New York at Washington

Scoreboard
N.Y. Mets (84-67) «2041010109101
Washington (58-94)0101012027140

Mets hold off Nats, stay half-game behind in NL East race

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- Over and over and over again, New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel left the dugout, made the slow trek to the mound and took the ball from his pitcher.

By the time the game was over, and Manuel's beleaguered bullpen had given away nearly all of a six-run lead, he had used a franchise record-tying eight pitchers.

At least Manuel and his Mets could savor a victory, something suddenly scarce for them. Carlos Beltran homered from both sides of the plate, Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado also went deep, and New York held on to beat Washington 9-7, snapping a three-game losing streak.

When his team was ahead 7-1 in the fourth inning, did Manuel think he could enjoy an easy night at the ballpark?

"No. I can't do that. They won't allow me to do that," the skipper said. "They'll make a laugher a tearjerker, that's what they'll do."

The Mets have blown 27 save chances, including 11 in the ninth inning, and there was the potential to add to those totals against the Nationals.

Brandon Knight (1-0), a 32-year-old journeyman back from the Olympics, earned his first major league victory with five solid innings -- but even he was nervous. It took seven relievers to get the final 12 outs, the last coming when Luis Ayala, acquired from the Nationals last month, struck out pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina with a runner on to earn his eighth save.

"It was a little bit like, 'Really? Is this really happening?"' Knight said. "All of us who had pitched were in here, taking deep breaths, saying, 'OK, everything's going to be fine."'

The Mets had lost four of their previous five games to fall out of first place in the NL East. By winning, they remained a half-game behind the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies, who beat Atlanta 6-1 Wednesday.

And New York retained its half-game lead over Milwaukee for the wild card. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 6-2.

"We're approaching these games like playoff games, because they are playoff games," said Beltran, who hit a two-run homer off Shairon Martis (0-3) in the third inning, then moved around to bat righty and add his 26th homer off left-hander Charlie Manning in the eighth.

"We needed the win. There's no more options for us. Basically, every game counts and today was great - we went up there and scored a lot of runs," Beltran said. "It would have been better if we'd won with a good lead, but things happen."

Manuel was asked if this late-season stuff is fun.

"No, I'm not enjoying this. Are you crazy? Walking out there every three minutes? (Fans) didn't come to see me. They come to see the guys play," Manuel said with a smile. "This is not the way we drew it up, but we've got to do what we've got to do to win. We'll laugh about it, hopefully, in November."

Clearly in need of a victory -- and one day after Manuel held a closed-door, 15-minute team meeting -- the Mets got a big lift from a few of their high-profile players.

Reyes, Delgado and Beltran went a combined 1-for-22 with zero runs and two RBI over the first two games of this series, both losses, against a Nationals club trying to avoid finishing with baseball's worst record.

"You can only keep those ... guys down for so long," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "When those guys are on, you just can't stop them."

That trio was on Wednesday, going a combined 6-for-11 with four homers, three walks, six runs and seven RBI.

"I always say, you've got to pitch perfect, almost perfect, to these guys to win," Washington catcher Wil Nieves said. "We made a couple mistakes today."

Reyes began things by hitting Martis' fifth pitch over the out-of-town video scoreboard for his 15th homer this season, third leading off a game. Two outs later, Delgado delivered his 36th homer.

Knight, who pitched for the Yankees in 2001 and 2002 and was on the U.S. baseball team at the Beijing Games, performed well in his second career start in the majors.

After he left came the parade of relievers.

Ricardo Rincon, then Brian Stokes, then Aaron Heilman.

Scott Schoeneweis, then Joe Smith, then Pedro Feliciano.

And then, Ayala, who ended it.

"We needed to win a ballgame," Manuel said. "That was the most important thing, regardless of how it got done, was for us to win a game and to kind of stop the slide."

Notes

  • Beltran has three multihomer games in 2008.
  • Nieves had his first three-hit game in the majors.
 
