|N.Y. Mets (44-50)||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||4||1|
|Washington (28-66) «||0||0||0||1||0||2||0||0||x||3||8||1|
Craig Stammen pitched into the eighth inning and Willingham backed him with a tiebreaking two-run homer as the Nationals beat the New York Mets 3-1 on Wednesday night for their second successive victory.
"That's how you start winning streaks and how you play winning baseball," said Willingham, who was 0 for 14 since the break before getting a season-high four hits. "It starts with pitching."
It's the Nationals' first winning streak under interim manager Jim Riggleman, who took over when Manny Acta was fired July 13. Washington lost its first five games under Riggleman before beating the Mets 4-0 on Tuesday night behind John Lannan.
"Two wins in a row -- you can't beat that," Stammen said. "Last time John threw a complete game, I went out and gave up five runs in the first inning. It was in my head -- you know what, I'm going to get a good outing here. ... It's not really relief because I knew I could do it. It's satisfying because I came out and did my job."
Stammen (3-5) allowed one run and four hits over 7 1/3 innings. He retired the first 12 batters before David Wright led off the fifth with a single to center.
"We haven't really torn the cover off the ball, but I think it's just indicative of what can happen if you pitch and play defense," Riggleman said. "Sometimes you can win games without a lot of offense."
Willingham's 13th home run gave the Nationals a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Adam Dunn led off with a liner to right that turned into a double when Jeff Francoeur lost it in the lights. After Nick Johnson grounded out, Willingham drove a 2-1 slider over the fence in left-center.
New York has scored one run or been shut out in 12 of 27 games since All-Star center fielder Carlos Beltran went on the disabled list on June 22, going 10-17 and falling 10 games behind NL East-leading Philadelphia. The Mets are last in the majors over that span with 81 runs and a .231 batting average, and they've fallen six games under .500 (44-50) for the first time since ending the 2004 season at 71-91.
"What happens is that when you are in the situation we are in, every team we play, because [we're] deficient of talent, every team we play is going to be in the game," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.
New York totaled one run in the last two games of the series against the Nationals, whose 5.09 ERA is the highest in the NL and 29th in the majors, ahead of only Cleveland.
"We're not going to be able to go out there and score runs at will," Wright said. "We really have to be clicking on all cylinders to score runs and obviously right now we are not."
Stammen left after pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed doubled and Angel Pagan walked in the eighth. Jason Bergmann got Fernando Tatis to foul out to first and Joe Beimel retired Daniel Murphy on a fly ball to end the inning. Mike MacDougal then worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save in six tries.
Washington had last won back-to-back games July 4-5.
Mike Pelfrey (7-6) gave up three runs and six hits over seven innings, but lost for the third time in four starts. The Mets have dropped five of seven.
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Ronnie Belliard's sacrifice fly.
The Mets responded in the sixth when Pagan sliced a two-out triple into left-center and scored when shortstop Cristian Guzman's wild relay got past third.
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Mets|
|Angel Pagan, CF||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.317|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.289|
|Fernando Tatis, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.242|
|Daniel Murphy, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.241|
|David Wright, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.316|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.258|
|Cory Sullivan, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Angel Berroa, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.103|
|Brian Schneider, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.208|
|Mike Pelfrey, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.125|
|a- Jeremy Reed, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.257|
|Bobby Parnell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Sean Green, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-doubled for Pelfrey in the 8th|
|2B - Fernando Tatis (10, Stammen), Jeremy Reed (5, Stammen)|
|3B - Angel Pagan (3, Stammen)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - Luis Castillo (7, Missed catch of throw)|
|New York Mets|
|Mike Pelfrey (L,7-6)||7||6||3||3||2||2||1||4.99|
|IBB - Bard by Mike Pelfrey|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 111-67, Bobby Parnell 2-1, Pedro Feliciano 5-4, Sean Green 6-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 12-7, Bobby Parnell 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 29, Bobby Parnell 1, Pedro Feliciano 2, Sean Green 2|
|Nyjer Morgan, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.287|
|Cristian Guzman, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.290|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.283|
|Adam Dunn, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.267|
|Austin Kearns, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.198|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.305|
|Josh Willingham, RF||4||1||4||2||0||0||0||.297|
|Mike MacDougal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ronnie Belliard, 2B||3||0||0||1||0||1||2||.191|
|Josh Bard, C||2||0||0||0||1||1||2||.261|
|Craig Stammen, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||4||.200|
|Jason Bergmann, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Beimel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Willie Harris, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.235|
|2B - Adam Dunn (18, Pelfrey), Josh Willingham 2 (18, Pelfrey, Green)|
|HR - Josh Willingham (13, Pelfrey)|
|SF - Ronnie Belliard (2)|
|RBI - Josh Willingham 2 (29), Ronnie Belliard (9)|
|CS - Nyjer Morgan (14, 2nd base by Pelfrey/Schneider)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Cristian Guzman (13, Throwing)|
|Craig Stammen (W,3-5)||7.1||4||1||1||2||5||0||4.14|
|Jason Bergmann (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.95|
|Joe Beimel (H,10)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.35|
|Mike MacDougal (S,6)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.07|
|Pitches-Strikes - Craig Stammen 95-62, Jason Bergmann 4-2, Joe Beimel 3-2, Mike MacDougal 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Craig Stammen 11-6, Mike MacDougal 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Craig Stammen 28, Jason Bergmann 1, Joe Beimel 1, Mike MacDougal 3|
|Attendance - 23583|
|Game Time - 2:20|
|Temperature - 85|
|Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Doug Eddings|