WASHINGTON (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera hit an RBI double and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, helping the New York Mets come back to beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 Saturday for their fourth straight win despite Bryce Harper’s fifth homer.
Dave Martinez was ejected for the first time as a manager as the NL East champions lost their fourth consecutive game to fall to 4-4. Washington’s rookie skipper put on quite an old-school show, too, throwing his cap and kicking at the dirt near home plate when he was tossed by umpire Marty Foster in the third.
Martinez came out to argue after third baseman Anthony Rendon was ejected when he flipped his bat in reaction to being called out on strikes by Foster. Rendon was one of a handful of Nationals batters who registered displeasure about called strikes in the early innings.
The score was 1-all when Harper led off the bottom off the sixth against reliever Hansel Robles (1-0) by taking a 94 mph fastball the opposite way, putting it in the back of New York’s bullpen.
That lead didn’t last long against a Mets club that is now 6-1 under new manager Mickey Callaway, a year after the team went 70-92.
Nationals righty Brandon Kintzler (0-1) came on in his usual role for the seventh and promptly gave up consecutive hits to Amed Rosario and Cabrera to make it 2-2. Then after an out and an intentional walk, Kintzler — who allowed Jay Bruce’s grand slam in the series opener Thursday — got Todd Frazier to hit a bouncer up the middle. Michael Conforto was running from first on the play and was safe when second baseman Howie Kendrick bobbled the ball before throwing over to get Frazier, allowing Cabrera to get home.
Jeurys Familia, New York’s sixth pitcher, recorded five outs for his fourth save.
Mets starter Steven Matz went five innings and allowed one unearned run and three hits. He struck out eight, including five in a row in one stretch. His Nationals counterpart, Gio Gonzalez, put up similar numbers, going 5 1-3 innings, with one earned run, six hits, six strikeouts — and one face-saving catch of a comeback liner that was headed directly for his head in the third.
The Nationals stole four bases while Matz was in the game, including the first of C Pedro Severino’s career, and Harper added another steal in the eighth with Familia in the game. Travis d’Arnaud was the catcher for all five.
Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will start Monday in Washington’s series-opener against visiting Atlanta. The Nationals’ fifth starter, A.J. Cole, moves to Wednesday.
Mets: LHP Jason Vargas (broken right hand) was slated to throw a simulated game in Florida on Saturday.
Nationals: LF Adam Eaton was out of the lineup, as expected, after tweaking his left ankle during an awkward slide home Thursday. But Eaton said he wasn’t in any pain and he pinch hit in the seventh Saturday…. Martinez said C Miguel Montero left Thursday’s game because he was developing a migraine headache. … Montero went on the paternity list Saturday, when the Nationals made a series of pregame moves that included designating LHP Enny Romero for assignment and bringing up C Jhonatan Solano and INF-OF Matt Reynolds from Triple-A Syracuse.
In the series finale Sunday night, Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (1-0, 1.29 ERA) will face Mets RHP Matt Harvey, who threw five scoreless innings in his first start of 2018 but did not factor in the decision. Roark has been terrific against the Mets at Nationals Park, going 4-1 with a 2.30 ERA.
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