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New York at Washington

Scoreboard
N.Y. Mets (83-66)001000010250
Washington (57-93) «10010230x7100

Loss to Nationals reduces Mets' East lead to half-game

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Mets manager Jerry Manuel's voice was soft and steady. His words were strong.

Manuel was New York's bench coach in September 2007, so he knows full well what this team went through then, and he was not pleased Monday night by a 7-2 loss to the Washington Nationals that cut the Mets' NL East lead to a half-game over idle Philadelphia.

"We come in and need a game and don't play well," Manuel said. "That can happen, but it shouldn't happen at this time of the year."

Everywhere Manuel looked, he saw bad news, and it added up to his team's third loss in its past four games, eating into what was a 3½-game cushion over the Phillies as recently as Wednesday. New York has 13 games left, Philadelphia has 12.

Manuel saw Nationals rookie John Lannan (9-13) limit the Mets to one hit over seven innings.

He saw the heart of his lineup -- David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado -- combine to go 0-for-11 with four strikeouts.

He saw Wright ground into a bases-loaded double play in the eighth.

He saw Pedro Martinez (5-5) allow four runs in six innings.

He saw reliever Duaner Sanchez turn a 4-1 deficit into a 7-1 deficit by allowing Elijah Dukes' homer in the seventh.

"We didn't hit. We didn't pitch, as well. We didn't relieve. When we were coming back, we hit into a double play," Manuel said. "It was just a lot of different things. It was just a bad game, period, for us, at this stage."

Last season, the Mets led the Phillies by seven games with only 17 to play before a historic collapse conceded the division title and kept New York out of the playoffs altogether.

"You've got to forget about this one and go out and get them tomorrow. There's no panic," Wright said. "We know what's at stake. This is a time where these little bumps in the road -- we've got to keep them to a minimum. We can't allow this to carry over the next couple of games."

Trailing 7-1 Monday, the Mets threatened to make things interesting once Lannan left the game. The rookie left-hander gave up a double in the third to Brian Schneider, who wound up scoring on Jose Reyes' RBI groundout -- and that was it.

It was quite a contrast to Lannan's previous outing, also against the Mets: He allowed five runs and eight hits in three innings.

But this time, based on advice from Nationals starter Odalis Perez, Lannan decided to try throwing more changeups to left-handed hitters.

"That was one of the keys for him tonight," catcher Wil Nieves said. "It looks like a fastball."

Garrett Mock entered for the eighth and immediately gave up Luis Castillo's double, a walk and Reyes' RBI single. Mock was replaced by Mike Hinckley, and Ryan Church greeted him with a single that loaded the bases.

That brought up Wright, he of the 31 homers and 114 RBI and MVP candidacy. But Hinckley got him to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

"Chased a pitch I probably should have taken," Wright said.

Martinez, meanwhile, looked good in the fifth, setting down the Nationals in order. He looked weary, though, in the sixth, when his pitch count for the night rose above 100 and seven batters came to the plate.

A single, a walk and a groundout put runners at second and third with two outs. That brought up Anderson Hernandez, who was hitting .203 at Triple-A New Orleans when the Mets sent him to the Nationals last month to complete a trade that sent reliever Luis Ayala to New York.

Hernandez bounced a two-run single through the hole on the right side of the infield to put Washington ahead 4-1.

"Huge hit," Nationals manager Manny Acta said.

Martinez's assessment?

"I threw the pitch I wanted to throw. I wanted him to hit it. I got contact," the pitcher said.

"You have to let it go," he added.

The Mets hope to be able to do that with the entire game.

Notes

  • Nationals CF Lastings Milledge collected three hits for the second consecutive game.
  • Nationals LF Willie Harris robbed Fernando Tatis of a hit by making a diving catch in the second inning.
 
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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John Lannan throws one-hit ball for seven innings to earn his ninth win of the season. (AP)
John Lannan throws one-hit ball for seven innings to earn his ninth win of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

E. Dukes
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Washington

J. Lannan
IP 7.0
H 1
ER 1
BB 3
K 7
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4012000 .299
Ryan Church, RF3010110 .293
David Wright, 3B4000022 .299
Carlos Beltran, CF3000101 .282
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000021 .265
Fernando Tatis, LF4010011 .299
Luis Castillo, 2B3110111 .252
Brian Schneider, C3110002 .257
    Ramon Castro, C0000000 .242
Pedro Martinez, P1000000 .143
    Ricardo Rincon, P0000000 .000
    Duaner Sanchez, P0000000 .000
   a- Daniel Murphy, PH0000100 .360
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
Totals2925247  
a-walked for Sanchez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Fernando Tatis (16, Colome), Luis Castillo (7, Mock), Brian Schneider (9, Lannan)
SH - Pedro Martinez (7)
RBI - Jose Reyes 2 (59)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Beltran 1
DP - Castillo-Reyes-Delgado, Schneider-Castillo
New York Mets
Pedro Martinez (L,5-5) 6844430 5.47
Ricardo Rincon 0.2000010 0.00
Duaner Sanchez 0.1233101 4.45
Bobby Parnell 1000000 0.00
IBB - Nieves by Pedro Martinez
WP - Duaner Sanchez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Martinez 108-63, Ricardo Rincon 10-6, Duaner Sanchez 20-10, Bobby Parnell 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Martinez 7-5, Duaner Sanchez 1-0, Bobby Parnell 2-1
Batters Faced - Pedro Martinez 27, Ricardo Rincon 2, Duaner Sanchez 4, Bobby Parnell 3
Washington Nationals
Willie Harris, LF3100100 .246
Cristian Guzman, SS4020010 .313
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3210111 .286
Lastings Milledge, CF4230001 .266
Elijah Dukes, RF3213112 .273
Aaron Boone, 1B4011000 .255
Anderson Hernandez, 2B3012100 .340
Wil Nieves, C3010101 .257
John Lannan, P3000013 .023
    Garrett Mock, P0000000 .000
    Michael Hinckley, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1000000 .238
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
Totals31710654  
a-popped out for Hinckley in the 8th
Batting
2B - Lastings Milledge (23, P. Martinez)
HR - Elijah Dukes (12, Sanchez)
RBI - Elijah Dukes 3 (42), Aaron Boone (27), Anderson Hernandez 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Elijah Dukes 3 (11), Anderson Hernandez 2 (8)
SB - Lastings Milledge (23, 2nd base off P. Martinez/Schneider)
CS - Cristian Guzman (5, 2nd base by P. Martinez/Schneider)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - A. Boone-Guzman, Guzman-A. Hernandez-A. Boone
PB - Wil Nieves (3)
Washington Nationals
John Lannan (W,9-13) 7111370 3.97
Garrett Mock 0.1211100 4.33
Michael Hinckley 0.2100000 0.00
Jesus Colome 1100000 4.59
Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 97-59, Garrett Mock 17-10, Michael Hinckley 5-2, Jesus Colome 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lannan 8-5, Garrett Mock 1-0, Michael Hinckley 1-0
Batters Faced - John Lannan 24, Garrett Mock 4, Michael Hinckley 2, Jesus Colome 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21759
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Paul Schrieber