Nats aim to even series with hosting Mets

The Nationals had their eight-game winning streak at Citi Field snapped last night, but Saturday afternoon they hope Gio Gonzalez can continue his success against the New York Mets in the middle portion of a three-game series.

Washington, which won 12 of their last 13 games at Citi Field until last night's 7-1 defeat, will look to Gonzalez to bounce back. The 27-year-old left-hander is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in three most-recent starts against the Mets. Gonzalez is 3-1 in five career starts versus the NL East rival.

Gonzalez is coming off a rough outing Sunday against Atlanta as he was tagged for seven runs on seven hits and three walks over five frames in a 9-0 loss.

Jeremy Hefner will try to turn around his early-season struggles as the right- hander gets the mound call for the Mets. The 27-year-old will start just two days after pitching an inning in relief of an 11-3 loss at Colorado. Hefner gave up a pair of solo homers.

In three career starts against the Nationals, Hefner is 0-3 with a 5.29 ERA.

Last night, Matt Harvey outdueled Stephen Strasburg to become the first four- game winner in the majors this season, while Ike Davis and Lucas Duda each belted a pair of home runs to help the Mets win.

Harvey (4-0) held the Nationals to one run on four hits while striking out seven over seven outstanding innings. The young righty received plenty of support from the combo of Davis and Duda, who combined for five RBI in the opener of this three-game series.

"Going out there I knew there was going to be a lot of adrenaline," Harvey said. "I was pretty pumped up. I wanted to do everything I could to win this game."

Strasburg (1-3) served up two of the long balls and was reached for four runs, two of which were unearned, while fanning six over six innings of work.

"I'm not having good enough feel early on," Strasburg said. "I'm just not throwing enough strikes early, and it's shooting myself in the foot."

Chad Tracy knocked in Washington's lone run with a seventh-inning single, one of only four hits for the defending NL East champs as they fell for the fifth time in their last seven outings.

Dating back to the final game of 2012, the Mets have hit a home run in eight straight home games, tied for the longest streak in Citi Field history. New York had a home run eight straight games at Citi Field from May 28-June 15, 2008.

Washington was 14-4 versus the Mets last season, going 8-1 on the road.