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(Monday, April 9th)
Final Score: New York 4, Washington 3
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Daniel Murphy's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning kept the Mets perfect on the season as New York took a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in the first of three games at Citi Field.
The Mets improved to 4-0 on the season, winning their first four games of the year for the first time since 2007.
"It just means we're playing good baseball," Murphy said about his team's record. "To come out of the gates and play good baseball is what we're most excited about in this clubhouse."
Jon Rauch (1-0) tossed two scoreless innings to earn the win. Starter Mike Pelfrey allowed three runs on 10 hits and a walk while tying his career-high with eight strikeouts through 5 2/3 innings.
Henry Rodriguez (0-1) gave up the deciding run after a costly throwing error to suffer the loss.
Edwin Jackson allowed three runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in a five-inning start for the Nationals, who have dropped their past two.
Rodriguez returned for the ninth inning after fanning pinch-hitter Scott Hairston to strand a runner on second in the eighth, but walked Mike Baxter to lead off the ninth.
Ruben Tejada then laid down a bunt that Rodriguez fielded, but his throw to first was low and Adam LaRoche couldn't handle the short hop, moving the runners to second and third with no outs.
Murphy, who made a diving stop of a Ryan Zimmerman grounder up the middle in the top of the ninth to end the inning, stepped up next and took a ball before pulling a soft liner into shallow right field that allowed Baxter to cruise home for the game-deciding run.
Three straight one-out singles by Danny Espinosa, Zimmerman and LaRoche in the top of the first inning resulted in Espinosa crossing the plate and the Nationals taking a 1-0 lead.
Pelfrey escaped with no further damage, though, as he struck out Jayson Werth before inducing a Mark DeRosa groundout to end the inning.
It marked the first time this season that the Mets had fallen behind in a game.
Washington added to its lead in the third when Ian Desmond led off the frame with a single and rounded the bases two batters later on Zimmerman's double into right-center field. LaRoche followed with a base hit down the third-base line that plated Zimmerman and gave the Nationals a 3-0 advantage.
But LaRoche was tagged out at second while trying to leg out a double and after Werth smacked a triple to right, DeRosa grounded out to first to end the inning.
The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the frame when Pelfrey led off with a double before coming home on David Wright's base hit to left and then tied the game in the fourth on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' two-run home run over the right- center field wall.
It was Nieuwenhuis' first home run and runs batted in of his career.
Washington left runners on second base in the sixth and seventh innings, while the Mets stranded a man on second in the sixth and eighth innings and a runner on third in the seventh to keep the game knotted at three.
"We came out of the gates swinging," said Desmond. "They chipped away at us and we probably spoiled a few opportunities we shouldn't have."
Wright has had an RBI in each of the Mets' games this season and now has 729 runs batted in for his career. He trails Darryl Strawberry's 733 RBI for the franchise record...Washington went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base...New York hit 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.
04/10 00:25:53 ET
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