The New York Mets' poor offense is partly why they haven't won back-to-back games at Citi Field in a month.
Bartolo Colon hasn't done that anywhere this year.The Mets try to conclude a three-game series with another victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, as Colon looks to begin showing some consistency Wednesday.New York (23-28) is 12-17 at home thanks in large part to a .222 average that ranks among the lowest in baseball. The Mets have shown few signs of improvement lately, averaging 2.8 runs while dropping nine of the past 13 there -- including five of the first eight of this nine-game homestand.Those issues led to batting coach Dave Hudgens' firing following Monday's 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh, and he was replaced by Lamar Johnson, New York's minor league hitting instructor.He joined the team Tuesday, and the Mets doubled on four of seven hits in a 4-2 victory."We were hoping we'd have a good homestand," manager Terry Collins said. "We've played well. We just haven't hit and driven in the big runs. To have a game like (Tuesday) I thought was important."New York has a chance at back-to-back home wins for the first time since a season-high three-game winning streak from April 23-25.Giving the ball to Colon (3-5, 5.34 ERA) may not help, despite winning his last official outing.The right-hander, who turned 41 Saturday, allowed two runs in eight innings of a 5-2 win at Washington on May 17, and his next start was rained out Friday.Colon, though, has followed each of his first two victories with defeats, surrendering 16 runs and 21 hits -- five homers -- in 9 2/3 innings. However, they both came on the road, and he's been much better in Queens.He owns a 3.15 ERA in three home starts, but is 1-2 since he's experienced the Mets' offensive woes by being backed by one run in each of those defeats.Colon is 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates (23-28). He faced them for the first time in six years on July 8, yielding one run in seven innings of a 2-1 victory with Oakland.Pittsburgh has struggled on the road all season, going 7-15 while hitting .223 and averaging 3.3 runs. The Pirates had 12 hits Monday before managing just five singles the next night.Andrew McCutchen is batting .276 on the road compared to .333 at Pittsburgh.Charlie Morton (1-6, 3.29) is scheduled to get the ball, looking to build on his first win since Sept 2. The veteran right-hander labored through 108 pitches in 5 2/3 innings of a 4-3 home win over Washington on Friday, allowing one run with four walks while hitting another batter.Morton was 0-7 with a 3.67 ERA over his 14 previous starts, including an 0-4 record and 4.93 ERA in seven road outings.He leads the majors with 10 hit batters and his losses are among the most in baseball."Six losses is a lot this early," Morton told the team's official website, "but I can't dwell on that over the process."Morton is 0-2 with a 4.34 ERA in five career starts against the Mets, and he'll face Juan Lagares for the first time.The center fielder has three hits in two games, doubling on one of his two hits while driving in two runs Tuesday.