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Washington Nationals keep blowing leads, lose to New York Mets, 8-7 final in Citi Field

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Davey Martinez’s club scored seven runs, but they weren’t enough in an 8-7 loss to the Mets.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Washington and New York got one-inning-plus in last night in Citi Field before the rainfall in Flushing, Queens forced the clubs to suspend the game and pick things up this afternoon.

It was 3-1 Nationals at that point, with Juan Soto hitting a three-run home run off of Mets’ starter Carlos Carrasco in the top of the first, and Dominic Smith driving in a run with his 15th double of the season in the bottom of the inning before it went into a delay...

They picked things up this afternoon and traded runs back and forth with the Nationals adding one in the second before the Mets scored three in the third.

A three-run fifth for Washington made it a 7-4 game, but NY chipped away with runs in the bottom of the fifth and seventh innings, 7-6, then tied things up in the eighth, 7-7, and then 8-7 when Brandon Drury hit a pinch hit, RBI single to cap off the comeback.

Espino vs the Mets: Paolo Espino had his first stinker last time out before tonight, after allowing three earned runs or fewer in each of his previous outings this season, but the right-hander gave up eight hits and six earned runs in five innings on the mound in the Nationals’ 9-5 loss to the Phillies last week in the nation’s capital.

“I mean, if you don’t pitch the way you’re supposed to you’re going to get punished,” Espino told reporters after the outing, in which he acknowledged leaving a number of pitches up in the zone that were hit around the ballpark.

“I definitely — I didn’t pitch the way I normally pitch. I made a lot of mistakes today, and I got — it paid. I’m just going to go out there in the next few days, keep working and make sure I get back to where I was.”

Looking to rebound from that outing against a Mets team he faced twice earlier this season, with a total of six scoreless innings, one in a relief appearance in April and five in a start late in June, Espino took the mound in Citi Field with a 3-0 lead, courtesy of Juan Soto’s three-run blast in the top of the first, and the starter retired the first two Mets’ hitters, but then a pair of doubles, by Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith got the home team on the board, 3-1.

That’s all Espino got in, however, before the rain came and eventually forced the clubs to suspend action and pick it up at 4:10 PM on Wednesday, before the second of three with the Mets in Citi Field.

Carrasco vs the Nats: Acquired from Cleveland in the Francisco Lindor traded last January, Carlos Carrasco’s 2021 campaign was delayed by a hamstring injury in Spring Training and then a series of setbacks that kept off the mound in the majors until July 30th, when he got to make his first start for the Mets and gave up a run on three hits in four innings.

In start No. 2 with his new team, the 34-year-old right-hander went 4 13 innings in which he gave up five hits and two runs.

Start No. 3 began with a line drive single to left field by Victor Robles, and a bunt single by Alcides Escobar, then a three-run, opposite field home run by Juan Soto, who returned to the Nationals’ lineup with a bang after a few days off for a tweaked right knee. Soto hit a 1-1 changeup out the other way for his 19th home run and a 3-0 lead.

Bullpen Action - Take 2: Rich Hill took over for the Mets when the teams resumed play, with a runner, Riley Adams, who singled before the rain came last night, on first base, and a bunt by pitcher Paolo Espino moved him to second, before Adams scored on a fly ball to left that Dom Smith tracked it to the wall but couldn’t catch it, 4-1.

Joe Ross came on in relief/took over for the Nationals and worked around a single and an error in his first inning of work in the second, but the Mets scored three runs in the home-half of the third, with Brandon Nimmo doubling and scoring on a Jeff McNeil single to start the scoring, 4-2.

Pete Alonso singled to move McNeil up before a Dom Smith fly to center and ground ball by Michael Conforto brought him in, 4-3, and a J.D. Davis double plated Alonso, 4-4.

Yadiel Hernández took his third walk in three plate appearances to lead off the top of the fifth, and he made it around to third on a Carter Kieboom single before scoring on a two-run double in the right-center gap off Luis García’s bat, 6-4. That was it for Rich Hill, and with a new pitcher, Jeurys Familia, on, an RBI single by Riley Adams (2 for 3) made it a 7-4 lead.

Michael Conforto hit a two-out RBI single off Ross two outs after Jeff McNeil walked to start the Mets’ half of the fifth, 7-5 Nationals.

Miguel Castro took over for New York in the top of the sixth, and worked around a leadoff hit by Juan Soto.

Ross worked around an error by Carter Kieboom in a scoreless, nine-pitch bottom of the sixth which left him at 82 pitches total after five innings of work.

Drew Smith retired the Nationals in order in an 11-pitch top of the seventh.

Joe Ross’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 82 P, 57 S, 9/4 GO/FO.

Gabe Klobosits came on for the Nationals in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a single by Brandon Nimmo and a one-out RBI double to center field by Pete Alonso, whose third hit (3 for 4) of the game made it 7-6 in the Nats’ favor.

Trevor May set the Nationals down in order in the top of the eighth.

Mason Thompson gave up a leadoff double by J.D. Davis, who lined a 99 MPH 1-1 sinker to right, and Thompson threw a sinker by Josh Bell at first on a Jonathan Villar bunt in the at bat that followed, allowing Davis to score the tying run, 7-7. Villar took third on a grounder off James McCann’s bat, and scored one out later on an RBI pinch hit single to center by Brandon Drury, 8-7 Mets.

Edwin Díaz came on for the save opportunity in the top of the ninth and retired the side in order.

Final Score: 8-7 Mets

Nationals now 50-63