The Washington Nationals offense managed only one run in seven innings against Seth Lugo as they lost to the Mets, 5-1
Tonight, in the series finale against the New York Mets (71-66), the Washington Nationals (79-56) offense could not get going against Seth Lugo. Lugo gave up one solo home run to Danny Espinosa, but that was the lone run the Nats would get. As for Reynaldo Lopez, he had erratic command of his fastball and it cost him tonight as the Mets won the series finale, 5-1. The Nats end up leaving Citi Field with a 8.5 game lead in the NL East.
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Both pitchers ran into trouble in the first, but it was the Mets offense that scored first against Lopez. Jose Reyes walked and Asdrubal Cabrera singled to right to start the inning; Two batters, after a wild pitch and a Yoenis Cespedes strikeout, Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly to left that put the Mets ahead 1-0.
The Washington Nationals got that run back in the top of the second when Espinosa hit a solo home run into the second deck in right. Espinosa’s 21st of the season tied the game at one. Lopez would single right after the home run, but that would be the last hit the Nationals would have until the sixth.
One inning later, the Mets would get the lead back against Lopez. With two outs, Granderson hit a two-run home run to right, his 23rd of the season to put New York up 3-1. Granderson drove in five of the Mets eight runs over the last two games of this series.
It was a short night for Lopez at Citi Field in his first Major League start since August 23. He went four innings, gave up three runs on six hits, struck out three, walked one, and had three wild pitches on 85 pitches (53 strikes) in the loss.
Once Lopez left the game, Mat Latos made his Nationals debut. In the bottom of the sixth, the Mets doubled their lead to 5-1 on a two-run home run to left by Jay Bruce. It was Bruce’s 29th home run of the year. Another Nats pitcher who made his team tonight was Trevor Gott, who threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
That Espinosa home run in the second was the only run the Nats would score against Lugo. The Mets right-hander went seven innings, gave up one run on six hits, and struck out four on 101 pitches in the win.
In this game, the Washington Nationals continued to have issues hitting with runners in scoring position (0-for-8). Dating back to last night, the offense now has no hits in their last 15 at-bats in those situations. Tonight, Wilson Ramos was 0-for-3 with RISP and left six men on base.
Despite the struggles by the offense, Daniel Murphy added another historic note to his season. In the sixth, Murphy’s leadoff single against Lugo gave him a hit in all 16 games he has played against his former team this year:
Murphy has a hit in all 16 games this season against the Mets, breaks Tony Gwynn‘s record for the longest hit streak to start career vs NYM
Next Game: The Washington Nationals will begin a three game series at home against the Atlanta Braves (54-83) tomorrow afternoon. You can watch the game on MASN2 at 4:05 p.m ET. Max Scherzer (15-7, 2.89 ERA) will get the start for the Nats against Ryan Weber (1-0, 5.24) for the Braves.