Dillon Gee's strong outing sparks Mets to sweep of Orioles

NEW YORK -- Dillon Gee seemed all set to pitch yet another

shutout. Once that bid slipped away, a win was plenty for him and

the New York Mets.

Gee extended the Mets' scoreless string to 29 innings before

Baltimore broke through late, and New York held off the Orioles 4-3

on a steamy Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.

After R.A. Dickey pitched a one-hitter Monday night and Johan

Santana teamed with a trio of relievers Tuesday night, Gee (5-5)

nearly handed the Orioles their third straight shutout.

"It's tough to follow those guys," Gee said. "It's

unbelievable what they've been doing."

Gee said sure, his goal was "to keep the streak going." He

quickly added: "I'm not Johan and R.A."

"My job is to put the team in position to win," he said.

The Mets led 4-0 until Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer in the

eighth. Steve Pearce drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before

Brian Roberts grounded out to end it.

Gee had been nicked only by pitcher Brian Matusz's single - his

first big league hit - until Nick Johnson opened the eighth with an

infield single and Betemit followed with a second-deck home run.

"Things happen quick. You've got to refocus," Gee said.

Silent for so long, the Orioles then threatened to go ahead. But

with two on and two outs, Chris Davis hit a fly ball off Bobby

Parnell that left fielder Scott Hairston caught against the wall.

Frank Francisco escaped a jam in the ninth for his 17th save in

20 chances, completing the combined six-hitter.

Gee struck out a career-high nine and walked two in 7 1-3

innings. No one on the Orioles had ever faced Gee, and it showed -

he retired 13 straight batters, starting with J.J. Hardy's lineout

with runners on first and second to end the third.

Gee also doubled and scored a run.

It was 94 degrees at gametime. There were heat advisories posted

in the city all day, and the warm weather may have contributed to a

record nine home runs flying out of the new Yankee Stadium in

Atlanta's 10-5 win earlier in the afternoon.

But the ball wasn't carrying at Citi Field - at least not for

the Orioles most of the game.

As Gee went into the late innings, Mets manager Terry Collins

said, "I thought for sure Dillon was going to shut them out."

Baltimore's scoreless streak reached 28 innings, its longest

since a 29-inning drought in 2003, STATS LLC said. The Orioles

totaled just 12 hits in the series while striking out 29 times.

They dropped their sixth in a row to the Mets, dating to a 2010

series at Camden Yards.

"It's a great park for defense and pitching, and they did that

well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

"Our starting pitching presented itself pretty well the last

three games. It's just tough to match up with the starts they

got," he said.

Matusz (5-8) struggled again in interleague play, dropping to

0-7 in AL vs. NL matchups. He gave up three runs and seven hits in

4 2-3 innings.

Matusz did get his first hit, however, lining a two-out single

up the middle in the third after starting his career 0 for 7 at the


The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Mike Nickeas got an RBI

single on a sinking liner that Gold Glove center fielder Adam Jones

reached in the right-center alley with a headlong dive, only to

have the ball bounce out of his mitt.

Hairston hit an RBI double in the fifth and another run scored

on Ike Davis' forceout, with Vinny Rottino making a hard takeout

slide into second.

Gee and David Wright doubled in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.

Game notes
The Mets are off Thursday, then begin the Subway Series

at home on Friday night. LHP Jonathon Niese starts the opener for

the Mets against Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte. ... Wright extended his

hitting streak to 11 games. ... Davis is in an 0-for-20 rut. ...

The Orioles have been shut out three straight times just once, in

1957. ... Orioles OF Nick Markakis will get a checkup Friday in

Baltimore on his broken right wrist. He had surgery June 1 and

Showalter said it's unlikely Markakis will play before July. ...

Nickeas had a rough go on one pitch in the ninth. Betemit's foul

ball hit him the mask and the backswing caught Nickeas on the arm.