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Lagares' laser cuts down Goodwin at home

Given start with lefty on hill, defensive whiz makes difference in close game
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

WASHINGTON -- Juan Lagares grinned when asked what Amed Rosario said to him as the pair walked off the field in the second inning Saturday. Lagares had just cut down speedy Nationals outfielder Brian Goodwin attempting to score from second on a Pedro Severino single. As Lagares jogged in from center, his teammate caught his ear.

"Highway robbery," Rosario said.

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WASHINGTON -- Juan Lagares grinned when asked what Amed Rosario said to him as the pair walked off the field in the second inning Saturday. Lagares had just cut down speedy Nationals outfielder Brian Goodwin attempting to score from second on a Pedro Severino single. As Lagares jogged in from center, his teammate caught his ear.

"Highway robbery," Rosario said.

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Limited to the Mets' bench for most of this season, Lagares drew a starting assignment in their 3-2 win over the Nationals because Washington was using a left-handed pitcher, Gio Gonzalez. The side benefit was Lagares' Gold Glove defense, which injuries have prevented him from showcasing in recent seasons.

Tweet from @Mets: .@juanlagares2 says @Amed_Rosario had two words for him after his outfield assist. #HighwayRobbery #MetsWin pic.twitter.com/KQmxfzDWKs

As Goodwin barreled home from second, Lagares charged forward and threw a 235-foot strike to home plate, delivering it on the fly with plenty of time for catcher Travis d'Arnaud to apply the tag. The throw preserved a scoreless tie for Mets starter Steven Matz, who had walked Goodwin and allowed Severino's single after striking out five batters in a row.

"That feels great, especially how the game was," said Lagares, who recorded 15 outfield assists in 2013 before winning a National League Gold Glove Award the following season. "I felt great in the moment."

Lagares also reached base in both of his plate appearances against Gonzalez, finishing 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. He will continue to draw regular starts against left-handed pitchers, otherwise serving as a late-game defensive replacement for the Mets.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Juan Lagares