Mets target fifth straight win in middle game with Nats

Texas-born right-hander Dillon Gee makes the first start of his second full-time season with the New York Mets tonight when they host the Washington Nationals in the second of three games at Citi Field.

The Mets improved to 4-0 on the season in the series opener on Monday, when Daniel Murphy's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning yielded a 4-3 victory.

It's the first time New York has won its initial four games since 2007.

Jon Rauch (1-0) tossed two scoreless innings to earn the win. Starter Mike Pelfrey gave up three runs on 10 hits and a walk while tying his career-high with eight strikeouts through 5 2/3 innings.

Washington's Henry Rodriguez (0-1) gave up the deciding run after a costly throwing error to suffer the loss.

Gee, who'll turn 26 later this month, was 2-2 in five starts with the Mets in 2010, but became a full-time starter last season and won 13 of 19 decisions across 30 appearances with a 4.43 earned run average in 160 2/3 innings.

Gee allowed 150 hits and struck out 114 batters for the Mets while allowing 79 earned runs and walking 71.

The former 21st-round pick in 2007 has made five career starts against Washington, winning all three decisions with a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings.

The Nationals counter with 26-year-old lefty Ross Detwiler, who'll face the Mets for the sixth time and make his fourth start against them. He is 1-1 with a hold and a 4.50 ERA in 18 innings against them while allowing 19 hits and striking out nine.

Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft, made one appearance with Washington in 2007, was 1-6 in 15 games in 2009, won once in four decisions in 2010 and went 4-5 in 15 games - 10 appearances - in 2011.

In 172 1/3 career innings, Detwiler has allowed 184 hits, struck out 102 batters and walked 67.

Washington was 10-8 against the Mets last season.