08/02 22:14 CDT Mets hit 3 homers in 5 pitches to sweep Nationals, 5-2
Mets hit 3 homers in 5 pitches to sweep Nationals, 5-2
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) --- Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy and streaking Lucas Duda
homered in a span of five pitches, a sudden power strike that charged up Citi
Field and sent the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 5-2 Sunday night
for a three-game sweep.
Noah Syndergaard (6-5) struck out nine over eight innings, and New York pulled
within percentage points of the first-place Nationals in the NL East. Boosted
by a trio of lively crowds, the Mets completed their first three-game sweep of
Washington since May 2009 and boldly pronounced themselves legitimate playoff
It was a serious statement from the Mets, now 7-6 against the Nationals this
season after going 4-15 versus their division rivals last year. New York
finished a wildly eventful 6-4 homestand that featured one trade that fell
through, the additions of four new players --- including slugger Yoenis
Cespedes --- and a 162-game drug suspension for reliever Jenrry Mejia.
Coming into the series, the Nationals had won 18 of their last 21 at Citi
Field. The teams meet six more times this year, Sept. 7-9 at Washington and
Oct. 2-4 in New York during the final series of the regular season.
Anthony Rendon hit his first homer of the season, and Yunel Escobar also went
deep for Washington.
Mets nemesis Jordan Zimmermann (8-7) issued a leadoff walk in the third. Two
outs later, Granderson launched a 2-2 curve into the front row of the second
deck in right field for his 17th home run.
Murphy hit the next pitch almost halfway up those bleachers, a little to the
right of Granderson's drive. Cespedes then singled for his first hit with the
Mets, and by the time Duda hit the facing of the second deck with his 21st
homer of the season, the chanting crowd of 35,374 was in a full-out frenzy.
It was Duda's ninth home run in his last eight games since July 25. He homered
twice Saturday night and hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning of a 3-2
It was the first time the Mets, the lowest-scoring team in the majors this
season, hit three long balls in one inning since June 7, 2007, when Carlos
Delgado, David Wright and Paul Lo Duca connected off Philadelphia lefty Cole
And after seeing his old team raise the home run apple in center field three
times in just a couple of minutes, former Mets slugger Mike Piazza tweeted:
"Awesome to watch (hashtag)CitiField Rock!"
Syndergaard, who carried a perfect game through six innings during his previous
start against the Padres, walked none and scattered seven hits. He fanned
slugger Bryce Harper with his 109th and final pitch, a 99 mph fastball.
Tyler Clippard, who spent seven years with the Nationals, got three outs for
his first save with the Mets. He had 17 for Oakland this season before coming
over in a trade last Monday.
Nationals: The team hopes RHP Stephen Strasburg (left oblique strain) can
return to the rotation after one more rehab outing Monday for Triple-A
Syracuse. Strasburg is expected to throw 80-85 pitches.
Mets: LF Michael Cuddyer (left knee inflammation) headed to Florida to begin
baseball activities at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie. ... OF Kirk
Nieuwenhuis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with discomfort in his neck
and left shoulder. Prized outfield prospect Michael Conforto was recalled after
a one-day assignment to Triple-A Las Vegas --- he never even left New York.
Nationals: Following a 3-7 road trip, the Nationals begin a four-game home
series Monday night with RHP Doug Fister (4-6) on the mound against Arizona
rookie Zack Godley (2-0).
Mets: In the opener of a three-game series at Miami, 42-year-old Bartolo Colon
(9-10) pitches Monday night against Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (8-7). Colon has
lost six consecutive decisions, equaling the worst streak of his long career,
and New York has dropped his last seven starts. He allowed 10 hits in a
season-low 2 1/3 innings Wednesday during a 7-3 loss to San Diego.