NEW YORK (AP) - With all the success he had enjoyed against Washington this season, Dillon Gee seemed like the right guy to slow down Jayson Werth and the charging Nationals.
Instead, they teed off.
Gee gave up early home runs to Werth and Adam LaRoche and the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.
Gee (11-10) was trying to beat the Nationals for the fifth time this year - the only Mets pitchers to defeat any opponent five times in a season are Tom Seaver (Pittsburgh, 1973), Dwight Gooden (Cubs, 1985) and R.A. Dickey (Marlins, 2012).
``This was the one night where I didn't think the command of his changeup was what we've been seeing lately. Balls were up in the middle of the plate,' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
``These guys are hitting them out of here like this is a bandbox, and we know it's not. When you can hit them that good, you're making pitches in bad spots,' he said.
Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston added a two-run shot, a day after Washington hit five home runs. The Nationals' eight homers are the most in consecutive games by any team in Citi Field's five-season history.
``Obviously I wasn't commanding the ball as well as I have been. You can't get away with that against these guys, so they made me pay,' Gee said.
Gee gave up four runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked none, struck out five and pitched at least six innings for the 14th straight start.
Gee left with the Mets down 4-3.
``Even when I have a bad night and give up some runs, I just kind of keep battling and figure it out out there. Try to get as deep as I can in the game,' he said.
``Maybe in the first two months of the season I'd have been out of that game in the third inning or the fourth inning. So it's definitely nice to kind of collect myself and be able to battle through into the seventh, and try to at least give us a chance,' he said.
Jordan Zimmermann wound up with his NL-leading 17th victory and Rafael Soriano closed for his 40th save as Washington tries to make a late playoff push.
Matt den Dekker chased Zimmermann with a two-run single in the sixth. Justin Turner doubled and hit an RBI single, but left with tightness in his right hamstring as the Mets lost for the seventh time in nine games.
Turner said he felt the problem as he rounded third on den Dekker's single.
``I've never had any hamstring problems before, so this is the first time I've ever felt anything there,' he said.
``It almost feels like a charley horse or a cramp in there,' he said. ``I think I'm going to go get a picture on it tomorrow and find out what exactly is going on in there. Hopefully it's not too bad and in a couple of days I'll be ready to get back out there.'
The Nationals have won six of seven, and have 18 games left this season. They closed within six games of Cincinnati for the final NL wild-card spot.
Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 21 games for Washington and catcher Wilson Ramos threw out two runners who tried to steal second and lined an RBI single.
Werth has gone 10 for 18 during Washington's winning streak with two homers and five doubles. He's scored five runs and driven in five while raising his batting average to .328.
Werth homered in consecutive games for the fourth time this season. Before this year, he had done it only twice since joining the Nats in 2011.
Zimmermann (17-8) topped the Mets for the first time in five starts this season. He gave up three runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.
Zimmermann, Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa and St. Louis' Adam Wainwright all started the day with 16 wins. Detroit's Max Scherzer tops the majors with 19.
Relievers Craig Stammen, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Soriano combined for four scoreless innings. Soriano reached 40 saves for his third team, having done it with Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees.
Werth hit his 23rd homer in the first and LaRoche led off the second with his 19th.
Span and Werth doubled in the third for a 3-0 lead. Werth doubled again in the sixth and scored on a two-out single by Ramos for a 4-1 lead. Hairston hit a two-run homer in the ninth on Tim Byrdak's first pitch.
NOTES: Mets closer Bobby Parnell had surgery on a herniated disk in his neck. Collins said he didn't have a timetable for Parnell's recovery and didn't yet know whether he'd be ready for spring training.
The Associated Press News Service
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