NEW YORK (AP) — Juan Lagares hit a go-ahead, three-run double off Washington closer Sean Doolittle, Rajai Davis capped the six-run eighth inning with a three-run homer in his first at-bat for the Mets and New York rallied to beat the Nationals 6-1 Wednesday night.
Max Scherzer stranded seven runners in six shutout innings, and Adam Eaton homered on Jacob deGrom’s fourth pitch in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners.
Washington’s bullpen entered with a worst-in-the-majors 6.61 ERA, and it got even worse. The Nationals have won just twice in 11 starts by Scherzer, who remained 2-5.
Adeiny Hechavarria doubled with one out in the eighth off Kyle Barraclaugh (0-1) and Todd Frazier walked with two outs.
Doolittle relieved and hit Carlos Gomez with his first pitch, then Lagares hit a one-hop double to the left-center wall, ending an 0-for-12 slide. Wilson Ramos was intentionally walked, and the 38-year-old Davis, batting in the pitcher’s spot, hit the first pinch homer of his big league career. Davis was called up before the game when Brandon Nimmo went on the injured list with inflammation in his neck and arrived at Citi Field around the third inning.
Mets star Robinson Cano was sent for an MRI after straining his left quad running to first base when he grounded out in the third following J.D. Davis’ two-out double. The eight-time All-Star twice failed to run out grounders last weekend in Miami, both of them resulting in double plays.
Drew Gagnon (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth for the Mets, who had been 0-23 when trailing after seven innings. Tyler Bashlor finished the three-hitter.
New York (23-26) won its third straight in the four-game series — all after the team said Mickey Callaway’s job as manager was safe — and stretched its home winning streak to six.
Washington has dropped to 19-30 and is 10 games under .500 for the first time since September 2011.
Neither Cy Young Award winner has been sharp this season, and it showed.
A three-time Cy Young who won the honor for Washington in 2016 and ’17, Scherzer allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked two, but he needed 25 pitches in the first and fifth innings and 24 in the fourth.
Scherzer was removed after 109 pitches — he fell one shy of matching Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer as the only hurlers since the start of the 2018 season to throw 110 pitches in five straight starts.
DeGrom, the reigning NL Cy Young, lost his second straight start and dropped to 1-6 in his last eight despite allowing two hits in six innings with eight strikeouts and three walks.
New York was feeling blue before the game — in a good way. Having won the first two games of the series in alternate blue jerseys, the Mets stayed with the dark shirts.
Nationals: LHP Dan Jennings, who had been designated for assignment, elected free agency.
Mets: RHP Paul Sewald was designated for assignment.
Nationals: 1B Matt Adams had not played since May 4 because of a strained left shoulder. Washington manager Dave Martinez decided after watching him take batting practice Tuesday that he did not need a minor league rehab assignment. To clear a roster spot, INF Adrian Sanchez was optioned to Double-A Harrisburg, leaving 3B Anthony Rendon as the backup shortstop. ... RHP Trevor Rosenthal, who last pitched for the Nationals on April 24 and was put on the IL with a viral infection, had an erratic one-inning appearance for Harrisburg on Tuesday, allowing two walks, a hit batter, a wild pitch and a two-run double. He likely will make another minor league appearance Thursday.
Mets: INF Jeff McNeil was out of a starting lineup because of a tight left hamstring.
RHP Stephen Strasburg (4-3) starts Thursday’s series finale for the Nationals and LHP Steven Matz (3-3) for the Mets.
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