The Mets bullpen came into yesterday as the worst in the majors, but when called upon against Washington, it got the job done.

LaTroy Hawkins, Brandon Lyon, Scott Rice and closer Bobby Parnell combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings for starter Dillon Gee, a welcome sight after Saturday night’s meltdown against the Nationals bloated their ERA to 5.47.

They were clearly tested. Gee left with a 2-0 lead in the sixth, but with two on and two out. Hawkins came on and caught Ian Desmond looking.

Lyon followed with a perfect seventh inning, before Rice put himself into trouble, surrendering a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi, walking outfielder Denard Span and falling behind Jayson Werth 3-0.

But when Werth swung away, Rice got him to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, the former calling it “one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done.” Rice fanned Bryce Harper to get out of the inning, and Parnell pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

* Shortstop Ruben Tejada, who has six errors on the season, made a great play to rob Kurt Suzuki up the middle and end the seventh.

* John Buck’s seventh homer is one shy of the club record for a catcher in April, shared by Todd Hundley and Mike Piazza. His 22 RBIs are fourth-best in team history behind Jeff Kent, Carlos Beltran and Bernard Gilkey.

* The Mets are off today, with Jon Niese (2-1, 3.80) opening the series against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 1.88) tomorrow.

* The Mets designated struggling Aaron Laffey for assignment and called up 24-year-old reliever Robert Carson from Triple-A Las Vegas in a swap of left-handers.