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Wed, Jun 5, 2013 - 7:05 PM ET
 

Mets-Nationals Preview

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After earning another start with his best performance of the season, Dillon Gee hopes to solidify his rotation spot with the New York Mets against the banged-up Washington Nationals.

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.

Danny Espinosa, who is hitting .158, joined star Bryce Harper on the disabled list Tuesday because of a fractured right wrist.

"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.

Tagged: Nationals, Mets, Dan Haren, Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee

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