The New York Mets were shut out on Tuesday upon their return from a season-high 10-game road trip
However, manager Buck Showalter didn't want to blame jet lag for the quiet offensive effort in a 5-0 loss to the Washington Nationals
The Mets will look to snap a three-game losing streak on Wednesday, when they will host the Nationals in the middle game of a three-game series between the National League East rivals
Right-hander Kodai Senga (3-0, 4.29 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Mets against Nationals left-hander MacKenzie Gore (2-1, 3.43)
Washington's Josiah Gray and Mason Thompson combined to toss a five-hitter on Tuesday, when Keibert Ruiz homered and Joey Meneses and Luis Garcia had two RBIs apiece.
The loss was the third in a row for the Mets, who were on the verge of posting their best California trip ever before falling to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday and Sunday
New York went 7-3 against the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco, falling one win shy of tying the franchise record for most wins on a trek consisting entirely of games in California. The Mets went 8-1 against the Dodgers, Giants and San Diego Padres, Aug. 18-27, 1986
The Mets got little going on Tuesday, when they built their lone rally in the fifth inning. Down 2-0, New York loaded the bases with two outs before Gray struck out Starling Marte
Gray threw a perfect sixth inning and Thompson faced the minimum over the final three innings in recording his first save of the season and handing the Mets their fourth shutout defeat
Afterward, Showalter shrugged off the idea that the rigors of the West Coast trip were to blame for the loss.
"That's a very convenient excuse -- one our guys won't use," Showalter said. "It's something every team goes through."
The win continued an encouraging stretch for the Nationals, who improved to 3-1 on a six-game road trip in which they are facing a pair of likely contenders, the Twins and the Mets. Washington outscored Minnesota 14-9 while taking two of three over the weekend
The Nationals had 11 hits on Tuesday as they provided Gray some much-needed support. Washington had scored just one run in Gray's first four starts, during which he was 0-4 despite a 3.74 ERA
"We put the ball in play, we took our walks," manager Dave Martinez said of the Nationals, who walked six times in 4 2/3 innings against Mets starter Jose Butto. "We're doing better on just understanding who we are as hitters, swinging at pitches that are strikes. And we're going to continue to get better.
Senga remained unbeaten as a big-leaguer on Thursday, when he earned a win after allowing four runs over five innings as the Mets beat the Giants 9-4
The 30-year-old Japan native, who is set to make his fifth career U.S. start on Wednesday, has never faced the Nationals
Gore took a loss in his most recent start on April 19, when he gave up three runs over six innings as the Nationals fell 4-0 to the Baltimore Orioles
Gore has never opposed the Mets
--Field Level Media