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Colon gives up two hits over 6 2/3 innings

Dillon Gee has never pitched in the Subway Series, but he's seen enough of the Yankees to know what to expect Saturday. Gee, somewhat of a good-luck charm this season, will lead the Mets against veteran Bartolo Colon, who will be returning from a three-week stint on the disabled list due to a hamstring ailment.

The Mets have gone 11-1 in Gee's 12 starts this season, and he's managed to complete six innings in six of his last eight starts. The right-hander's only loss came in an Interleague game against the A's on June 21, but he's ready to shed his spectator status and get on the mound against the Yankees.

"It almost feels like playoff baseball, I guess," said Gee of the atmosphere in the Subway Series. "I've never been in the playoffs in the big leagues, but if I could imagine it, it's probably something close to that. You can feel the energy. The fans all love it, and you get a lot of support. It's always fun playing those games."

Colon, meanwhile, will be happy just to be back on the mound. The right-hander was pitching well when he injured himself while attempting to cover first base back in the second week of June, and manager Joe Girardi said Friday that the Yankees will hold Colon to 80 pitches in his return to the rotation.

"He was outstanding for us before he had that little hamstring episode, so we're looking forward to getting back a healthy Bartolo," said Girardi. "We'll see how difficult those 80 pitches are.

"Maybe you let him go a little bit more, but hopefully he'd be able to get through six innings."

This much is certain: The Mets, one way or another, have gotten their intra-city rival's attention. The Mets beat two first-place teams -- the Tigers and Rangers -- in Interleague Play before taking on the Yankees, a team that has won a season-high six straight games and will take a full head of steam into Saturday.

"You have two clubs that are playing very well. The Mets have won three series in a row, and four out of five," said Girardi of the Mets, who have won six of their last nine games. "They've played very, very well, and offensively, they've been swinging the bats really well and they went and beat some very good teams."

Yankees: Nunez has career night in opener
Derek Jeter may be nearing a return to the Yankees' lineup, but Eduardo Nunez had four hits in Friday's win. Nunez saw his season average raise 27 points -- from .234 to .261 -- in the wake of his career night. Jeter, fighting back from a calf injury, is expected to play a rehab game for Double-A Trenton on Saturday.

Mets: Reyes keeps on chugging
Jose Reyes notched another two hits in Friday's series opener, and he's reached base safely in the first inning of seven straight games. The Mets are 15-4 when Reyes scores in the first inning -- a feat he didn't accomplish on Friday night -- and Girardi said that the Yankees can't afford to let him run wild.

"You've got to keep him off the bases, and the way he's swinging the bat, it hasn't been easy," said Girardi on Friday. "He's hitting close to .400 in the month of June. Now it's July 1, maybe he can go the other way."

Alex Rodriguez was even more effusive in his praise. Rodriguez, a three-time Most Valuable Player, said that Reyes is the best player in baseball, a label hard won by a torrid half-season.

"All world," said Rodriguez. "I'm a huge baseball fan, and anytime you see a kid like Reyes ... he's very exciting. If I wasn't playing third base, I'd buy a ticket and try to come all weekend, because you have great players all over the field. And right now, there's not a player in the world that's playing at a higher level than Jose Reyes."

Worth noting
• The Yankees have won five straight series, and are 16-4 in their last 20 games.

• The Mets are 23-20 on the road this season, and 18-21 at home.

• The Yankees are 12-4 in Interleague Play this season, and will play the Mets two more times before wrapping up against National League teams.

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