WASHINGTON — Doug Fister took a five-hit shutout into the eighth inning, Adam LaRoche homered twice and Danny Espinosa also connected as the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 7-1 Wednesday night.
Fister (11-3) allowed one unearned run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and reduced his ERA to 2.49.
LaRoche hit a two-run drive in the first inning and a solo shot in the eighth, his 23rd career multihomer game. Espinosa went deep with two on in the sixth and Anthony Rendon hit two doubles to help NL East-leading Washington increase its lead over sputtering Atlanta to four games.
Mets starter Jonathon Niese (5-8) gave up a season-high six runs on eight hits in six innings. It was only the second time in his last 25 starts the left-hander yielded more than three earned runs.
Niese is 0-4 with a 5.76 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list with a left shoulder strain.
Washington got all the offense it needed in a three-run first. Rendon doubled with one out, Jayson Werth hit an RBI single and LaRoche followed with his 14th home run.
In the sixth, Ian Desmond singled, Bryce Harper walked and Espinosa sent a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall. It was his seventh home run of the season, the first since May 12.
Fister left with two on and one out in the eighth with Washington up 6-0. Newcomer Matt Thornton gave up a two-out RBI single to Daniel Murphy.
Washington leadoff hitter Denard Span singled in the third to extend his streak of games reaching via a hit or walk to 32.
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