New York at Washington

Scoreboard
N.Y. Mets (84-67) «0110213008113
Washington (68-84)0200100014121

Mets end five-game dive in Washington with Wright's good night

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- The New York Mets gathered in the infield for fist bumps and high-fives Wednesday night, and while they had celebrated 83 previous victories this season, No. 84 somehow seemed so important.

Beating the Washington Nationals 8-4 behind Mike Pelfrey's good-enough start, David Wright's three RBI and a hobbled Moises Alou's three hits not only ended New York's five-game losing streak, it allowed the NL East leaders to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Remember: It had been a full week since the Mets added to their "W" column, and they entered the day only 1½ games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies -- New York's smallest division margin since mid-July.

"It's a big win for us. It's a win when we needed one," said Wright, who topped 100 RBI for the third consecutive season. "It seemed like everything clicked for us."

About an hour later, the Mets got more good news: The Phillies lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in 10 innings, bumping New York's lead back to 2½ games.

The Mets have not been pitching well, allowing the Nationals -- the lowest-scoring offense in the majors -- to score 21 runs in the series' first two games.

But Pelfrey (3-7) allowed three runs in five-plus innings to win his third consecutive decision, and the bullpen finally came through, with Jorge Sosa and Aaron Heilman combining for three shutout innings before Billy Wagner gave up an unearned run in the ninth.

"It's critical when everyone comes in and shuts them down," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.

It began with Sosa entering with runners on first and third and no outs in the sixth inning.

"A real important part of the game," Sosa said through a translator. "I didn't want to make a mistake."

He most certainly did not.

First, Sosa struck out pinch-hitter D'Angelo Jimenez, who came in hitting .538 with two doubles and two home runs in his past four games.

Then, Sosa got Nook Logan to ground into a first-pitch double play.

Simple as that, threat averted, 5-3 lead preserved. The Mets would tack on three runs in the seventh.

"Sosa won the game for them," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "Tremendous job."

The same could be said of Wright or Alou.

The 41-year-old Alou left the game Tuesday with a left quadriceps injury and was a game-time decision Wednesday. Indeed, he said he wouldn't have played had the Mets not been in such a tight playoff race.

All he did was leg out a double plus two singles, score twice and drive in a run before leaving for a pinch-runner in the seventh.

"I was a little concerned," said Alou, whose 23-game hitting streak is the NL's longest this season. "But after I ran the first time, I felt good."

No one in the visiting clubhouse was surprised -- that he played or that he played so well.

"That's Moises. He's a gamer," Randolph said. "He understands his responsibility to the team."

There were plenty of Mets fans in the announced crowd of 20,558, and they understand Wright's role, too, greeting his plate appearances with "M-V-P!" chants. He drove in runs with a single in the third, a sacrifice fly in the fifth and a double in the seventh. That last hit, on a liner to right, might have been a single, but Wright stretched it into a double, sliding around the tag at second.

Not all was perfect about this performance, though, with Wright making one of New York's three errors -- giving the team 13 in its past four games.

And the Mets managed to get outhit by the Nationals, 12-11.

Still, the winners certainly will take the end result.

"Any time you can get a win," Randolph said, "hopefully it gets you going back in the right direction."

Like Alou, Paul Lo Duca departed the game early, although not before delivering two runs with sacrifice flies. Lo Duca was called out on strikes in the eighth but argued he had been hit on the arm by the final pitch of the at-bat and threw his helmet into the dugout when he left the field. He came out for the bottom of the inning, but left before a pitch was thrown, replaced by Mike DiFelice.

It was Lo Duca who, before the game, sat at his locker and spoke about wanting to "see what we're made of."

On Tuesday, the Mets held a players-only meeting, then went out and lost a second straight game to the fourth-place Nationals.

"You can talk all you want. And you can say all you want. You can have every cliche in the book or whatever, but it just matters that you've got to get 27 outs, and you've got to win the ballgame," Lo Duca said. "I don't care how you do it."

