(Sports Network) – Early-season phenom Dillon Gee can run his record to 8-0 tonight when the New York Mets visit the Atlanta Braves in the middle game of three straight between the National League East Division rivals at Turner Field.
The 25-year-old Gee was a 21st-round draft pick of the Mets in 2007 and first reached the majors at the tail end of 2010, when he made five starts and went 2-2 with a stingy 2.18 earned run average across 33 innings.
He’s continued the stellar results in his first spring as a big-leaguer, winning all seven of his decisions across 12 overall outings, including his last five assignments as a starter.
The 6-foot-1, 204-pound right-hander was an 8-1 winner at Pittsburgh in his most recent trip to the mound on June 10 after allowing eight hits and a run in eight innings.
He toppled the Braves with an even better performance six days earlier, scattering four hits across seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 Mets win.
New York has won the last seven games in which he’s pitched.
Gee has faced Atlanta three times in 17 overall games with the Mets, winning two of three decisions and posting a 1.83 ERA in 19 2/3 innings.
New York won Tuesday’s series opener when Jose Reyes scored a pair of runs and Jon Niese worked 6 1/3 strong innings on the way to a 4-3 triumph.
Reyes went 3-for-5 in recording his major league-best 34th multi-hit game of the season. Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Mets, who have won two of three and eight of their last 12.
Niese (6-5) allowed two runs on five hits while striking out four and issuing zero walks.
Tim Byrdak recorded a pair of crucial strikeouts in relief and Francisco Rodriguez worked a perfect ninth to earn his 19th save of the season.
Jair Jurrjens (8-3) allowed four runs on eight hits and a season-high five walks while striking out three over 5 1/3 innings to drop his first game at home this season.
Dan Uggla slugged a home run for the Braves, who have dropped two straight, while David Ross went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Atlanta sends 35-year-old righty Tim Hudson to the mound to face Gee in his 22nd career start against New York.
The Georgia native has won 13 of 20 lifetime decisions against the Mets while posting a 3.64 ERA in 136 innings.
He’s coming off a win in his last start on June 10, when he earned an 11-4 decision at Houston with six innings of two-run ball while scattering seven hits.
One start earlier, he dropped a 6-4 verdict to the Mets in New York after allowing five runs on seven hits in four innings.
It was just the second time in 13 starts Hudson failed to last five innings.
New York has won four of seven meetings with the Braves this season.