineup, playing without sluggers Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

"What you hope to do is, while Howard and Utley are still out, you want to try and get them while you can, because you know when they get back they're going to be really tough to beat," Collins said.

Mets: Tough road ahead
Including this series, the Mets' next eight opponents all have records above .500 (Phillies, Cardinals, Nationals, Yankees, Rays, Reds, Orioles and Yankees).

"We're going to go against some of the best teams in either league, so they have their work cut out for them," Collins said of his club.

• Third baseman David Wright is battling an 0-for-14 slump, but is still hitting .373 on the year.

Phillies: Halladay to get checked out
Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay is expected to have his sore right shoulder examined on Tuesday after leaving Sunday's ballgame because of the issue. Because the Phillies do not play Thursday, they do not need a fifth starter until June 6, when the currently injured Vance Worley could fill in.

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz was scratched late from Monday's series opener with tightness in his right hamstring, but the club does not believe it to be a serious injury. Brian Schneider replaced Ruiz behind the plate Monday and Shane Victorino hit cleanup for the first time in his career.

Worth noting
• New York won the first two series at Philadelphia this year, including a three-game sweep from May 7-9 -- their first since 2006. It is the first meeting of the year in New York, where the Phillies won five of nine last season.

• The Mets are 15-10 at home this year and have won 10 of their last 15 games at Citi Field. Comments