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Mets and Nationals set to resume rivalry August 5

Zack Wheeler takes a six-game unbeaten streak to the mound on Tuesday when the Mets visit the Nationals.

The 24-year-old right-hander opens the three-game set at Nationals Park for the Mets, who are kicking off a seven-game road trip after losing three of four to the Giants at home.

Wheeler is coming off a solid outing on Wednesday when he limited the Phillies to two runs over 6 2/3 innings. He's gone at least six innings while giving up no more than two earned runs in each of his last six starts. Over that span, he's posted a 1.63 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He hasn't lost since June 25 against Oakland.

Wheeler said he's confident with the way his team is playing behind him.

"We're a good team right now, I feel," Wheeler said. "We're just a couple of swings or outs away from turning the corner. ... I feel like we're a whole different team from the beginning of the season, honestly."

Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, will be looking for a bounceback start for the National League East-leading Nationals. The left-hander was roughed up by the Phillies in his last outing, allowing five earned runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings on Thursday.

Gonzalez (6-7) hasn't won since July 5, but he's put in some solid work. He said he felt good against the Phillies despite the end result.

"Some ground balls didn't go my way," Gonzalez said. "They found the holes. I got the pitch I wanted. I got the result I wanted. They just found their way through [for] base hits."

Mets: Collins tossed in series finale
Mets manager Terry Collins was ejected after the seventh inning of Monday's game against the Giants for arguing balls and strikes.

For much of Monday's game, the Mets appeared to take issue with home-plate umpire Ben May's strike zone. Third baseman David Wright exchanged more than a few words with May after the umpire rung him up on a called strike three in the third inning, and may have been ejected had third-base coach Tim Teufel not intervened. Four innings later, Lucas Duda more subtly argued with May following another strikeout.

Collins began hollering at May from the dugout after Duda's strikeout, eventually emerging from the dugout. May ejected him between innings.

Nationals: Souza called up
The Nationals called up outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on Monday and placed outfielder Nate McLouth on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

Souza, 25, was having a tremendous season for Triple-A Syracuse, hitting .354 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs. The Chiefs were playing Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday when Souza was taken out in the first inning.

Souza -- Washington's No. 5 prospect -- more than likely will come off the bench and may get an occasional start. McLouth injured his shoulder making a diving play in a 7-6 loss to the Marlins on July 28.

McLouth, who signed a two-year deal in the offseason, is hitting .173 with one home run and seven RBIs.

Worth noting
• Long Island native Steven Matz delivered another strong outing Sunday for Double-A Binghamton, allowing one unearned run in six innings to lower his ERA to 2.85. Matz has struck out (44) more than four times as many batters as he has walked (10).

• Nationals center fielder Denard Span has reached base safely via hit or walk in 30 straight games dating back to June 28.

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