MacKenzie Gore looks to help Nats avoid sweep vs. Mets

Phil Maton put on a New York Mets jersey for the first time Wednesday night — and watched as his new teammates in the bullpen produced a much-needed shutdown effort.

Maton and the Mets will look to complete a sweep of Washington on Thursday afternoon when New York hosts the Nationals in the finale of a three-game series.

David Peterson (3-0, 3.58 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against fellow left-hander MacKenzie Gore (6-7, 3.83).

Jose Iglesias laced a go-ahead, two-run single during a four-run sixth inning Wednesday for the Mets, who went on to earn a 6-2 win.

Maton, a reliever who was obtained from the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, wasn’t needed to make his New York debut Wednesday thanks to an impressive performance by relievers Jake Diekman, Danny Young and Jose Butto.

The trio combined to blank the Nationals on one hit over the final 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Luis Severino. Young got the first two outs of the eighth inning hours after being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. Butto, who made his first 15 appearances this season as a starter between the Mets and Syracuse, tossed 1 1/3 perfect innings for his first career save.

New York relievers gave up 13 runs over 7 1/3 innings the previous three games to raise the bullpen’s season ERA to 4.24.

“I’ve been saying it: Eventually, they’re going to get it done,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “And tonight was a perfect example of it. We asked a few guys to come in in different situations and in spots where they’re not used to it, and they got the job done.”

Washington manager Dave Martinez was left frustrated after another game in which his club struggled to get the job done on offense. One night after Mets starter Jose Quintana allowed one hit over seven scoreless innings, Severino didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, when the Nationals scored both of their runs and collected four of their five hits.

The loss was the 15th in the past 22 games for the Nationals, a span in which they scored two runs or fewer nine times. Washington has scored in just three innings over the past two games against the Mets.

“We’ve got to hit, we’ve got to score some runs,” Martinez said. “(Tuesday), we scored some runs late. (Wednesday), we got on Severino a little bit there and then the at-bats went away again. We’ve got to put pressure on the other team.”

Peterson didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start, when he allowed two runs over 4 1/3 innings in the Mets’ 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. He is 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 11 career games (eight starts) against the Nationals, including a 1-0 mark with a 2.77 ERA in two starts vs. Washington this year.

Gore also got a no-decision on Saturday after giving up five runs and six hits over 3 1/3 innings in the Nationals’ 14-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. He is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA in five career starts against the Mets. He lost to New York on June 3, when he yielded six runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

–Field Level Media