Bartolo Colon appears to be back on track as he tries to tie for the MLB lead in victories, though it won't be easy now that Giancarlo Stanton has broken out of his lengthy slump.
As the ageless right-hander goes after his eighth win for the New York Mets, Stanton will try to stay hot Sunday while leading the Miami Marlins to their first three-game sweep at Citi Field in almost six years.
Colon (7-3, 4.82 ERA) went 6-1 with a 3.30 ERA over his first seven starts, though he followed with a brief stumble when he posted a 12.54 mark while dropping consecutive home starts.
The three-time All-Star seemed to have bounced back Monday when he had his first quality start since May 5. A day after his 42nd birthday, he yielded three runs over six innings in a 6-3 win over visiting Philadelphia.
Now Colon has an opportunity to move into a tie for the major league lead in victories.
"I'm really happy and surprised that I'm pitching the way I'm pitching," he told MLB's official website.
Colon has already seen Miami (20-30) twice this season, allowing one run over seven innings in a 4-1 home win April 17 before giving up four over 6 2-3 in a 7-3 road defeat April 29. He's 4-3 with a 3.42 ERA in seven career starts against the Marlins, but he's gone 2-0 with a 1.23 mark in two meetings at Citi Field.
Stanton has gone 5 for 8 with two home runs and a double when facing Colon. That certainly doesn't bode well for the Mets after the slugger went 2 for 4 with two homers - giving him 15 on the season - in Saturday's 9-5 win.
According to the Mets, his 455-foot blast in the ninth inning was the longest homer ever at Citi Field.
"Since I've started here, they've brought the fences in a couple of times," Stanton said. "That's always good for us."
The All-Star outfielder had been 6 for 44 with two home runs over his previous 12 games. He's batting .333 with a 1.268 OPS while hitting eight homers and driving in 14 in 12 games versus New York since September.
Christian Yelich snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run single, while J.T. Realmuto and Jeff Baker also went deep. Yelich is 10 for 29 over a seven-game hitting streak, while MLB batting leader Dee Gordon has hit safely in eight straight.
After dropping 14 of 17 heading into the series, the Marlins seek their first three-game sweep at Citi Field since September 2009. They also haven't won three straight road games since a five-game run from July 24-Aug. 5.
David Phelps (2-2, 3.56) also gets his third look at the Mets (27-23), who will try to avoid getting swept at home for the first time since Aug. 12-14, versus Washington.
The right-hander opposed Colon in the April 17 defeat, allowing one run and one hit over 4 2-3 innings. He then gave up two runs over six innings but did not get a decision in a 4-3 win April 28.
Phelps had gone 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his first six starts before yielding eight runs over 11 innings in dropping each of his last two. He surrendered four runs and eight hits over six innings in Monday's 4-2 loss at Pittsburgh.
Miami's Donovan Solano is expected to again fill in for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who missed Saturday's game because of a bruised left shoulder. Solano is 3 for 4 lifetime versus Colon.