New York at Washington

N.Y. Mets
W: C. Stammen (3-5) L: M. Pelfrey (7-6)
S: M. MacDougal (6)
HR: NYM - None   WAS - J. Willingham (13)

Stammen stymies stumbling Mets; Nationals win series wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Josh Willingham broke out of a post-All-Star break funk, then said his offensive performance had little to do with the Washington Nationals' sudden change of fortune.

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."

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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.


  • Washington placed rookie RHP Jordan Zimmermann on the 15-day DL with right elbow discomfort and announced that RHP Collin Balester would be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to start Thursday's game against St. Louis.
  • New York 2B Luis Castillo was ejected in the second inning by umpire Hunter Wendelstedt for arguing a safe call on a close forceout play at second. Castillo was charged with an error for mishandling 3B Wright's throw. It was Castillo's first career ejection.
  • Mets OF Gary Sheffield was unavailable again because of a hamstring problem, and Manuel said the team would decide Friday whether Sheffield needs to be placed on the DL.
  • Washington's Nyjer Morgan was caught stealing for a major league-leading 14th time in the first inning.
Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

C. Stammen
IP 7.1
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 5

J. Willingham
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1

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New York Mets
Angel Pagan, CF3110100 .317
Luis Castillo, 2B1000000 .289
    Fernando Tatis, 2B3010012 .242
Daniel Murphy, 1B3000102 .241
David Wright, 3B4010012 .316
Jeff Francoeur, RF4000001 .258
Cory Sullivan, LF4000000 .000
Angel Berroa, SS3000011 .103
Brian Schneider, C3000000 .208
Mike Pelfrey, P2000020 .125
   a- Jeremy Reed, PH1010000 .257
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Sean Green, P0000000 .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) 7633221 4.99
Bobby Parnell 0.1000000 4.10
Pedro Feliciano 0.1100010 2.92
Sean Green 0.1100010 5.23
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
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF4010000 .287
Cristian Guzman, SS4000000 .290
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4010000 .283
Adam Dunn, LF4110011 .267
    Austin Kearns, RF0000000 .198
Nick Johnson, 1B3110101 .305
Josh Willingham, RF4142000 .297
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
Ronnie Belliard, 2B3001012 .191
Josh Bard, C2000112 .261
Craig Stammen, P3000014 .200
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Willie Harris, LF0000000 .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)
Washington Nationals
Craig Stammen (W,3-5) 7.1411250 4.14
Jason Bergmann (H,2) 0.1000000 5.95
Joe Beimel (H,10) 0.1000000 3.35
Mike MacDougal (S,6) 1000000 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
Game Information
Attendance - 23583
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Doug Eddings