Five consecutive hits in the fifth and three straight one-out walks in the sixth set the Washington Nationals up with all they needed to take the second game of three with the New York Mets in D.C., 11-4.
It was tied up at 2-2 after four, but the Nats scored four in the fifth and added three in the sixth as the blew their 4th of July matchup with their divisional rivals wide open.
Bryce Harper (RBI single), Daniel Murphy (RBI single), and Ryan Raburn (2-run double) drove in the runs for the Nationals in the fifth, and Murphy (2-run single) and Adam Lind (RBI groundout) accounted for the three runs in the sixth.
Joe Ross gave up two solo shots, one each by Jose Reyes (on the 3rd pitch of the game) and Rene Rivera (on a hanging first-pitch slider in the fourth), but that was all the sinker-balling right-hander allowed over seven innings of work on the mound in the nation’s capital.
He gave up 10 hits total, but the Mets went 0 for 4 with nine left on base against the Nationals’ starter, who held the opposition to two runs or less for the fifth time in his last six starts, over which he’s put up a 2.95 ERA in 39 2⁄3 IP.
Final Score: 11-4 Nationals.
Nationals now 50-34
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Jose Reyes got the Mets off to a good start with a solo home run to right on an 0-2 slider from Joe Ross that did. not. slide. Third pitch of the game, 1-0 NY on No. 7 of the 2017 campaign for Reyes.
• The Mets stranded at least one runner in each of the first three innings, two each in the second and third innings, pushing Ross up to 55 pitches total on the day.
• Jose Lobaton singled to right to start the Nationals’ third, and he moved up on a one-out bunt single by Michael A. Taylor before scoring on a soft pop to short center by Bryce Harper that dropped in over Jose Reyes and in front of Brandon Nimmo for an RBI single, 1-1.
• Daniel Murphy hit a 1-0 fastball from Seth Lugo to left-center for a two-out RBI single that brought Taylor around and put the Nationals up 2-1 on the Mets.
• The Nationals’ lead didn’t last long as Rene Rivera hit the first pitch of the fourth from Joe Ross over the right field wall for an opposite field blast.
• Wilmer Difo singled on a grounder to center to start the Nationals’ fifth and scored on a single to right by Bryce Harper when Jay Bruce charged it but came up empty, 3-2, and 4-2 when Harper scored on a one-hop liner to third by Daniel Murphy that got by Wilmer Flores.
In play, run(s)!— #VoteRendon (@Nationals) July 4, 2017
Difo scores from 1st! Everybody safe! pic.twitter.com/ToaOB9j1PP
• Adam Lind and Ryan Raburn followed with the fourth and fifth straight hits off Lugo to star the bottom of the fifth, with Raburn’s hit a two-run, line drive double to right-center that brought Murphy and Lind in to make it 6-2 Nationals.
• Seth Lugo’s Line: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 74 P, 46 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
• Michael A. Taylor, Wilmer Difo and Bryce Harper took back-to-back-to-back one-out walks in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Daniel Murphy hit a two-run single to right to make it 8-2 Nationals. Harper scored on a groundout by Lind, 9-2 Nats.
• Joe Ross struck Lucas Duda out with a diving 3-2 change to end an 18-pitch seventh and his 4th of July start.
• Joe Ross’s Line: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 114 P, 77 S, 4/5 GO/FO.
• Blake Treinen worked around a leadoff single in a 14-pitch top of the eighth inning, and Wilmer Difo singled and scored on a Bryce Harper single when the Mets bobbled the ball in short right, 10-2. Daniel Murphy drove Harper in with an RBI double, 11-2.
• Oliver Perez gave up a two-out single by Asdrubal Cabrera and a two-out, two-run home run by Jay Bruce on a center-cut fastball. 11-4 Nationals. Ballgame.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- With last night’s win, Washington improved to 125-107 in the all-time series with New York, and the Nationals are 43-25 against the Mets since the start of the 2014 campaign.
- Washington is 7-4 on Independence Day in the nation’s capital heading into today’s matchup.
- This morning’s 11:00 AM start is not the New York Mets’ earliest. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Mets played a game at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field which began at 10:30 a.m on July 4, 1969.
- Michael A. Taylor’s home run last night was his 12th of the season, two shy of his previous career high.
- JINX CORNER: Washington has now gone 83 games this season without being shut out, leaving them as the only NL team and one of two MLB teams, along with the New York Yankees, who haven’t been shut out yet in 2017 either.
- Washington’s offense started the day leading the NL in AVG (.276), OBP (.344), SLG (.471), hits (803), extra-base hits (307), doubles, (169), runs scored (458), and RBIs (445).
- Nationals’ starters began the day leading the majors in Ks (541), and ranked second in WHIP (1.19), opponents’ batting average (.231), and opponents’ slugging percentage (.379).
Nationals now 50-34