Nationals, eliminated from playoff contention, beat Mets 6-0
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rookie Austin Voth and four relievers combined on a one-hitter and the Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets 6-0 on Saturday, hours after they were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Matt Wieters and Trea Turner homered for Washington.
Voth (1-1), making his second major league start, allowed only an infield single to Michael Conforto leading off the fourth inning. Voth struck out five with two walks in five innings.
The Nationals’ loss Friday night, coupled with the Atlanta Braves’ win, knocked them out of the NL East race. Then, shortly after Saturday’s game began, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants on a 10th-inning homer, ending Washington’s wild card hopes.
Favored to win a third straight division title, the Nationals slid into third place on June 22 and remained there.
“One day it could have been the pitching. One day it could have been we didn’t get one extra hit. Multiple reasons,” first-year manager Dave Martinez said before the game.
“You learn from it and move on and try to figure out how to make those days better, those things better.”
Ownership stood pat at the July trade deadline, and the team responded by winning six of seven games. However, a four-game losing streak soon had the Nationals nine games out of first place in mid-August, and the team unloaded players including Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams.
The team dealt with injuries to pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Sean Doolittle, as well as Adam Eaton, Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman, but even when healthy, Washington was unable to put together an extended winning stretch.
Even with Saturday’s win, the Nationals will lose the season series to the fourth-place Mets.
Turner’s 18th homer of the season, a two-run shot, put Washington ahead in the third, and Wieters added a three-run homer off reliever Jerry Blevins in the sixth.
New York’s Corey Oswalt (3-3) allowed two runs over five innings.
Matt Grace, Justin Miller, Jimmy Cordero and Austen Williams each worked an inning for Washington in relief of Voth.
Bryce Harper drew his 125th walk of the season, a career high and new Nationals record.
Washington’s Anthony Rendon extended his on-base streak to 30 games with a sixth-inning double, and Turner extended his on-base streak to 22 games with a first-inning double.
Mets: 2B Jeff McNeil was given the day off.
Nationals: OF Eaton (sore and stiff left knee) was out of the starting lineup for the fifth time in six games.
LHP Steven Matz (5-11, 4.18 ERA) makes his sixth start of the season against the Nationals, who will start RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 5.02) in the series finale.
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