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           === Nats hope to avoid critical sweep at hands of Mets ===
 
 (Sports Network) - Going into the final month of the season, the Washington
 Nationals have a shot at a wild card berth, but hopes are begin to fade after
 a loss like Saturday night to the New York Mets.
 
 Ross Ohlendorf tries to get the Nationals back on the winning track Sunday
 when he takes his perfect record into the finale of a three-game series.
 
 The Nationals enter the day 7 1/2 games behind Cincinnati for the second wild
 card spot in the National League.
 
 Ohlendorf, who has pitched in 12 games and has made four starts, has yet to
 lose this season. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed only three hits and a
 run over five-plus innings of a home win against Miami Tuesday. He has an
 inflated 10.20 ERA in five games (2 starts) all-time against the Mets, but has
 yet to record a decision.
 
 Ohlendorf's last two games have been starts, both since coming off the
 disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
 
 Jonathon Niese, who is coming off a three-hitter against Philadelphia Tuesday
 in the second shutout of his career, counters for the Mets. Niese is 3-0 over
 his last five starts and hasn't lost since June 15 against the Cubs. The
 southpaw is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six starts versus Washington.
 
 The Mets will try to complete the sweep tonight after posting an 11-3 win last
 night.
 
 Omar Quintanilla, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. had two RBI
 apiece while Ike Davis, Matt den Dekker and Zack Wheeler each drove in one run
 for the Mets, who have won three straight.
 
 Davis left the game with a strained right oblique.
 
 "I feel terrible for Ike," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He went to the
 minor leagues, he worked very hard on some things and came back. We started to
 see some signs. The 2013 year has been real frustrating for Ike Davis."
 
 Wheeler (7-3) gave up two runs on five hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings.
 
 Jayson Werth, Denard Span and Ian Desmond all drove in a run for the
 Nationals, who have lost the first two games of this three-game set. Span is
 on a 14-game hitting streak.
 
 Dan Haren (8-12) struggled through 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on nine
 hits to suffer his first loss since July 22.
 
 "We know what we're up against," Haren said of the team's facing playoff
 chances. "Everyone is pretty down in here right now. It stinks tonight, but
 we'll be ready to play tomorrow."
 
 The teams have split 14 meetings this season.
 
 09/01 10:23:39 ET