(Sports Network) - Apparently, winning four straight games just isn't the Washington Nationals' thing.
After failing to win more than three games in a row for the seventh time this season, Washington instead seeks a series victory over the New York Mets in today's finale of a three-game set at Nationals Park.
The Nationals were stifled in their attempt to win a fourth straight game by Mets starter Dillon Gee, who was making his major league debut in the place of the injured Johan Santana (pectoral strain). The 24-year-old was outstanding, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning before eventually yielding one run on two hits over seven frames.
Gee also drove in a run for the Mets, who got a three-run homer from Ike Davis to win for just the third time in nine contests on a 10-game road trip that wraps up this afternoon.
"That's been the joke with me all season in Triple-A. I think I had 20- something [at-bats] and not one hit, so it was nice to get one here," Gee said.
New York picked up the win despite third baseman David Wright being a late scratch due to a bruised left finger suffered during a stolen-base attempt on Monday. The former All-Star is day-to-day, while teammate Jose Reyes sat out his 11th consecutive game because of a right oblique strain.
Willie Harris' leadoff homer in the sixth frame spoiled Gee's no-hit bid and represented the lone run for the Nationals. Cuban Yuneski Maya, also making his MLB debut, allowed four runs over five innings to take the loss, though he did retire 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.
"The third inning, fourth inning, fifth inning, he got much better location with his breaking ball and pitched effectively a little more," said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman of Maya. "He just got better as it went along."
Today's finale will feature a pair of 35-year-olds in the Mets' R.A. Dickey and Livan Hernandez of the Nats, and both hurlers are coming off rough outings.
Dickey has allowed 13 runs over his last three starts and a season-high seven of those came in Friday's loss in Chicago, the knuckleballer's first setback since Aug. 8. Dickey fell to 9-6 with a 2.91 earned run average on the season.
The right-hander owns a pair of no-decisions against Washington this year despite allowing only two earned runs in 13 frames of work, and is 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA lifetime against the Nationals.
Hernandez, meanwhile, is 1-2 over his last three starts and has yielded 20 runs over that time. Pitching on Friday for the first time since signing a one-year contract extension on Aug. 29, the righty was drilled for eight runs -- tying a season high -- over just 4 1/3 innings of work.
Hernandez, who is 9-10 with a 3.81 ERA this year, has performed well versus the Mets this year, going 1-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts. The veteran has faced the club 35 times in his career and is 12-13 with a 4.29 ERA.
The Nationals have won eight of 14 versus the Mets this year, with the teams splitting eight games in Washington.