Mets turn to Wheeler to salvage finale versus Nats

New York Mets promising prospect Zack Wheeler makes his Citi Field debut Sunday when they conclude their three-game series.

Wheeler, a 23-year-old right-hander, didn't get a decision in the Mets' 5-4 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday. He threw 109 pitches over 5 1/3 innings in his second big league start and allowed four hits and four runs. Wheeler broke into the majors June 18 by throwing six shutout innings in a win at Atlanta.

The Nationals counter with left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who is 1-0 over his last five appearances. Gonzalez, who hasn't lost since May 27 against Baltimore, is coming off a victory Tuesday versus Arizona when he yielded nine hits and a pair of runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA in six career starts against the Mets. He was touched for five hits and five runs in four innings of a no-decision at Citi Field on April 20.

Dillon Gee tossed six solid innings, Daniel Murphy and Marlon Byrd each scored twice and the Mets tallied all their runs in the middle innings to take a 5-1 victory on Saturday.

The Mets lost the opener of this three-game series on Friday after the bullpen spoiled another dominant outing from Matt Harvey, but received three scoreless innings of relief Saturday to finish off Gee's fourth win in five decisions.

After getting rocked in his last start, Gee (6-7) limited the Nationals to six hits and three walks. He was charged with one run and struck out four to improve to 6-1 in nine career starts against the Nationals.

"It just seems like we're playing with a little bit more fire now," said Gee, whose team is 9-5 in their last 14 games. "It's awesome."

Murphy had three hits, while Byrd and John Buck each knocked in a run. Eric Young Jr. and Kirk Nieuwenhuis each had a sacrifice fly in the victory.

In his major league debut, Taylor Jordan (0-1) became the culprit of three errors by the Nationals' defense. He was charged with three runs -- one earned -- on five hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings.

"He battled out of a tough situation, he pitched good," said Washington manager Davey Johnson.

Kurt Suzuki had three of Washington's seven hits and knocked in his team's only run.

The Mets extended a single-season franchise mark scoring five or fewer runs in 28 consecutive games at home. The last time the Mets scored more than five runs at home was April 24 in a 7-3 win versus the Dodgers.

The Mets have won four of the seven meetings this season.