Tonight in MLB: Mets look to sweep Nationals

Tonight in MLB: Mets look to sweep Nationals
September 1, 2013, 10:45 am
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The Mets, seen here celebrating after Saturday's win, have not swept the Nationals in a three-game series since 2009. (USA Today Images)

Cliff Lee battled through five innings, allowing three runs and 12 baserunners as the Phillies fell to the Cubs, 4-3, at Wrigley Field on Saturday (see story).

The Phillies finally moved third baseman Michael Young late Saturday night, trading him to the Dodgers for minor-league pitcher Rob Rasmussen (see story).

Now, here are a few MLB games to keep an eye on today:

Mets at Nationals, 8:05 p.m.
The Nationals have had the Mets' number throughout the Davey Johnson era.

The New York Mets look to exact some revenge Sunday with their first three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals since 2009.

Johnson, whose first managerial job came with the Mets and was highlighted by winning the 1986 World Series, has seen his current team fall 7 1/2 games behind Cincinnati for the second NL wild-card spot after consecutive losses to New York - including an 11-3 defeat Saturday.

The Mets (62-72) will try to further damage the Nationals' slim playoff chances behind Jonathon Niese (6-6, 3.69 ERA), who has had their number of late. Since allowing six runs in 4 1-3 innings the first time he faced Washington, he is 3-0 with a 1.07 ERA against the Nationals (see full preview).

Rays at Athletics, 4:05 p.m.
The next time the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays meet, they could be facing off in the American League wild-card game.

For now, the Athletics can avenge their April sweep at the hands of the Rays completing their own on Sunday.

By winning the first two games of this series - and five of its last six overall - Oakland (77-58) has taken a 1 1/2-game lead over Tampa Bay for the first wild-card spot, which carries home-field advantage.

The A's won with timely hitting and good pitching Saturday as Coco Crisp's sixth-inning RBI single and eighth-inning solo homer provided the offense in a 2-1 victory after they had scored 38 runs in the previous five games (see full preview).

Marlins at Braves, 5:05 p.m.
Although their rotation has keyed their latest winning streak, the Atlanta Braves needed an offensive boost from an unlikely source to extend the run.

Giving the ball to one of their hottest pitchers should help the Braves resume their dominance on the mound.

Alex Wood looks to win his fourth straight decision and lead Atlanta to its seventh straight win Sunday night when they host the Miami Marlins.

B.J. Upton matched a season high with four hits, including a walk-off single in the 11th inning, as the Braves beat the Marlins 5-4 on Saturday for their 18th win in 21 games at Turner Field. Upton, batting a career-low .195, also hit his first home run since June 15 after going 4 for 40 in his previous 16 games (see full preview).