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Jackson (7-8) had allowed only a triple to Mike Baxter in the first inning and set a season high with 10 strikeouts through six. But in the seventh, the right-hander issued a leadoff walk to David Wright and Davis drove the next pitch the other way to left field for his 22nd home run.
Seventeen of his 22 homers have come on the road, most in the NL.
"I wasn't trying to go anywhere. I was just trying to hit the ball," Davis said.
"We didn't really do a great job of that tonight, partly because [Jackson] was so nasty. But he left a fastball up and away and I hit it on the barrel and it got out of there."
"Oh, man. He was nasty tonight. He had everything. He was throwing all his pitches for strikes. His fastball was moving everywhere and his slider was real sharp," Davis said.
After allowing a leadoff single to Espinosa in the sixth, Niese retired the last seven batters he faced.
"It was one of those nights where everything felt good," he said.
Francisco was helped by Baxter, who made a nice running catch of Zimmerman's fly ball to right to start the ninth.
"It was a good catch. I really had no idea why he was there, but he got me out," Zimmerman said.
Niese, who is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six games against Washington, allowed five hits and struck out seven without a walk.
"It seems like when you need him most, he steps up," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Tonight he knew we needed him again and he gave us a great outing."
New York posted its 11th shutout of the season, while Washington was blanked for the fifth time.
Jackson pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and two hits. He walked one and struck out 11.
"Tonight, Niese was the better pitcher. He held us scoreless. The bullpen did the same. I gave up two runs. I lost," Jackson said.
Washington manager Davey Johnson was impressed, though.
"That was probably the most dominant I've seen him pitch," Johnson said. "He was fun watching. His stuff was so electric. He was overmatching them."
It was only New York's fourth win in 14 games against the NL East leaders this season.
"It's great to beat them. You always want to beat the best. And right now they're the best in the division," Davis said.
The Nationals remained four games ahead of second-place Atlanta, which lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two teams begin a three-game series Monday in Washington.
|Ike Davis' two-run homer in the seventh inning breaks a scoreless game and carries the Mets past the Nationals. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Mets|
|Ruben Tejada, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.312|
|Mike Baxter, RF||4||0||1||0||0||3||1||.304|
|David Wright, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||2||1||.319|
|Ike Davis, 1B||4||1||2||2||0||1||1||.219|
|Daniel Murphy, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.290|
|Jordany Valdespin, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.247|
|Frank Francisco, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Andres Torres, CF||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||.231|
|Josh Thole, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.256|
|Jonathon Niese, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.190|
|Jon Rauch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Bay, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.155|
|3B - Mike Baxter (2, Jackson)|
|HR - Ike Davis (22, Jackson)|
|RBI - Ike Davis 2 (67)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|New York Mets|
|Jonathon Niese (W,10-6)||7.1||5||0||0||0||7||0||3.49|
|Jon Rauch (H,13)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.07|
|Frank Francisco (S,20)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||6.06|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jonathon Niese 109-72, Jon Rauch 12-7, Frank Francisco 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathon Niese 10-5, Jon Rauch 1-1, Frank Francisco 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jonathon Niese 27, Jon Rauch 2, Frank Francisco 3|
|Jayson Werth, CF-RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.311|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.256|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.279|
|Michael Morse, RF-LF||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.295|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.263|
|Ian Desmond, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.280|
|Tyler Moore, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.274|
|Ryan Mattheus, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Gonzalez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jesus Flores, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.220|
|Edwin Jackson, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.195|
|Bryce Harper, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.248|
|2B - Adam LaRoche (26, Niese)|
|SH - Edwin Jackson (5)|
|SB - Ryan Zimmerman (5, 2nd base off Niese/Thole)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - Ian Desmond (13, Misplayed grounder)|
|Edwin Jackson (L,7-8)||7||2||2||2||1||11||1||3.69|
|Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 103-69, Ryan Mattheus 21-16, Mike Gonzalez 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 10-1, Ryan Mattheus 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 25, Ryan Mattheus 5, Mike Gonzalez 2|
|Attendance - 42662|
|Game Time - 2:35|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Jordan Baker, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Brian Runge|