Notes

  • Pelfrey went from July 19, 2006, to Aug. 31 this year without a single major league victory -- starting this season 0-7 -- and now he has three in September.
  • After striking out three times in his previous eight games, Logan matched that total in his first three at-bats.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Mike Pelfrey isn't perfect, but he's effective enough to stop New York's skid at five.  (AP)
Mike Pelfrey isn't perfect, but he's effective enough to stop New York's skid at five. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Wright
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
New York

M. Alou
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4220001 .289
Luis Castillo, 2B5211001 .296
David Wright, 3B4123010 .315
Carlos Beltran, CF5000011 .278
Moises Alou, LF4231001 .344
    Endy Chavez, PR-LF0000000 .276
Jeff Conine, 1B3010011 .257
Paul Lo Duca, C2002010 .271
    Mike DiFelice, C0000000 .250
Lastings Milledge, RF2000100 .276
    Jorge Sosa, P0000000 .200
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH1000000 .289
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Mike Pelfrey, P2000012 .053
    Shawn Green, RF2120000 .288
    Carlos Gomez, RF0000000 .243
Totals34811715  
a-fouled out for Sosa in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (33, Chico), David Wright (38, Schroder), Moises Alou (16, Chico), Jeff Conine (13, Chico)
3B - Luis Castillo (4, Chico)
SF - David Wright (7), Paul Lo Duca 2 (10)
SH - Jose Reyes (5), Jeff Conine (2)
RBI - Luis Castillo (33), David Wright 3 (102), Moises Alou (38), Paul Lo Duca 2 (51)
2-OUT RBI - Moises Alou (7)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Reyes-Conine
E - Carlos Beltran (4, Misplayed grounder), Jose Reyes (12, Throwing), David Wright (20, Throwing)
New York Mets
Mike Pelfrey (W,3-7) 5933340 5.24
Jorge Sosa (H,9) 2100020 4.40
Aaron Heilman 1000010 3.12
Billy Wagner 1210010 2.34
WP - Mike Pelfrey (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 92-55, Jorge Sosa 19-15, Aaron Heilman 12-7, Billy Wagner 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 8-2, Jorge Sosa 1-2, Aaron Heilman 1-1, Billy Wagner 1-1
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 26, Jorge Sosa 6, Aaron Heilman 3, Billy Wagner 5
Washington Nationals
Nook Logan, CF5000034 .267
Felipe Lopez, SS5130001 .243
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5021012 .269
Wily Mo Pena, LF4010113 .247
Austin Kearns, RF3001101 .264
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4110013 .288
Robert Fick, 1B3120110 .234
Jesus Flores, C4011001 .253
Matt Chico, P1011000 .163
    Jonathan Albaladejo, P0000000 .000
   a- D'Angelo Jimenez, PH1000012 .230
    Chris Schroder, P0000000 .000
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
    Winston Abreu, P0000000 .000
   b- Justin Maxwell, PH1110000 .375
Totals36412438  
a-struck out for Albaladejo in the 6th
b-singled for Abreu in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ronnie Belliard (30, Pelfrey)
SH - Matt Chico (8)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (88), Austin Kearns (63), Jesus Flores (24), Matt Chico (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (28), Matt Chico (2)
PK - Felipe Lopez (2, Pelfrey)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Robert Fick (5, Throwing(Chavez entered with 1-1 count))
Washington Nationals
Matt Chico (L,5-9) 5.1755130 4.74
Jonathan Albaladejo 0.2000000 2.16
Chris Schroder 1331000 2.68
Jesus Colome 1100010 3.41
Winston Abreu 1000010 5.93
IBB - Milledge by Matt Chico
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Chico 91-58, Jonathan Albaladejo 5-3, Chris Schroder 31-22, Jesus Colome 16-12, Winston Abreu 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Chico 8-5, Jonathan Albaladejo 1-1, Chris Schroder 3-1
Batters Faced - Matt Chico 24, Jonathan Albaladejo 2, Chris Schroder 7, Jesus Colome 4, Winston Abreu 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20558
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Larry Vanover