Nationals 5, Mets 4(10)

After eight innings, it looked as if the Washington Nationals

had another methodical victory. Two innings later, they were just

happy to come away with a win at all.

In those two wild innings there were seven runs, three blown

save opportunities, a disputed home run, a game-changing triple by

a teenager and a game-winning wild pitch.

In the end: A 5-4 win in 10 innings over the New York Mets.

”That’s my kind of ballgame,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson

said.

Ross Detwiler and Sean Burnett had shut out the Mets over eight

innings, but Tyler Clippard, who’s been nearly perfect in the two

months he’s been Washington’s closer, gave up the lead.

He allowed a three-run home run to pinch-hitter Jordany

Valdespin in the ninth, a drive that barely cleared the

right-center field railing and moved Johnson to request a

review.

The Nationals tied it at 3 in the ninth, the Mets went ahead in

the top of the 10th, and then a madcap 10th inning ensued.

”That’s why you come to the ballpark. The first eight innings

were kind of boring and the last (two) were unbelievable,” Tyler

Moore said.

Moore was standing at the plate when Pedro Beato threw a wild

pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning that allowed Ryan

Zimmerman to score with the winning run.

Bryce Harper tied it in the 10th with a run-scoring triple off

Tim Byrdak (2-1) before Beato entered with the bases loaded.

Jhonatan Solano led off the 10th with a single. Steve

Lombardozzi bunted him to second. Harper tripled to right off Tim

Byrdak (2-1) to tie it. Zimmerman and Ian Desmond were walked

intentionally to load the bases. Adam LaRoche grounded to first

baseman Ike Davis, who threw home to force Harper for the second

out.

Beato came on to face Moore, and bounced a 1-2 pitch in the

dirt. Catcher Josh Thole wasn’t able to reach the ball in time, and

Zimmerman scored standing up.

”I didn’t know it got away at first. It hit the dirt pretty

hard,” Moore said.

Thole entered the game in the eighth inning after Collins hit

for starter Mike Nickeas.

”I’ve got to block it. That’s the bottom line,” Thole said.

”I was ready to block it. I just didn’t get it done.”

The loss was the fifth in a row for New York, a season high.

The Mets lost their last game before the All-Star break, were

swept in three games at Atlanta and have two more with the

Nationals before heading home.

”There’s some guys that are really upset in the other room, and

they should be,” New York manager Terry Collins said. ”It’s time

to reach down inside and pull out whatever you’ve got left and make

something out of the remainder of this trip.”

Ryan Mattheus (3-1), Washington’s fifth pitcher, retired the

only batter he faced in the 10th for the win.

Harper had his fifth triple, and it was the game’s key hit.

”I got a pitch I could handle, and I was thinking three out of

the box,” Harper said. ”You live for these kind of games.”

The Nationals increased their lead in the NL East to 3 1/2 games

after Atlanta lost 9-0 to San Francisco.

”We’ve got a long second half to go, and hopefully we’ll have

some more of those,” Harper said.

Moore hit a fifth-inning home run and Lombardozzi had an

eighth-inning RBI double for Washington to give the Nationals a 2-0

lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Michael Morse and LaRoche singled

off Bobby Parnell. Desmond pinch-ran for Morse, and with two outs,

scored on Espinosa’s RBI single.

Starter Ross Detwiler gave up five hits, struck out four and

walked none in seven innings.

The Nationals had only three hits off New York starter Jonathon

Niese, but one of them was Moore’s fifth home run of the year, a

one-out shot to right field.

Niese struck out eight and walked none.

In the eighth, pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa walked with two outs off

Ramon Ramirez and Lombardozzi doubled to left off Josh Edgin to

make it 2-0.

NOTES: Desmond didn’t start for the third consecutive game with

a strained oblique muscle. Johnson made light of the injury’s

popularity. ”The oblique is in in 2012, I guess. Everyone seems to

have one. I didn’t know they were contagious,” Johnson said. …

Nationals OF Jayson Werth will probably be cleared for baseball

activities on Wednesday, Johnson said. Werth, who broke his left

wrist in early May, is about two or three weeks away from returning

to the majors. … The Mets activated OF Jason Bay from the 15-day

disabled list. He had a concussion on June 15. They designated INF

Omar Quintanilla for assignment. … New York OF Lucas Duda missed

his third straight game with a strained left hamstring.