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Armed With Ownership Agreement, Mets Return Home To Face Rival Phillies

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(credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

(credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Mets are returning home after a major change in their ownership structure. Awaiting them is a division rival anxious to end some road woes.

The NL-leading Philadelphia Phillies look to snap a four-game skid away from home when they meet the Mets on Friday night.

New York (23-26) is back home after its cash-strapped owners agreed to sell a minority share of the team to hedge fund manager David Einhorn for $200 million Thursday.

“We are very excited about David joining our ownership group for several reasons,” Mets owner Fred Wilpon said in a statement. “David’s investment immediately improves the franchise’s financial position. … In partnership with David, we look forward to achieving our ultimate goal of again becoming World Series champions.”

The new partner is predicting the club’s financial situation will improve, and owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz will retain control of the team, which has been damaged by the Bernard Madoff scandal.

I hope this is a good sign,” manager Terry Collins said. “And certainly I’m very happy that this helps Fred and makes things run smoother. I’m excited for him.”

Philadelphia (31-19) is 4-2 against New York this season and will be making its first 2011 appearance at Citi Field. The Phillies were shut out in the first four meetings there last year before winning four of the final five.

The Phillies will try to improve upon their major league-best 12-3 mark against left-handers when they take on Chris Capuano (3-5, 5.36 ERA). He is 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts against them.

Jimmy Rollins is 3 for 12, Ryan Howard 3 for 8 and Chase Utley 1 for 8 against Capuano.

“Playing the Mets is never easy,” Howard said. “We’ll take them one at a time and understand that every game will be a challenge.”

Capuano had yielded two runs in three straight outings before he gave up six over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-3 loss to the Yankees on Saturday.

Rollins, Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz were out of the lineup for Thursday’s 10-4 win over Cincinnati after they played all 19 innings of Wednesday’s 5-4 victory.

The Phillies completed a 6-3 homestand that included the return of Utley for the last four games. The five-time All-Star second baseman is 2 for 14 after missing nearly the first two months due to right knee tendinitis.

Philadelphia scheduled starter Roy Oswalt (3-2, 2.77) is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA in his last three starts, also missing time in that span due to a sore lower back. Oswalt yielded one run over seven innings in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Texas.

Carlos Beltran (.375) and Jason Bay (.355) have enjoyed success against Oswalt, and Jose Reyes is batting .281 versus the right-hander.

Oswalt is 4-2 with a 3.22 ERA in his last seven starts against New York, and he pitched a four-hitter in his lone career outing at Citi Field on Sept. 12 in a 3-0 victory.

The Phillies will catch a break by not facing injured third baseman David Wright, who is 11 for 27 against them this year. Reyes is 9 for 28.

Polanco is 11 for 27 with 11 RBIs in the season series and Howard 8 for 25 with three homers and nine RBIs.

What’s your prediction for Mets-Phillies? Let ‘er rip in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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