New York at Washington

Final 10th
N.Y. Mets
W: R. Hernandez (8-6) L: G. Majewski (4-4)
S: A. Heilman (2)
HR: NYM - C. Beltran (16)   WAS - C. Baerga (2)

Mets 5, Nationals 2 (10 innings)

CBS wire reports

WASHINGTON -- The New York Mets and Washington Nationals both like the sound of "fourth place" a lot better than "last."

And given all of their recent experience with the bottom of the NL East standings, their three-game series this weekend is anything but meaningless to them.

In a game played pretty much for fourth place and pride, Carlos Beltran's three-run homer in the 10th inning lifted the Mets past the Nationals 5-2 on Friday night, after New York blew a two-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

"We've played too hard and gone through too much to go home with something negative," said Cliff Floyd, who put New York ahead in the sixth with a two-run single. "They're in the same boat as us. I think we're the captain of the ship, though, but they're on the boat."

The fifth-place Mets (76-77) have won five of their last seven games, but said Friday that ace Pedro Martinez will be shut down once they're mathematically eliminated.

Still, manager Willie Randolph spoke proudly of how his club came through in the 10th.

"We always fight back. We've been that way the whole year," Randolph said. "We don't hang our heads about anything; we try to get back in it as much as we can."

The fourth-place Nationals (78-76), meanwhile, have dropped five of six games. In four of those defeats, Washington gave up the go-ahead run in its opponent's final at-bat - three times on home runs.

"It has nothing to do with fatigue," Washington manager Frank Robinson said. "We're not executing. We're not making good pitches. We're getting ourselves in trouble."

Washington felt good about itself briefly in the ninth, when pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga tied the game with a two-run homer off reliever Roberto Hernandez, who has blown six of seven save opportunities this season.

It was the type of late rally that the Nationals produced repeatedly en route to leading the division at 50-31. But, as Baerga put it: "We don't find a way to finish it off the way we used to."

Gary Majewski (4-4) walked pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson with one out in the 10th, and Jose Reyes reached on an error by shortstop Deivi Cruz. Beltran drove a 3-2 pitch that wound up right over the plate into the visiting bullpen for his 16th homer.

"I made a mistake," Majewski said, "and he gets paid to hit mistakes."

Beltran also had a single and double, and Floyd had three hits, too. Floyd also threw out Nick Johnson at third base in the fourth inning for his league-leading 15th outfield assist.

"We've been playing good baseball all year and we were in the hunt for the playoffs," Beltran said. "Right now we're out, but we've still got to finish the season strong and win as many games as we can. Nobody wants to finish in fifth place."

Hernandez (8-6), who gave up a single to Ryan Zimmerman before Baerga's homer, earned the win. Aaron Heilman pitched the 10th for his second save.

Mets starter Steve Trachsel scattered five hits over six shutout innings in the opener of a series between teams that have combined to finish last in the NL East each of the past four seasons.

Washington's Esteban Loaiza gave up two runs in seven innings, both scoring on Floyd's hit with the bases loaded in the sixth. For Loaiza, it wound up the ninth time he's finished with a loss or no-decision despite allowing two runs or fewer. Even with 24 quality starts, he has an 11-10 record.

"Same, same, same," he said. "Close games like this have been costing us in the second half."

Looking ahead to this series earlier in the week, Robinson talked about how important he feels it is to finish ahead of the Mets.

"I'd certainly prefer to finish fourth than finish fifth. There's a stigma to that: last. 'You finished last, last year.' And after the start we had," Robinson said, "that just kind of throws cold water completely on the whole season right there."


Zimmerman has five hits in the past two games. ... Nationals OF Jose Guillen appealed his one-game suspension for an equipment-throwing tantrum Sept. 14 against the Mets. He went 0-for-5, and is 9-for-66 in September, a .136 average.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
New York

C. Floyd
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
New York

C. Beltran
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1

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Carlos Beltran, CF5133010 .275
Cliff Floyd, LF5032011 .277
David Wright, 3B4000113 .307
Mike Piazza, C4000013 .255
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a-walked for Hernandez in the 10th
2B - Carlos Beltran (32, Bergmann)
3B - Cliff Floyd (2, Majewski)
HR - Carlos Beltran (16, Majewski)
RBI - Carlos Beltran 3 (74), Cliff Floyd 2 (96)
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Team LOB - 7
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New York Mets
Steve Trachsel 6500170 2.78
Juan Padilla (H,4) 2000100 1.76
Roberto Hernandez (BS,6; W,8-6) 1222001 2.74
Aaron Heilman (S,2) 1000100 3.31
HBP - N. Johnson (by Steve Trachsel)
Pitches-Strikes - Steve Trachsel 97-62, Juan Padilla 21-13, Roberto Hernandez 16-10, Aaron Heilman 21-14
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Batters Faced - Steve Trachsel 24, Juan Padilla 7, Roberto Hernandez 5, Aaron Heilman 4
Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, LF4000110 .249
Rick Short, 2B2000010 .400
    Jamey Carroll, 2B3000001 .242
Nick Johnson, 1B2010200 .290
Jose Guillen, RF5000025 .283
Preston Wilson, CF4010022 .260
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4130001 .440
Cristian Guzman, SS3010001 .212
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    Deivi Cruz, SS0000000 .271
Gary Bennett, C3000013 .212
   b- Carlos Baerga, PH1112000 .252
    Keith Osik, C0000000 .000
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   c- Jose Vidro, PH1000001 .274
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .333
    Joey Eischen, P0000000 .333
    Gary Majewski, P1000000 .000
a-lined out for Guzman in the 9th
b-homered for Bennett in the 9th
c-grounded out for Loaiza in the 7th
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (5, Trachsel)
HR - Carlos Baerga (2, Hernandez)
RBI - Carlos Baerga 2 (19)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Baerga 2 (12)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Zimmerman-Short-N. Johnson
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Washington Nationals
Esteban Loaiza 7722070 3.63
Jason Bergmann 0.2100000 2.87
Joey Eischen 0.1000000 3.38
Gary Majewski (L,4-4) 2230211 2.64
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Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esteban Loaiza 6-7, Jason Bergmann 1-1, Gary Majewski 5-1
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Game Information
Attendance - 30194
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Randy Marsh