WASHINGTON, D.C.: Tanner Roark was rolling through five scoreless innings, with nine Ks on 87 pitches, but he ran into trouble in the sixth, and gave up a 2-0 lead when he surrendered three consecutive hits, a one-out single, RBI double, and two-run homer that put the visiting New York Mets up 3-2 after five and a half in the nation’s capital.
With a leadoff single and four straight one-out walks in Washington’s half of the sixth, however, the Nationals took a 4-3 lead. Wilmer Difo singled to center off Hansel Robles, and Anthony Rendon, Adam Lind, Michael A. Taylor, and Andrew Stevenson, all walked with Taylor and Stevenson forcing in the game-tying and go-ahead runs, respectively.
Matt Albers handled the seventh, and Shawn Kelley got the ball in the eighth, and recorded two outs, before Joe Blanton came on with a runner on recorded out No. 3.
Sean Doolittle came on for the save opportunity after Adam Lind added to the lead with an opposite field blast, 5-4, and Doolittle locked it down... after giving up three singles and a run.
Nationals now 78-51
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Tanner Roark struck out five of the first seven batters through two scoreless innings and retired nine of the first 11 Mets’ hitters he faced in the lightly-attended nightcap of the doubleheader with the Mets in Nationals Park.
• Roark added his sixth, seventh, and eighth Ks in a 19-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth that left him at 79 pitches total on the night after four scoreless.
T-Ro strikes out the side again!— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 28, 2017
He's got through 4 scoreless innings. pic.twitter.com/1TxvdanRUh
• Mets’ starter Seth Lugo wasn’t piling up Ks, but he’d retired nine of ten when he took the mound in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wilmer Difo and Daniel Murphy started the fourth with back-to-back singles, however, with Murphy’s sending Difo around the bases to put runners on the corners with no one out.
Anthony Rendon stepped in next and shot a 3-2 curve through the right side for an opposite field RBI single that made it 1-0 Nationals. Murphy beat the throw to third too, so the Nats had runner on the corners with no one out again.
Adam Lind sent a sac fly to center in the next at bat to bring Murphy in, 2-0. Rendon stole second on Lugo’s 70th pitch of the game, and the Mets went to the bullpen for Josh Smoker.
[ed. note - “It was Lugo’s first start off a DL stint for a right shoulder impingement, so guessing that had something to do with the early exit.”]
• Seth Lugo’s Line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 70 P, 51 S, 2/2 GO/FO.
• Jose Reyes (single to right) and Juan Lagares (RBI double to left-center) got the Mets on the board with one down in the sixth, connective for consecutive hits and cutting the Nationals’ lead in half, 2-1, and Brandon Nimmo followed with a two-run homer to center that put the Mets ahead, 3-2.
Roark’s 23-pitch sixth pushed him up to 110 pitches.
• Wilmer Difo singled to start the Nats’ sixth, and back-to-back, one-out walks by Anthony Rendon and Adam Lind loaded the bases in front of Michael A. Taylor vs Hansel Robles.
Taylor walked to force in a run, 3-3, and end Robles’s night. Chasen Bradford took over against Andrew Stevenson, fell behind, 3-1, and issued the second straight bases-loaded walk and fourth straight walk overall, 4-3, but Howie Kendrick sent a grounder to third in a pinch hit appearance, starting an inning-and-rally-ending 5-3 DP.
• Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 110 P, 75 S, 6/2 GO/FO.
• Matt Albers took the mound in the seventh, and gave up one and two-out singles by Kevin Plawecki and Matt Reynolds, with the second earning him a visit from pitching coach Mike Maddux, but a force at second ended a scoreless, 19-pitch inning. Still 4-3.
Stretch time here in the capital. pic.twitter.com/rK4EohfvdG— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 28, 2017
• Shawn Kelley took the mound for the Nationals in the eighth, and gave up a swinging bunt single by leadoff batter Juan Lagares, but retired two batters before Dusty Baker went to the pen again, for Joe Blanton, who got a fly to enter from Asdrubal Cabrera for the third out.
• Adam Lind took Erik Goeddel deep for a two-out opposite field blast on an 0-1 curve to give the Nationals a 5-3 lead after eight.
• Sean Doolittle came on with Metallica blaring and locked down the ninth after giving up three singles and a run.
Ballgame. Final Score: 5-4 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- At the start of play today, Washington held a 127-108 advantage in the all-time series with New York, and the Nationals had gone 45-26 against the Mets since 2014.
- Heading into today’s doubleheader, the Nationals had won 13 of 19 (since August 6th), outscoring their opponents 79-54 over that stretch.
- New York and Washington split the first two games of this weekend’s series, but the Mets were just 3-8 in their last 11 series with the Nationals heading into the four-game set.
- Before the first of two today, Nationals’ starters had posted a 1.99 ERA in their last 16 starts, leading the majors in starters’ ERA over that stretch.
- Washington’s offense started the day leading the majors in SLG (.458), runs scored (668), and extra-base hits (tied, 451), and the Nationals were ranked second in the majors in AVG (.270), fifth in OBP (.334) and sixth in home runs (180).
- New York’s offense started the day ranked fourth in the majors with an NL-leading 189 home runs on the season.
- The Mets came into the doubleheader today 3-7 in their last ten games and 16-25 since the All-Star Break.
- New York’s hitters had a total of 28 home runs in the last 19 games before today, and they added two off Nats’ starter Erick Fedde in the day half of today’s doubleheader, 30 in 20.
Nationals now 78-51