Reporting Byron Kerr
The New York Mets turned what could have been a by-the-skin-of-their-teeth escape for the Washington Nationals into a 6-3 win, built on the strength of a stunning four-run ninth inning against Nats relievers Sean Burnett and Drew Storen.
With the Nationals leading 3-2 and Burnett pitching in the ninth, the Mets loaded the bases on three straight base hits. New York tied the game on a sacrifice fly and took the lead on a Josh Thole ground out.
Then, following an intentional walk to Reyes, Murphy crushed a two-run double down the right field line to lift the Mets to a 6-3 lead. That ended up being the final margin. The Nats have now lost six of their last seven games and three straight series.
Early on it looked pretty good for the Nationals starting pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. He remembered facing Carlos Beltran in New York in early April. He remembered pitching pretty well in that game and only making a couple of mistakes. Beltran connected on those mistakes for two home runs.
Two weeks later, Gorzelanny faced off against Beltran again, this time in Nationals Park. This time, Gorzelanny got the best of the talented Mets clean up hitter.
Leading off the second inning and in their first meeting of the night, Gorzelanny struck out Beltran. In New York, Beltran crushed a two-run shot in the first inning to set the tone for the Mets.
On Wednesday in the fourth, Beltran induced a walk off of Gorzelanny, but was later erased by a sizzling 4-6-3 twin killing. Then in the biggest matchup of the night in the sixth inning with the Nationals clinging to a 2-1 advantage, Gorzelanny got Beltran to ground out to third.
The game took a dramatic turn in the top of the eighth when Jose Reyes lined a shot to deep center field and slid into third but was called out on the tag by Jerry Hairston, Jr.
It appeared on television replays that Reyes may have been pushed off the bag by the glove tag of Hairston. Reyes went ballistic, arguing with third base umpire Marvin Hudson and was held back by third base coach Chip Hale while manager Terry Collins continued the argument, to no avail.
The next batter, Daniel Murphy, slammed a pinch hit solo homer off of Tyler Clippard that tied the game at 2-2.
The Nationals regained the lead in the eighth on a Wilson Ramos sacrifice fly, 3-2.