Washington at New York

Washington (51-96) «200020101692
N.Y. Mets (63-85)0020000035112

Nationals 6, Mets 5

CBSSports.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- With little left to play for, the New York Mets are still finding frustrating ways to lose.

Ryan Zimmerman hit his 30th homer, Josh Bard drove in three runs and the last-place Washington Nationals held off the free-falling Mets 6-5 on Friday night.

New York rallied for three runs in a wild ninth inning and had runners at second and third when Jeff Francoeur hit a comebacker that knocked Mike MacDougal's glove off his hand. With his mitt on the ground in front of him, the reliever picked up the ball barehanded and lobbed a shaky throw to first for the final out.

"That was about par for the course for us," Zimmerman said. "Mac did a great job."

Francoeur, who had three hits and a stolen base, tossed down his helmet in anguish.

"It's been that kind of season," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.

Bard and Josh Willingham also homered to help the Nationals end a three-game skid. Rookie right-hander J.D. Martin had another solid start, sending the Mets to their sixth consecutive loss and 10th in 11 games.

It is New York's longest losing streak since dropping six straight in September 2005, according to STATS LLC.

"The Mets, kind of like us, have had a disappointing year. But you see both clubs battling and you have to respect that," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "They are down by four in the ninth and they had great at-bats. But it just got ugly."

New York (63-85) dropped 22 games below .500 for the first time since finishing 66-95 in 2003.

Zimmerman and Bard each hit a two-run shot off Mike Pelfrey (10-11), who hadn't allowed a home run at spacious Citi Field since Philadelphia's Chase Utley connected on June 10.

Martin (5-4) yielded two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, improving to 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA in his last eight starts. Martin was called up from Triple-A Syracuse on July 20 and lost to the Mets in his major league debut that night.

MacDougal struck out Josh Thole with runners at second and third to end the eighth, then pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances.

It didn't come easily.

David Wright hit a run-scoring single and Carlos Beltran hustled to beat out a potential double-play grounder, tripping at first base and sprawling to the dirt.

"They're fighting," Manuel said. "They put forth a tremendous effort. You can't say that about many clubs that are in the position we're in, that are going to put forth that type of effort to come back."

Beltran's RBI made it 6-4 with two outs. Daniel Murphy then hit a sharp smash toward shortstop, where rookie Ian Desmond made a slick pickup before throwing high to first for an error that allowed another run to score.

With the game suddenly on the line, MacDougal retired Francoeur - on a play that was anything but routine.

"It's unbelievable. I told Jerry, I was sitting in the hole and I told him, 'I am going to win this thing tonight,"' Francoeur said. "It's one of those that right away, right when you hit it, you think you win. I mean, you hit it right back up the middle. It would have been so big for us to have that ball get to the outfield and win. I thought we deserved it, to be honest with you. But that's not the way it goes."

Willingham, not known for his glove, also made a pair of fine plays in left field. He jumped at the high fence in left-center to grab Wright's drive with two on in the third, then threw out Beltran at the plate to end the sixth after catching Wilson Valdez's bases-loaded liner.

Bard smothered the short-hop throw and made a nice tag on the play.

Zimmerman's first-inning shot barely cleared the wall in the right-field corner. He and Adam Dunn (37 homers) are the first pair of Nationals teammates to reach 30 home runs in the same season.

The only other duo in franchise history to do it was Brad Wilkerson and Tony Batista. They both hit 32 homers for the 2004 Montreal Expos.

"I never hit home runs before I got here," Zimmerman said. "It means something to me because it means I'm doing better each year and that obviously is going to help the team win. I think if you're going to be a No. 3 hitter, a middle-of-the-lineup hitter, then that's what you're supposed to do."


MacDougal has pitched more than one inning for a save five times this season. ... Zimmerman's homer also gave him a career-best 100 runs scored. He leads the team in that category. ... Attendance appeared to be considerably less than the paid crowd announced at 38,063.

Copyright 2015 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
New York

C. Beltran
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

R. Zimmerman
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Washington Nationals
Willie Harris, CF-LF4000010 .227
Cristian Guzman, SS4110000 .288
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4122000 .291
Adam Dunn, 1B4000002 .278
Josh Willingham, LF4121020 .277
    Justin Maxwell, CF0000000 .233
Elijah Dukes, RF4120001 .262
Ian Desmond, 2B-SS4110002 .458
Josh Bard, C3113001 .234
J.D. Martin, P2000010 .143
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Morse, PH1000000 .273
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
    Alberto Gonzalez, 2B0000000 .254
a-grounded out for Villone in the 7th
2B - Ian Desmond (5, Pelfrey)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (30, Pelfrey), Josh Willingham (23, Stokes), Josh Bard (5, Pelfrey)
SF - Josh Bard (1)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (96), Josh Willingham (60), Josh Bard 3 (30)
Team LOB - 2
Outfield Assists - Josh Willingham 1
DP - Desmond-Guzman-Dunn, Willingham-Bard
E - Ian Desmond (3, Throwing), Adam Dunn (15, Dropped fly)
Washington Nationals
J.D. Martin (W,5-4) 5.1722230 4.21
Ron Villone (H,6) 0.2000100 4.22
Sean Burnett (H,11) 1000010 3.14
Jason Bergmann (H,8) 0.2200020 5.10
Mike MacDougal (S,16) 1.1232210 3.88
Pitches-Strikes - J.D. Martin 98-58, Ron Villone 9-4, Sean Burnett 13-9, Jason Bergmann 12-9, Mike MacDougal 35-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.D. Martin 5-7, Mike MacDougal 3-1
Batters Faced - J.D. Martin 24, Ron Villone 2, Sean Burnett 3, Jason Bergmann 4, Mike MacDougal 9
New York Mets
Angel Pagan, LF4211110 .303
Luis Castillo, 2B5120010 .306
David Wright, 3B5011022 .314
Carlos Beltran, CF4022110 .335
Daniel Murphy, 1B5010014 .262
Jeff Francoeur, RF5030003 .279
Brian Schneider, C1000101 .201
   a- Fernando Tatis, PH0000100 .272
    Josh Thole, C1000012 .355
Wilson Valdez, SS3110004 .258
   b- Cory Sullivan, PH0100100 .256
Mike Pelfrey, P1000001 .102
   c- Gary Sheffield, PH1000000 .277
    Sean Green, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .000
   d- Jeremy Reed, PH1000001 .252
a-walked for Schneider in the 6th
b-walked for Valdez in the 9th
c-lined out for Pelfrey in the 7th
d-flied out for Stokes in the 9th
2B - Jeff Francoeur (28, Martin), Wilson Valdez (2, Martin)
SH - Mike Pelfrey (4)
RBI - Angel Pagan (29), David Wright (68), Carlos Beltran 2 (44)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (14)
SB - Jeff Francoeur (6, 2nd base off MacDougal/Bard)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Castillo-Valdez-Murphy, Valdez-Castillo-Murphy
E - Josh Thole (1, Throwing), David Wright (15, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
Mike Pelfrey (L,10-11) 7854042 5.10
Sean Green 0.2000000 4.97
Pedro Feliciano 0.1000000 3.04
Brian Stokes 1111001 4.08
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 90-63, Sean Green 16-8, Pedro Feliciano 1-1, Brian Stokes 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 7-8, Sean Green 3-0, Brian Stokes 1-2
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 27, Sean Green 3, Pedro Feliciano 1, Brian Stokes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 38063
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Rick Reed, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg