deGrominant effort nets victory over Nationals

June 18th, 2017

NEW YORK -- The Mets fell into a familiar pattern over the first two months of this season, playing well at times only to lose difficult games on Sunday afternoons. Some of their most memorable losses came with the sun up on Sundays, including a blowout in Washington on the final day of April.

Behind 's dominant outing and first career homer, the Mets reversed that script on a sunny Father's Day Sunday at Citi Field, winning a 5-1 game over the Nationals to avoid a series sweep.

"We knew he was going to be tough going into today because they don't want to be swept at home. You know, four-game series, [it's] always tough to do," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

finished 4-for-4, while collected two hits and drove home a pair off Nats starter Joe Ross, who entered Sunday averaging 10.6 runs of support in his previous eight starts. He received just one in this one, on a sacrifice fly in the first inning.

For most of the afternoon, deGrom simply overpowered the Nationals, completing eight innings for the third time in five starts. His highlight was a game-tying home run off Ross in the third, one inning before 's single gave the Mets their first lead of the series.

"They're a great team -- I think we know that," Rivera said. "We've just got to keep competing. It's tough to lose the series, but it's nice to end it on a good note. Hopefully we can keep this thing going."


Jacob has left the building: The Mets couldn't break through against Ross until deGrom stepped to the plate in the third inning, leading off with a 379-foot home run to left-center. It was New York's first home run by a pitcher since went deep last Aug. 16 against Arizona and their first at Citi Field since Matt Harvey went yard on July 11, 2015, also against the D-backs. More important for the Mets, it tied the game at 1.

"I think I got lucky," deGrom said, laughing. "I was running pretty hard. I didn't know it was gone." More >

Taking advantage: Due to some sloppy defense, the Nationals actually held an early lead against deGrom. After reached on a fielding error with one out in the first inning, singled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Zimmerman followed with the sac fly to give the Nats a 1-0 edge.


"Don't pick up the newspapers. Just go win baseball games. The only thing you can control is how you play. If you go win games, you'll get back in the race." -- Mets manager Terry Collins

"He pitched well enough to win," -- Baker, on Ross' outing


With a ninth-inning double off , Nationals second baseman extended his streak of reaching base against his former team to all 29 games he has played against them.

"Murph doesn't give at-bats away," Baker said. "That's number one. I mean, the real good hitters don't give at-bats away. Murph's a grinder. It doesn't matter who they're playing, but he probably gets special motivation playing here. He played a bunch of games here and feels very comfortable in this ballpark."


Shortstop swiped four bases against deGrom and Mets catcher d'Arnaud, the most by a Nationals player since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005.

"Any time you can do something like that, it's special and not something you want to take for granted," Turner said. More >


Nationals: The Nats will look to feast on another National League East opponent when they open a three-game set in Miami on Monday. , who owns a 6.29 ERA in his past three starts, will start for the Nationals, while and his lifetime 8.10 ERA against Washington takes the mound for the Marlins. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Mets: A struggling Mets team will receive no reprieve out West, where the Dodgers have three-time Cy Young Award winner lined up to face them Monday in Los Angeles. Kershaw will oppose Zack Wheeler in the 10:10 p.m. ET opener of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium, kicking off an 11-day, 10-game, three-city road trip for the Mets.

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