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By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange April 21, 2013 4:20 PM
NEW YORK -- John Buck continued his red-hot hitting with a second-inning homer and Dillon Gee and four New York relievers combined on a four-hit shutout Sunday as the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 2-0 in front of 26,225 at Citi Field. Bobby Parnell picked up his second save for the Mets, who threw their first shutout of the season. The Nationals were blanked for the third time. Buck's team-high seventh homer -- two more than Mets catchers hit all of last season -- landed in the second deck. He has 21 RBI, five shy of the franchise record for April set by Jeff Kent in 1994. The Mets extended the lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning. David Wright walked and went to third on Ike Davis' single. One out later, Lucas Duda drew a walk and Mike Baxter brought Wright home with a sacrifice fly to deep center. Gee, who gave up 12 runs and 17 hits in 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts, claimed his first win of the season, allowing three hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. After surrendering consecutive two-out singles in the first, Gee retired 13 of 14 batters before tiring in the sixth, when he issued all three of his walks before LaTroy Hawkins came on and struck out Ian Desmond. Gee and the Mets were helped earlier in the sixth when Denard Span tried to take second as a Gee pitch bounced in front of the plate. Buck easily threw Span out for the second out of the inning. Scott Rice got out of a jam in the eighth when he allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi and walked Span before falling behind 3-0 on Jayson Werth. But Werth swung at the next pitch and hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Rice then struck out Bryce Harper to end the inning. Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman (3-1) was saddled with his first loss after giving up two runs and two hits and three walks with four strikeouts in a season-low five innings. Zimmerman threw 96 pitches, just seven less than he threw in a complete-game win over the Miami Marlins on Monday. Rookie Anthony Rendon, the Nationals' top prospect, started at third base and went 0 for 4 -- including a game-ending strikeout -- with an error in his major-league debut. Rendon was recalled from double-A Harrisburg earlier Sunday morning to take the spot of starting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who went on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. NOTES: Rendon was born June 6, 1990 -- eight days after Nationals manager Davey Johnson was fired by the Mets. ... The Nationals have five first-round picks on their 25-man roster: Rendon, Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Drew Storen (2009) and Ross Detwiler (2007). In addition, Zimmerman was a first-round pick in 2005. ... The Nationals return home Monday to begin a seven-game homestand. They are in the midst of 17 games in as many days. ... Mets right-hander Shawn Marcum, who has been sidelined all season with nerve inflammation in his neck and shoulder, is scheduled to throw about 75 pitches in a rehab start Monday. If he comes out of that fine, he'll likely start for the Mets next Saturday against the Phillies. ... The Mets recalled left-handed reliever Robert Carson from triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday and designated left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey for assignment. Laffey had a 7.20 ERA in four games (two starts) for the Mets. ... Mets right-handed reliever Frank Francisco (elbow surgery) threw a perfect inning for Class A St. Lucie on Saturday night.