September 07, 2014

NEW YORK -- For the past few days, the New York Mets have been one of the teams linked to Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who is considered the top player available before the Aug. 1 trade deadline. But it's the Colorado Rockies who have looked like the more legitimate contender this weekend at Citi Field.

The Rockies will look to complete a season sweep of the Mets on Sunday when the two teams square off at 1:10 p.m. ET. Colorado won the third game of the four-game series on Saturday when left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa posted his 100th career victory by allowing two runs in six innings in a 7-2 rout.

The Rockies (52-52), who are .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2010, have won five straight and nine of 10. They have the best record in baseball (14-6) since the All-Star break.

Colorado, which has not reached the playoffs since 2009, is four games behind the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the National League's second wild card.

"We're jelling as a team right now," said rookie Rockies outfielder David Dahl, whose two-run homer in the third inning on Saturday night gave Colorado the lead for good. "Everyone's playing really well. Just got to keep that attitude every single day, that we can go out and win."

The Mets (53-50) need a reminder of that after losing four straight and five of six. The skid has dropped New York, the defending NL champion, 2 1/2 games behind the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals and 7 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.

"Right now, we've got to win the next three here," said Mets manager Terry Collins, referring to the final three games of a nine-game homestand. "The next goal is to come out (Sunday) and play a good game. We've still got to come here every day and grind it out."

The Mets likely absorbed another loss late Saturday night when it was reported the Brewers and Cleveland Indians reached agreement on a trade that would send Lucroy to the Indians. who have the best record in the American League.

Right-hander Noah Syndergaard will attempt to stop the skid for the Mets when he opposes Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis. Syndergaard is winless in his last three starts despite producing a 2.76 ERA during that span. He won his lone career start against the Rockies last Aug. 13 when he allowed three runs in seven innings in the Mets' 12-3 victory.

Bettis has won three straight decisions and has produced a quality start in four consecutive outings, a stretch in which he's 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA. He has a 7.71 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against the Mets.

With a win, the Rockies will sweep the season series with the Mets for the first time in franchise history. Colorado won all three games at Coors Field from May 13 to May 15.

A sweep would also flip the script from last season when the Mets swept the Rockies 7-0.

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