Nationals 5-2 over Mets: Nats win ninth straight against New York Mets

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals won their ninth straight game against the New York Mets tonight, 5-2. The Nats got to Mets' lefty Jon Niese early in Nationals Park, scoring five runs in the first three innings then held on for their 22nd win of the season.

Nation's Capital Top 5:

5. Quick Recap: The Washington Nationals entered their matchup with the New York Mets with an eight-game win streak going against their NL East rivals which stretched back from the three-game season-opening series in Citi Field in April to a four-game sweep in the Mets' home late last year and the finale of a three-game set in the nation's capital last September 1st.

The Nats took an early lead tonight in Nationals Park.

Denard Span singled to right in the first at bat of the bottom of the first inning and took second when Anthony Rendon reached safely on an error by David Wright. Jayson Werth stepped up with two on and no one out and singled to left off Mets' lefty Jon Niese. Span came in from second on Werth's hit to make it 1-0 DC. Both runners advanced into scoring position when Eric Young, Jr. overthrew the cutoff man as Span scored and Rendon then scored from third base on a sac fly to left-center by Wilson Ramos. 2-0 Nationals quickly in the first.

Tyler Moore hit into what should have been a double play, but Daniel Murphy bobbled it and only got the force at second as the Nats' third run of the first inning scored. 3-0 Nationals after one.

The Nationals struck again in the third with a two-out rally. Wilson Ramos singled to center with one down, and one out later, Scott Hairston doubled him in to make it 4-0 Nationals before scoring himself on an RBI single to left by Tyler Moore. 5-0 Nats after three in D.C.

The Mets finally snapped Tanner Roark's 2014 scoreless inning streak in Nationals Park at 19 2/3 IP when Lucas Duda singled to start the fifth, took third on a double by Anthony Recker and scored on an RBI groundout by Ruben Tejada. Eric Young, Jr.'s two-out double to left brought Recker around and it was 5-2 Nationals after five in D.C.

Ross Detwiler, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard followed Roark on the mound and combined for three scoreless to preserve the Nats' three-run lead through seven and a half.

Rafael Soriano

4. Ro-ark vs New Yo-ark: In nine games and three major league starts so far in his big league career, 27-year-old Nats' starter Tanner Roark is undefeated at home. Heading into tonight's start vs the New York Mets in the nation's capital, the one-time Texas Rangers' prospect acquired in a July 2010 deal that sent Cristian Guzman to Arlington was (4-0) at home in Nationals Park early in his MLB career, with a 0.26 ERA, a 2.30 FIP, nine walks (2.31 BB/9) and 27 Ks (6.94 K/9)  in 35 IP in D.C., over which he'd held opposing hitters to a combined .163/.221/.180 line.

The Nationals' Wilmington, Illinois-born right-handed starter entered tonight's start against the Mets with a 15 2/3 scoreless inning streak going in his adopted home so far in 2014 and 25 scoreless innings going in D.C. overall. Roark walked three (1.72 BB/9) and struck out 13 (7.47 K/9) over his 15 2/3 scoreless this season while holding opposing hitters to a .179/.224/.200 line.

Against New York, Roark was also undefeated heading into tonight's start, at (2-0) with a 2.93 ERA in three games, two starts and 15 1/3 IP over which he walked seven (4.11 BB/9) and struck 13 (7.63 K/9). Mets' hitters had a combined .273/.349/.364 line against him before tonight.

Roark was coming off a strong outing against the Oakland A's in which he allowed just two hits and one run in 7 2/3 IP on the mound in the O.co Coliseum in what ended up a 4-3 loss when Rafael Soriano blew his first save of the season.

"He threw the fastball in to left-handers," Matt Williams explained as he praised Roark's work against the Athletics. "Comeback fastball to freeze a few guys. And he pitched really well."

Against the Mets tonight, Roark's first inning of work began with a sharp groundout to second...

1st: Mets' leadoff man Eric Young, Jr. sent a 92 mph 1-2 fastball out to second to start tonight's game. Daniel Murphy flew to left on a 92 mph 2-2 fastball. David Wright got two outs to play with when Tyler Moore dropped his pop up in foul territory off first and singled with two down. Curtis Granderson stepped in with a runner on, but went down swinging to end a 23-pitch frame.

2nd: Given a 3-0 lead to work with, Tanner Roark walked Bobby Abreu in the first at bat of the second. Lucas Duda flew to left for out no.1. Mets' C Anthony Recker took a 92 mph 1-2 fastball for a called strike three and out no.2. Ruben Tejada's groundout to second ended a 20-pitch second that left Roark at 43 overall after two.

3rd: Tanner Roark got Jon Niese swinging with an 0-2 fastball for out no.1 of the third. Eric Young, Jr. grounded out to first for the second out of the inning. Daniel Murphy's weak roller to second ended a quick, seven-pitch inning that left Roark at 51 overall after three.

4th: David Wright lined out to second to start the Mets' fourth. Curtis Granderson grounded weakly to second base. Bobby Abreu went down swinging at a 1-2 change and it was 5-0 Nats after a nine-pitch fourth that left Roark at 60 pitches total on the night.

