Young southpaw Tom Milone makes his major-league debut game weekend series.

The 24-year-old Milone was a 10th-round pick of the Nationals in 2008 and has progressed through the minors since, playing Single-A ball through 2009 before moving to Double-A last season and Triple-A in 2011.

He was a 12-game winner at Potomac in 2009 and Harrisburg in 2010 and had gone 12-6 in 24 starts this season at Syracuse before getting the call to replace starter Jordan Zimmermann, who's been shut down for the rest of the season.

Milone, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, has pitched to a 3.22 earned run average so far this season, walking 16 batters and striking out 155 in 148 1/3 innings -- a ratio of 9.69 strikeouts per walk.

In Friday's opener, the Mets showed some uncharacteristic pop, using three home runs to top the Nationals, 7-3.

David Wright, Nick Evans and Lucas Duda all clubbed homers and Angel Pagan added a two-run single for the Mets, who have won three consecutive games.

R.A. Dickey (7-11) worked six-plus solid innings, giving up three runs on nine hits while fanning one without issuing a walk. Josh Stinson and Daniel Ray Herrera combined to finish off the Nats in the ninth.

Rick Ankiel ripped a two-run homer and Michael Morse chipped in with an RBI single for the Nationals, losers of three straight and nine of their last 10.

Ross Detwiler (2-5) was hammered in defeat, giving up six runs on seven hits in just three innings of work. He struck out two and walked none.

Tonight, second-year righty Dillon Gee aims for a fourth consecutive defeat of the Nationals, who he's not lost to in his brief big-league career.

The 25-year-old Texan has a 1.27 ERA across 21 1/3 innings while winning three decisions in three starts against Washington, in which he's allowed just eight hits and four runs.

Win No. 3 came July 29 at Nationals Park as Gee scattered four hits and allowed two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings of an 8-5 Mets win.

He's 2-2 in five starts since, including a 5-1 defeat of Florida in his last outing. In two August victories, he allowed just two runs on 11 hits in 12 2/3 innings.

The Mets are 4-6 in his last 10 starts and now own a slim 7-5 edge in the season series with the Nationals.