Washington at New York

Scoreboard
Washington (71-87) «40110021110160
N.Y. Mets (87-70)1100100069140

Mets rally in ninth falls just short, lose once again to Nationals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Six runs in the ninth inning meant little to the Mets. The only numbers to take solace in were the ones on the out-of-town scoreboard.

An improbable rally fell just short when Paul Lo Duca flied out with a runner on third, and New York's 10-9 loss to the scrappy Washington Nationals cost the NL East leaders another chance to expand their cushion.

With his team in dire need of a strong pitching performance, Tom Glavine was hit hard and the Mets dropped their fifth straight home game. They got help elsewhere, though.

New York's magic number was trimmed to four for clinching its second consecutive division title when Philadelphia lost 10-6 to Atlanta. The Mets remained two games ahead of the Phillies with five to play.

"We can't rely on the Braves, on the Phillies losing. We have got to go out there and snatch this thing," David Wright said.

Looking sluggish yet again, New York trailed 10-3 in the ninth before a stirring comeback. Lo Duca singled, Carlos Gomez drew a one-out walk and Jose Reyes hit a three-run shot off Jesus Colome for his second homer of the game.

Luis Castillo's single chased Colome and brought on Chad Cordero. Wright singled and Carlos Beltran's walk loaded the bases for streaking Moises Alou, who smacked a three-run double for his fourth hit.

That's when first-year Nationals manager Manny Acta made an unorthodox and gutsy move. He pulled his closer for setup man Jon Rauch, and it paid off.

"He did not have it. He didn't command his fastball. It's a team game. I gave him some rope, but then you've got to think of the team," said Acta, the Mets' third base coach the previous two seasons.

Rauch struck out slugger Carlos Delgado as pinch-runner Endy Chavez stole third, then pumped his arms in the air when Lo Duca popped up to shallow right.

Many in the crowd of 49,244 had left by the ninth. Shea Stadium got pretty noisy, though -- until Rauch quieted everybody by closing it out for his fourth save.

"It doesn't mean a thing. I don't care if you lose by eight runs or one, it's still a loss," Lo Duca said. "We've got to fix it. We've got to fix it quick."

The Mets almost pulled off their biggest ninth-inning rally for a victory. On July 17, 1973, they overcame a 7-1 deficit by scoring seven times in the ninth to beat Atlanta, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

The Mets fell to 1-4 over the past nine days against fourth-place Washington, embracing its role as spoiler. New York has allowed 48 runs in those five meetings with the Nationals, who began the day with the fewest runs in the majors.

"We want to stir things up and make it hard for everybody," Rauch said.

Glavine (13-7) was supposed to steady the ship during a key outing sandwiched between two Mets rookie starters - Mike Pelfrey was ineffective in Monday's 13-4 loss, and Philip Humber makes his first major league start Wednesday night.

Instead, the 41-year-old lefty gave up homers to Austin Kearns, Tony Batista and rookie Justin Maxwell while falling behind 6-2 and losing for the first time since July 2 at Colorado.

"It's a big game regardless of what tomorrow's situation may or may not be. But you can't worry about that," Glavine said. "I struggled with my rhythm, my tempo. I kind of felt like I was fighting myself a lot."

Mets owner Fred Wilpon met with manager Willie Randolph and GM Omar Minaya before the game and was supportive, Minaya said. But the Mets were already down by four when they came to bat for the first time and Reyes hit a leadoff homer off the scoreboard in right-center.

Shawn Green later got his 2,000th hit and Alou extended his team-record hitting streak to 29 games.

"They feel it. They want it," Randolph said. "But we let some runs score late in the game. Those add-on runs came back to hurt us."

Jason Bergmann (6-5) held the Mets in check for 5 2/3 innings and singled twice on his 26th birthday, improving to 5-0 since a loss at Pittsburgh on June 30. He is 4-0 in his past five starts.

New York grounded into four inning-ending double plays.

The Mets, who have lost eight of 12, had a great chance to get back in the game in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Ruben Gotay cut it to 6-3 with an RBI double, and Castillo's single put runners at the corners for Wright.

The MVP hopeful hit a sharp grounder toward third, but childhood buddy Ryan Zimmerman made a fine backhand stab to start a splendid double play that ended the inning.

"I don't believe in psychological wins or momentum swings. But it's good to see the guys fight back," Wright said.

Brian Schneider added a two-run single off Jorge Sosa with two outs in the seventh -- right after Delgado failed to make a play on Batista's infield single to first.

Kearns hit his second three-run drive in two games. Five of his 16 homers have come against the Mets.

