NEW YORK -- Dillon Gee seemed all set to pitch yet another shutout. Once that bid slipped away, a win was plenty for him and the New York Mets.
Gee extended the Mets’ scoreless string to 29 innings before Baltimore broke through late, and New York held off the Orioles 4-3 on a steamy Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.
After R.A. Dickey pitched a one-hitter Monday night and Johan Santana teamed with a trio of relievers Tuesday night, Gee (5-5) nearly handed the Orioles their third straight shutout.
"It’s tough to follow those guys," Gee said. "It’s unbelievable what they’ve been doing."
Gee said sure, his goal was "to keep the streak going." He quickly added: "I’m not Johan and R.A."
"My job is to put the team in position to win," he said.
The Mets led 4-0 until Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer in the eighth. Steve Pearce drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before Brian Roberts grounded out to end it.
Gee had been nicked only by pitcher Brian Matusz’s single -- his first big league hit -- until Nick Johnson opened the eighth with an infield single and Betemit followed with a second-deck home run.
"Things happen quick. You’ve got to refocus," Gee said.
Silent for so long, the Orioles then threatened to go ahead. But with two on and two outs, Chris Davis hit a fly ball off Bobby Parnell that left fielder Scott Hairston caught
Frank Francisco escaped a jam in the ninth for his 17th save in 20 chances, completing the combined six-hitter.
Gee struck out a career-high nine and walked two in 7 1-3 innings. No one on the Orioles had ever faced Gee, and it showed -- he retired 13 straight batters, starting with J.J. Hardy’s lineout with runners on first and second to end the third.
Gee also doubled and scored a run.
It was 94 degrees at gametime. There were heat advisories posted in the city all day, and the warm weather may have contributed to a record nine home runs flying out of the new Yankee Stadium in Atlanta’s 10-5 win earlier in the afternoon.
But the ball wasn’t carrying at Citi Field -- at least not for the Orioles most of the game.
As Gee went into the late innings, Mets manager Terry Collins said, "I thought for sure Dillon was going to shut them out."
Baltimore’s scoreless streak reached 28 innings, its longest since a 29-inning drought in 2003, STATS LLC said. The Orioles totaled just 12 hits in the series while striking out 29 times. They dropped their sixth in a row to the Mets, dating to a 2010 series at Camden Yards.
"It’s a great park for defense and pitching, and they did that well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
"Our starting pitching presented itself pretty well the last three games. It’s just tough to match up with the starts they got," he said.