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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Carlos Beltran meets a group of Mets at home plate following his second HR of the game.  (US Presswire)
Carlos Beltran meets a group of Mets at home plate following his second HR of the game. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Beltran
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Washington

W. Nieves
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4222101 .299
Daniel Murphy, LF5121010 .362
    Endy Chavez, LF0000000 .271
David Wright, 3B5000024 .296
Carlos Delgado, 1B4222112 .265
Carlos Beltran, CF3223101 .282
Ryan Church, RF4000012 .285
Argenis Reyes, 2B3100010 .225
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
Brian Schneider, C4120010 .262
Brandon Knight, P1000010 .000
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH1000000 .214
    Ricardo Rincon, P0000000 .000
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .667
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
    Luis Castillo, 2B0000100 .252
Totals34910848  
a-grounded into a double play for Knight in the 6th
Batting
2B - Brian Schneider (10, Bergmann)
3B - Daniel Murphy (2, Martis)
HR - Jose Reyes (15, Martis), Carlos Delgado (36, Martis), Carlos Beltran 2 (26, Martis, Manning)
SH - Brandon Knight (1)
RBI - Jose Reyes 2 (61), Daniel Murphy (14), Carlos Delgado 2 (106), Carlos Beltran 3 (106)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Delgado (39)
SB - Jose Reyes (51, 2nd base off Martis/Nieves)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Beltran 1
DP - Beltran-Ar. Reyes, Reyes-Ar. Reyes-Delgado
E - David Wright (14, Throwing)
New York Mets
Brandon Knight (W,1-0) 5622450 5.25
Ricardo Rincon 1211110 3.86
Brian Stokes 1322011 3.62
Aaron Heilman0200000 5.38
Scott Schoeneweis (H,15) 0.2000010 3.04
Joe Smith (H,18) 0.1020100 3.47
Pedro Feliciano (H,21) 0.2100000 4.03
Luis Ayala (S,8) 0.1000010 5.45
WP - Ricardo Rincon (1), Brian Stokes (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Knight 98-59, Ricardo Rincon 19-10, Brian Stokes 22-15, Aaron Heilman 10-5, Scott Schoeneweis 6-5, Joe Smith 10-5, Pedro Feliciano 8-7, Luis Ayala 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Knight 4-4, Ricardo Rincon 1-0, Joe Smith 1-1, Pedro Feliciano 2-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Knight 23, Ricardo Rincon 5, Brian Stokes 6, Aaron Heilman 2, Scott Schoeneweis 2, Joe Smith 3, Pedro Feliciano 3, Luis Ayala 1
Washington Nationals
Willie Harris, LF3010213 .250
Cristian Guzman, SS5120013 .315
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4000125 .281
Lastings Milledge, CF5210003 .267
Elijah Dukes, RF3312213 .272
Kory Casto, 1B3021110 .223
   a- Anderson Hernandez, PH1000000 .321
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B5121014 .245
Wil Nieves, C5032000 .263
Shairon Martis, P0000000 .000
   b- Pete Orr, PH1000010 .234
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
   c- Ryan Langerhans, PH1000003 .231
    Levale Speigner, P0000000 .000
   d- Alberto Gonzalez, PH1011000 .263
    Charlie Manning, P0000000 .000
   e- Aaron Boone, PH1010000 .254
    Garrett Mock, P0000000 .000
   f- Luke Montz, PH0000000 .083
   g- Roger Bernadina, PH1000011 .145
Totals39714769  
a-grounded out for Casto in the 9th
b-struck out for Martis in the 3rd
c-grounded out for Bergmann in the 4th
d-singled for Speigner in the 6th
e-singled for Manning in the 8th
f-announced for Mock in the 9th
g-struck out for Montz in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kory Casto (9, Knight), Wil Nieves (9, Heilman)
HR - Elijah Dukes (13, Stokes)
RBI - Elijah Dukes 2 (44), Kory Casto (14), Emilio Bonifacio (10), Wil Nieves 2 (18), Alberto Gonzalez (6)
2-OUT RBI - Elijah Dukes 2 (13), Emilio Bonifacio (5), Wil Nieves 2 (6), Alberto Gonzalez (3)
CS - Alberto Gonzalez (1, 3rd base by Rincon/Schneider)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Bonifacio-Guzman-Casto, Bonifacio-Casto-Guzman
Washington Nationals
Shairon Martis (L,0-3) 3566243 6.23
Jason Bergmann 1211000 5.28
Levale Speigner 2111100 5.06
Charlie Manning 2111031 5.35
Garrett Mock 1100110 4.21
HBP - Ar. Reyes (by Levale Speigner)
Pitches-Strikes - Shairon Martis 71-38, Jason Bergmann 15-10, Levale Speigner 30-19, Charlie Manning 20-14, Garrett Mock 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shairon Martis 2-3, Jason Bergmann 2-1, Levale Speigner 4-0, Charlie Manning 2-1
Batters Faced - Shairon Martis 16, Jason Bergmann 5, Levale Speigner 7, Charlie Manning 7, Garrett Mock 5
Game Information
Attendance - 25019
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Kerwin Danley