The right-hander will try to help the Mets snap a four-game losing streak Wednesday night when they visit a Washington team looking to build off its first late-inning comeback win.
Behind by one run heading into the ninth, the Nationals rallied for their first win when trailing after six innings in a 3-2 victory over the Mets (22-33) on Tuesday.
Ryan Zimmerman , Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond each had hits off New York closer Bobby Parnell before Steve Lombardozzi came through with a game-winning sacrifice fly that ended Washington's two-game skid."Maybe this is something we were looking for," said Jayson Werth , who went 1 for 4 after being activated from the disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. "Maybe this will get us going."
The Nationals (29-29) can start by moving back above .500, though it might not be easy against Gee (3-6, 5.68 ERA).
The right-hander, who was 0-2 with an 8.36 ERA during a three-start stretch, responded in a big way after manager Terry Collins told him his rotation spot was in jeopardy.
Gee struck out a career-high 12 and limited the Yankees to one run and four hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 3-1 road win Thursday. He retired the last 15 batters he faced as the Mets completed a four-game sweep of the season series.
"I needed that on so many levels it's crazy," said Gee.
Gee has also pitched well against Washington, going 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA in seven career starts. He struck out six and scattered three hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 2-0 win over the Nationals on April 21.
Desmond (4 for 17), Zimmerman (3 for 15), LaRoche (1 for 8) and Roger Bernadina (2 for 11) haven't been able to solve Gee, though Werth is 6 for 18.
Washington would be best served getting into a New York bullpen that has a major league-worst 4.82 ERA. Parnell blew his third save opportunity Tuesday after converting his previous seven.
"They hit some decent pitches, but I could've been better," Parnell said.
Despite their rare late-game heroics in the series opener, the short-handed Nationals have totaled 10 runs while hitting .180 with 35 strikeouts over their last five games.
"We're trying to piece together a lineup to help us scratch out and score enough runs to win some games," general manager Mike Rizzo said.
Scheduled Washington starter Dan Haren (4-6, 5.09) has certainly been hurt by the team's lack of scoring lately.
The right-hander has lost three straight decisions over his last four starts, though he's allowed three runs or less in three of those outings. He's been given just five runs of support over that span.
Haren is 1-1 with a 7.41 ERA in his last three starts against the Mets.
Marlon Byrd should be happy to see Haren again - he's 8 for 16 with two doubles and one triple against him.
David Wright , trying to break out of a 1 for 18 slump, is 3 for 12 with a homer versus Haren since 2008.
Omar Quintanilla has given the Mets a spark, going 9 for 17 in five games since coming up from the minors.
|New York Mets|
|May 30, 2013||Jonathon Niese||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|May 30, 2013||Ruben Tejada||15-Day DL||Right quad strain|
|May 29, 2013||Ruben Tejada||Day-to-Day||Left game - quad injury|
|May 14, 2013||Scott Atchison||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|May 09, 2013||Jeurys Familia||15-Day DL||Right elbow surgery|
|April 29, 2013||David Wright||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|June 03, 2013||Danny Espinosa||15-Day DL||Broken bone in right wrist|
|May 31, 2013||Stephen Strasburg||Day-to-Day||Strained right lat|
|May 27, 2013||Bryce Harper||15-Day DL||Left knee bursitis|
|May 26, 2013||Bryce Harper||Day-to-Day||Left game - Sore left knee|
|May 24, 2013||Danny Espinosa||Day-to-Day||Broken bone in right wrist|
|May 20, 2013||Ryan Mattheus||15-Day DL||Fractured right hand|
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Marlon Byrd called his shots during batting practice, when he was chatting away with teammate Anthony Recker .
"I told Reck I was feeling good in BP," Byrd said. "And I was joking around with him, I said, `Hey, if I get some pitches tonight, I'm going to hit two home runs."'
Sure enough, Byrd planted a pair beyond the left-field wall Wednesday night, maintaining his mastery of Dan Haren as the New York Mets snapped a four-game skid with a 10-1 rout of the Washington Nationals .
"That's teammates talking trash," Byrd said. "And that it happened is something crazy. It doesn't happen too much, I'll tell you that."
The win put the Mets above .400 and the Nationals below .500 - a succinct reflection of the mixed fortunes of both clubs - and also dropped preseason favorite Washington to third place behind Philadelphia in the NL East. The Nationals trail division-leading Atlanta by eight games.
For the Mets, it was their best run output since early April, a rare comfortable win in a challenging season.
"We needed one very bad," manager Terry Collins said. "We have certainly been in our share of close games all year, on both ends of it. To have a game where we just take a deep breath and relax a little bit was certainly welcomed and needed."
Byrd hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the third, making him 10 for 18 in his career against Haren (4-7). David Wright , in a 1-for-18 slump entering the game, also homered in the third inning and singled and scored in New York's two-run fifth.
Recker doubled his season RBI total from three to six with a pair of hits, and rookie center fielder Juan Lagares had his first three-hit game in the majors.
Even pitcher Dillon Gee joined in the hitting fun. When he singled in the seventh, it meant that all nine Mets starters had at least one hit.
On the mound, Gee (4-6) allowed one run over seven innings in his second consecutive solid start after his spot in the rotation had been put in doubt by a series of short outings. The run came in the first inning when Byrd misplayed a double by Denard Span , who then scored on a single by Ian Desmond .
"I can't be satisfied," Gee said. "I've got to continue to do it. It feels good to do it again, give the team a chance to win, but the guys did an awesome job, scored a bunch of runs."
The Nationals felt buoyed by a ninth-inning comeback in the series opener Tuesday, the first time they had come from behind to win this season when trailing after the sixth inning. Manager Davey Johnson was clean-shaven Wednesday, ending a razor boycott he had said would last until his team started hitting.
But Washington's bats remained cold. The Nationals scored 11 runs while hitting .197 with 42 strikeouts over six games. They had men on second and third with one out in the fourth inning, but Span struck out swinging and Jayson Werth struck out looking.
"Boy, it's been difficult," Johnson said. "But it seems like they were swinging the bats a little bit better tonight. Just didn't hit with men on base. It's frustrating."
The Nationals lost for the ninth time by six or more runs, passing last year's total of eight with more than 100 games to go.
Meanwhile, the starting rotation that has performed so well is showing some cracks. Stephen Strasburg , sidelined with a strained back muscle, joined Ross Detwiler on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.
And Haren? His ERA is now 5.45.
"I feel bad for the guys, letting them down. I can't be this inconsistent," he said. "I'm the same guy five days ago that went through one of the toughest lineups in baseball and kept us there. And then lay another egg tonight. It's just - I gotta be better."
NOTES: Black smoke was visible beyond the right-field bleachers throughout the game, the result of a fire at a hardware store about a mile away. The smoke wafted over the dome of the nearby U.S. Capitol nearby but did not drift over the ballpark and had no effect on the game. ... Nationals LHP Ian Krol made his major league debut by pitching a scoreless sixth, and Anthony Rendon made his first major league start at second base, taking over the position now that Danny Espinosa is on the DL. ... Mets LHP Jonathon Niese threw a bullpen session and said he feels on target to return to the rotation Saturday after missing one start with a sore shoulder. ... Collins said RHP Jeurys Familia might be done for the season after having surgery to remove bone spurs and loose bodies in the right elbow. "I don't think we'll have him this year," Collins said.
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