Notes

  • The Nationals (71-87) equaled their win total from last year. "I told my guys I'm proud of them," Acta said. "We want to finish fourth."
  • Reyes' 10th career leadoff homer extended his club record. It was his fourth multihomer game and first at Shea Stadium.
 
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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It's another frustrating night for David Wright's Mets, who can't seem to solve the pesky Nationals.  (AP)
It's another frustrating night for David Wright's Mets, who can't seem to solve the pesky Nationals. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

B. Schneider
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
New York

M. Alou
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, SS5120012 .242
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4000111 .287
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3310210 .268
Austin Kearns, RF5113023 .265
Wily Mo Pena, LF5121012 .252
    Ryan Langerhans, LF0000000 .163
Tony Batista, 1B5231002 .271
Brian Schneider, C5033001 .237
Justin Maxwell, CF5111014 .250
Jason Bergmann, P3020010 .139
    Arnie Munoz, P0000000 .000
    Jonathan Albaladejo, P0000000 .000
   a- D'Angelo Jimenez, PH1110000 .250
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
Totals411016938  
a-singled for Albaladejo in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (42, Glavine), Tony Batista (3, Sele)
HR - Austin Kearns (16, Glavine), Tony Batista (2, Glavine), Justin Maxwell (2, Glavine)
RBI - Austin Kearns 3 (72), Wily Mo Pena (37), Tony Batista (16), Brian Schneider 3 (54), Justin Maxwell (5)
2-OUT RBI - Tony Batista (4), Brian Schneider 3 (14)
SB - Felipe Lopez (24, 2nd base off Glavine/Lo Duca), Ronnie Belliard (3, 2nd base off Muniz/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Bergmann-F. Lopez-Batista, Zimmerman-Belliard-Batista, F. Lopez-Batista, Belliard-Zimmerman-Batista
Washington Nationals
Jason Bergmann (W,6-5) 5.2733331 4.33
Arnie Munoz (H,4) 0.2100100 3.60
Jonathan Albaladejo 0.2000000 2.38
Jesus Colome 1.1444121 3.98
Chad Cordero0222100 3.41
Jon Rauch (S,4) 0.2000010 3.61
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Bergmann 111-67, Arnie Munoz 16-9, Jonathan Albaladejo 5-3, Jesus Colome 35-20, Chad Cordero 12-6, Jon Rauch 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Bergmann 7-5, Arnie Munoz 2-0, Jonathan Albaladejo 1-0, Jesus Colome 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Bergmann 25, Arnie Munoz 4, Jonathan Albaladejo 1, Jesus Colome 8, Chad Cordero 3, Jon Rauch 2
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5234003 .287
Luis Castillo, 2B4120100 .297
David Wright, 3B5110002 .322
Carlos Beltran, CF4100110 .276
Moises Alou, LF5143010 .345
    Endy Chavez, PR0000000 .287
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000134 .254
Paul Lo Duca, C3110202 .276
Shawn Green, RF3121002 .290
    Jorge Sosa, P0000000 .200
    Aaron Sele, P0000000 .000
   a- David Newhan, PH1000011 .194
Tom Glavine, P0000000 .214
   b- Ruben Gotay, PH1011000 .297
    Carlos Muniz, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Gomez, RF1100100 .231
Totals36914966  
a-struck out for Sele in the 9th
b-doubled for Glavine in the 5th
Batting
2B - Moises Alou (19, C. Cordero), Ruben Gotay (12, Bergmann)
HR - Jose Reyes 2 (12, Bergmann, Colome)
SH - Tom Glavine (12)
RBI - Jose Reyes 4 (57), Moises Alou 3 (45), Shawn Green (46), Ruben Gotay (24)
SB - Endy Chavez (5, 3rd base off Rauch/Schneider)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Glavine-Reyes-Delgado, Reyes-Castillo-Delgado
New York Mets
Tom Glavine (L,13-7) 5966143 4.14
Carlos Muniz 1.1122210 13.50
Jorge Sosa 0.2200010 4.55
Aaron Sele 2422020 5.37
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Glavine 97-62, Carlos Muniz 41-25, Jorge Sosa 10-7, Aaron Sele 40-27
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Glavine 5-5, Carlos Muniz 1-2, Jorge Sosa 1-0, Aaron Sele 2-1
Batters Faced - Tom Glavine 24, Carlos Muniz 7, Jorge Sosa 4, Aaron Sele 9
Game Information
Attendance - 49244
Game Time - 3:40
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Wally Bell