5th: Lucas Duda singled to center to start the fifth and the Mets' first baseman took third on a double to left by catcher Anthony Recker. Tanner Roark's scoreless inning streak at home was in jeopardy, and it ended when Ruben Tejada grounded out to third to score Duda. 5-1. Pinch hitter Chris Young popped out to Anthony Rendon in foul territory off third. Eric Young, Jr. lined a two-out double to left that Scott Hairston couldn't get to. 5-2 Nationals. Roark walked Daniel Murphy to put two on with two out and David Wright due up. Wright popped up to second to end a 27-pitch frame. 87 pitches total for Roark after five.

Ross Detwiler took over on the mound in the sixth...

Tanner Roark's Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 87 P, 62 S, 6/2 GO/FO.

3. Don't Let'em Beat Ya: Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos entered tonight's game with the Nats' NL East rivals from New York 37 for 97 career vs the Mets (.381/.408/.701) with 10 doubles and seven home runs in 29 games and 103 plate appearances. Mets' third baseman David Wright started the Mets' three-game series in D.C. with 188 hits in 619 at bats against the Nats in his 11-year MLB career, good for a .304/.384/.502 line with 50 doubles, five triples and 21 HRs off Nationals' pitchers in 163 games.

While Wright entered tonight's game with a .282/.326/.376 line on the year, Ramos was still working his way back to full strength after he suffered a broken hamate bone in his left hand in the season-opener against Wright's Mets.

In Wright's first at bat tonight, he popped to foul territory off first where Tyler Moore missed a chance at out no.3 of the first inning, committing the Nationals' 37th error of the year. Wright took advantage of the second chance and singled to right with two down. 189 for 620 career... Wright was stranded at first, however.

Wilson Ramos stepped up for the first time with runners on second and third in the bottom of the first inning after an RBI single by Jayson Werth and an ill-advised throw home by Eric Young, Jr. Ramos hit a sac fly to left field to bring Anthony Rendon in from third to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the first.

Ramos' second at bat in the third saw the 26-year-old catcher single to center and he scored in the next AB when Scott Hairston doubled to left field. 1 for 1 w/ a sac fly for Ramos.

David Wright was 1 for 2 tonight after he lined softly to second to start the fourth.

There were two on and two out when Wilson Ramos faced Jon Niese for the third time tonight, but the Nats' backstop K'd swinging at a 3-2 bender. 1 for 2.

Wright's third at bat came with two on and two out in the fifth. He popped out to second to end the frame.

Ramos lined out to center in the first at bat of the seventh, leaving him 1 for 3 on the night.

Tyler Clippard struck David Wright out with a 1-2 heater up and away in the eighth. 1 for 4.

Advantage: Ramos

2. Niese vs the Nats: While the Nationals entered first game of three with NY in D.C. with a .281/.335/.435 line vs LHP in 2014, good for 2nd in AVG, 5th in OBP and 3rd in SLG in the National League, they didn't have good numbers as a team when facing Mets' left-hander Jon Niese.

New York's 27-year-old, seven-year veteran took the mound in Nationals Park with a (3-0) record, a 2.47 ERA, eight walks (1.65 BB/9) and 43 Ks (8.86 K/9) in seven starts and 43 2/3 IP against the Nats in his career, having held Nationals' hitters to a .263/.297/.377 line before this evening's outing.

The Nationals scored three runs on Niese in the bottom of the first inning tonight.

After Niese threw a scoreless second, the Nationals got to the lefty again in the third. Wilson Ramos singled with two down and scored on a double to left by Scott Hairston. Hairston then scored on an RBI single to left by Tyler Moore.

5-0 Nationals after three.

Niese was lifted after 4.0 IP in which he allowed eight hits and five runs, three earned.

1. The Wrap-Up: Carlos Torres took over on the mound for New York in the bottom of the fifth and threw a quick, 14-pitch, 1-2-3 frame. Ross Detwiler threw a scoreless inning after taking over on the mound in the sixth.

Denard Span singled with two down in the sixth, leaving him 2 for 3 with a walk on the night. Anthony Rendon's walk brought Jayson Werth up with two on and two out, but Werth K'd on a check-swing strike three on a 1-2 curve in the dirt from Torres.

Drew Storen retired the first two batters he faced in the seventh, but Mets' pinch hitter Eric Campbell doubled to left in his two-out at bat. Eric Young, Jr. stepped in with a runner in scoring position, but went down swinging to end the inning. Still 5-2 Nationals.

Jose Valverde pitched the bottom of the seventh for New York. Greg Dobbs singled off the right-hander with two down in the inning in his first at bat for the Nationals, but after he took second on a wild pitch he was thrown out while trying to score on a line drive to left by Tyler Moore.

Tyler Clippard gave up a leadoff single by Daniel Murphy in the eighth and a two-out walk to Bobby Abreu, putting two on with two out in front Lucas Duda, whose fly to center ended the Mets' eighth.

Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Rafael Soriano took the mound in the ninth with a three-run lead looking for save no. 9 in 10 opportunities. Soriano's scoreless frame was interrupted by a Mets fan who ran on to the field and back-to-back two-out walks, but he completed the ninth with help from Jayson Werth, who pulled a potential game-tying home run by Daniel Murphy off the top of the wall in right field.

Ballgame.

Work's done! Untuck that jersey, son!!

Nationals now 22-19

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