|N.Y. Mets (23-33) «||0||2||3||0||2||0||3||0||0||10||15||0|
"I told Reck I was feeling good in BP," Byrd said. "And I was joking around with him, I said, `Hey, if I get some pitches tonight, I'm going to hit two home runs."'
Sure enough, Byrd planted a pair beyond the left-field wall Wednesday night, maintaining his mastery of Dan Haren as the New York Mets snapped a four-game skid with a 10-1 rout of the Washington Nationals.
"That's teammates talking trash," Byrd said. "And that it happened is something crazy. It doesn't happen too much, I'll tell you that."
The win put the Mets above .400 and the Nationals below .500 -- a succinct reflection of the mixed fortunes of both clubs -- and also dropped preseason favorite Washington to third place behind Philadelphia in the NL East. The Nationals trail division-leading Atlanta by eight games.
For the Mets, it was their best run output since early April, a rare comfortable win in a challenging season.
"We needed one very bad," manager Terry Collins said. "We have certainly been in our share of close games all year, on both ends of it. To have a game where we just take a deep breath and relax a little bit was certainly welcomed and needed."
Byrd hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the third, making him 10 for 18 in his career against Haren (4-7). David Wright, in a 1-for-18 slump entering the game, also homered in the third inning and singled and scored in New York's two-run fifth.
Recker doubled his season RBI total from three to six with a pair of hits, and rookie center fielder Juan Lagares had his first three-hit game in the majors.
Even pitcher Dillon Gee joined in the hitting fun. When he singled in the seventh, it meant that all nine Mets starters had at least one hit.
On the mound, Gee (4-6) allowed one run over seven innings in his second consecutive solid start after his spot in the rotation had been put in doubt by a series of short outings. The run came in the first inning when Byrd misplayed a double by Denard Span, who then scored on a single by Ian Desmond.
"I can't be satisfied," Gee said. "I've got to continue to do it. It feels good to do it again, give the team a chance to win, but the guys did an awesome job, scored a bunch of runs."
The Nationals felt buoyed by a ninth-inning comeback in the series opener Tuesday, the first time they had come from behind to win this season when trailing after the sixth inning. Manager Davey Johnson was clean-shaven Wednesday, ending a razor boycott he had said would last until his team started hitting.
But Washington's bats remained cold. The Nationals scored 11 runs while hitting .197 with 42 strikeouts over six games. They had men on second and third with one out in the fourth inning, but Span struck out swinging and Jayson Werth struck out looking.
"Boy, it's been difficult," Johnson said. "But it seems like they were swinging the bats a little bit better tonight. Just didn't hit with men on base. It's frustrating."
The Nationals lost for the ninth time by six or more runs, passing last year's total of eight with more than 100 games to go.
Meanwhile, the starting rotation that has performed so well is showing some cracks. Stephen Strasburg, sidelined with a strained back muscle, joined Ross Detwiler on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.
And Haren? His ERA is now 5.45.
"I feel bad for the guys, letting them down. I can't be this inconsistent," he said. "I'm the same guy five days ago that went through one of the toughest lineups in baseball and kept us there. And then lay another egg tonight. It's just - I gotta be better."
|New York's Marlon Byrd (center) homers twice, making him 10 for 18 in his career against Nationals starter Dan Haren. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Mets|
|Omar Quintanilla, SS||5||0||1||0||0||2||3||.455|
|Daniel Murphy, 2B||4||2||2||1||1||1||1||.290|
|David Wright, 3B||5||2||2||2||0||2||3||.276|
|Lucas Duda, LF||5||1||1||0||0||3||3||.232|
|Marlon Byrd, RF||4||3||2||3||1||1||2||.255|
|Ike Davis, 1B||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.166|
|Anthony Recker, C||5||1||2||3||0||1||0||.200|
|Juan Lagares, CF||5||1||3||0||0||1||1||.189|
|Dillon Gee, P||3||0||1||1||0||0||4||.111|
|Greg Burke, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Justin Turner, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.288|
|Robert Carson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for G. Burke in the 9th|
|2B - Omar Quintanilla (2, Krol), Daniel Murphy (19, Davis), Lucas Duda (11, Haren), Anthony Recker (3, Davis)|
|HR - David Wright (8, Haren), Marlon Byrd 2 (8, Haren, Haren)|
|SH - Dillon Gee (2)|
|RBI - Daniel Murphy (26), David Wright 2 (32), Marlon Byrd 3 (28), Anthony Recker 3 (6), Dillon Gee (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Daniel Murphy (14), Marlon Byrd (9), Anthony Recker 2 (2)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|New York Mets|
|Dillon Gee (W,4-6)||7||9||1||1||1||7||0||5.20|
|HBP - Kobernus (by Robert Carson)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dillon Gee 107-78, Greg Burke 19-9, Robert Carson 11-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dillon Gee 6-8, Greg Burke 1-2, Robert Carson 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Dillon Gee 31, Greg Burke 4, Robert Carson 4|
|Denard Span, CF||5||1||2||0||0||1||2||.267|
|Jayson Werth, RF||4||0||0||0||0||3||5||.250|
|Fernando Abad, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Chad Tracy, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.145|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.277|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.246|
|Ian Desmond, SS||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.269|
|Anthony Rendon, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.241|
|Stephen Lombardozzi, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.227|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.237|
|Jhonatan Solano, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.118|
|Dan Haren, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.190|
|b- Roger Bernadina, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.165|
|Craig Stammen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ian Krol, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Tyler Moore, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.149|
|Erik Davis, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Kobernus, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Abad in the 9th|
|b-doubled for Haren in the 4th|
|c-struck out for Krol in the 6th|
|2B - Denard Span (11, Gee), Anthony Rendon (2, G. Burke), Kurt Suzuki (6, Gee), Dan Haren (2, Gee), Roger Bernadina (2, Gee)|
|RBI - Ian Desmond (24)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ian Desmond (7)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|Dan Haren (L,4-7)||4||7||5||5||0||2||3||5.45|
|WP - Ian Krol (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 76-48, Craig Stammen 32-17, Ian Krol 23-13, Erik Davis 39-22, Fernando Abad 22-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 5-5, Craig Stammen 1-0, Fernando Abad 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Dan Haren 19, Craig Stammen 8, Ian Krol 4, Erik Davis 8, Fernando Abad 6|
|Attendance - 36155|
|Game Time - 3:12|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Wally Bell|