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FLA@NYM: Gee hurls six frames of one-run ball

While a level of uncertainty surrounded his first start of the season back on July 29 against the Mets, this time around against them, the Nationals' Chien-Ming Wang will be more settled.

Facing the Mets on Tuesday at Citi Field -- seven starts later -- the right-hander has continued to progress since returning from right shoulder surgery.

In his last start against the Dodgers, Wang (2-3, 4.43 ERA) received a no-decision, tossing six innings, while giving up four runs on seven hits. An encouraging sign for the Nats, Wang retired 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced.

"I thought he had a great sinker, much more so than his last outing," manager Davey Johnson said after the start. "His delivery was a lot sounder. As far as I was concerned, it was a good outing."

Just like that first start, Dillon Gee (12-6, 4.42 ERA) will be on the bump for the Mets against Wang.

Alternating good starts with poor ones the past month or so, Gee has continued to get back into his early-season form.

Thursday against the Braves, the right-hander notched just his third quality start in his past seven outings, going six-plus innings and allowing three runs (two earned) in the loss.

Gee saw the contest as an important step in finishing his first Major League season strong.

"For me, it's huge," Gee said. "This whole game is how you finish. That's what people remember.

"This inconsistency right now is kind of killing me, but at least I am having some good ones and hopefully I can learn from those and try to repeat them."

Nationals: Brown out with knee infection

Called up from Triple-A Syracuse last Tuesday, Nationals outfielder Corey Brown didn't travel with the team to New York because of a knee infection. Team doctors suggested that it would be better if Brown didn't travel with the club.

Manager Davey Johnson was informed of Brown's problem when the team was packing for their four-game set against the Mets.

Johnson is hoping Brown will be able to return to action by the end of the four-game series.

"The doctors felt that rather than go on the road trip, maybe have him see a doctor," Johnson said. "Instead of getting better, it could get worse. I think there was a concern that it could turn into a staph infection. We just kept him in Washington to be on the safe side. Hopefully today or tomorrow, he could be all right and rejoin the club."

Mets: Bay named Player of the Week

For the second consecutive week, a Mets player took home National League Player of the Week honors. Following David Wright last week, Jason Bay nabbed the award this week.

Bay tied for the Major League lead in hits (13), total bases (24) and doubles (five). He also produced a .481/.500/.889 batting/on-base/slugging line last week, driving in an NL-high 10 runs.

Bay's biggest hit of the week came Thursday, when he hit his fourth career grand slam in the opener of a doubleheader against the Braves at Citi Field. Bay went 3-for-6 with five RBIs in the twin bill, though the Mets were swept.

• Jose Reyes continues to battle it out with Ryan Braun for the NL batting title, something no Mets player has won. Reyes is batting .329, while Braun is batting .331.

"Is he aware of it? Of course he's aware of it. It's on the scoreboard, people talk to him about it, and as far as the organization goes, when you have a player of his quality that came up through your organization, they should be very proud of it and you should be very proud of it and fight for it," manager Terry Collins said. "I don't want it to be the all-consuming part of his game by any means. And I don't think it is."

Worth noting

• Since becoming the Nationals' primary leadoff hitter on Aug. 17, Ian Desmond has batted .288 (30-for-104) with 14 runs scored, four doubles, four home runs and seven RBIs.

• The Nationals haven't won more than 73 games since 2005, in which they went 81-81.

• Lucas Duda is batting .304 (55-for-181) since the All-Star break and has 17 RBIs and four home runs over his last 23 games.

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