Lugo, backed by HR support, pitches Mets past Nationals 5-1

New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo reacts after striking out Washington Nationals' Wilson Ramos for the third out in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

NEW YORK (AP) Seth Lugo kept pitching like a playoff-tested ace rather than a rookie, Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce each hit a two-run homer and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 Sunday night.

The Mets won for the 11th time in 15 tries and stayed within one game of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card slot. They didn't have much time to savor the victory – they hurried to Cincinnati for a 1:10 p.m. Monday holiday start.

Lugo (3-2) limited the NL East leaders to one run and six hits in seven innings, walking none and striking out four. The 26-year-old righty has won three straight starts, permitting a total of three runs, to help rejuvenate an injury-plagued rotation.