Texas-born right-hander Dillon Gee aims for a third straight New York pitching gem tonight when the Mets host the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of a three-game interleague series at Citi Field.
The Mets come in with two straight wins thanks to two straight superb mound performances, the most recent coming Tuesday night when Johan Santana tossed the team's straight shutout in a 5-0 win.
Santana (5-3) went six innings, allowed four hits and struck out five in his third start since throwing the first no-hitter in franchise history. Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista and Jon Rauch each added a scoreless frame to complete the shutout.
Still, his recent production will undoubtedly be overshadowed by R.A. Dickey, who tossed his second consecutive one-hitter in Monday's opener.
Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer and Jordany Valdespin added a two-run single for the Mets, who were swept by the Reds over the weekend.
Tommy Hunter (3-4) gave up five runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings in the loss.
"Tonight we had some opportunities we just didn't come through," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. "It's frustrating but it's part of the game."
Gee, who debuted with the Mets in 2010 after his 21st-round draft selection in 2007, hasn't won since a 6-1 defeat of San Diego on May 25.
That victory got him to 4-3 on the season through nine starts, but he's since gone 0-2 in four outings - including losses to the New York Yankees and Cincinnati on June 9 and 15.
Since beating the Padres, he's given up 22 hits and 12 runs in 26 2/3 innings, while actually lowering his earned run average from 4.92 to 4.43.
The 26-year-old has never faced the Orioles.
For Baltimore, lefty Brian Matusz takes the mound against the Mets for the second time in his career.
Now 25, he faced them as a 23-year-old at Camden Yards in 2010 and emerged with a tough-luck 3-1 loss after allowing three runs on five hits in eight innings.
The loss dropped him to 2-7 at the time, but he rebounded to win eight of his last 13 decisions to end the year at 12-10.
Matusz skidded to just 1-9 in 12 starts last season and has won five of 12 decisions in 13 outings so far in 2012 - the last coming June 2 at Tampa Bay.
In two subsequent starts, he's allowed 13 hits and nine runs in 7 2/3 innings against Boston and Atlanta.
New York has won 18 of 27 interleague games between the teams, including three straight in the 2010 series in Baltimore.