Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Nick Evans’ pinch-hit double in the seventh inning drove in the winning run as New York upended Washington, 3-2, to capture the rubber match of a three-game set.
Luis Hernandez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Carlos Beltran knocked in the other run for the Mets, who won a series deciding game on the road for the first in eight tries time this season.
R.A. Dickey (10-6) gave up a pair of runs on five hits while striking out one over six innings to grab the win, while four different relievers combined to blank the Nationals over the last three frames, including Hisanori Takahashi, who earned his fifth save by retiring the side in order in the ninth.
“I just tried to slow the game down,” Dickey said. “I’ve found the more I’m able to do that, the better results I’ve been having. It takes a long time to learn how to do that, it has for me at least.”
Livan Hernandez (9-11) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits while walking two and fanning four over 6 1/3 innings for the Nats, who have lost 10 of their last 13 rubber games.
Wilson Ramos’ first major league home run accounted for the Washington offense.
The Mets broke through first with a pair of runs in the third. Dickey singled with one out, moved to second on an Angel Pagan single and scored when Hernandez followed with a double. Beltran then brought Pagan home with a sacrifice fly.
Washington got the game tied in the fifth when Michael Morse singled with one out and scored when Ramos belted his long ball to straightaway center with two down.
The Nats loaded the bases in the sixth with one out on two singles and a hit batter, but Roger Bernadina fouled out to third and Morse grounded out to end the frame.
Josh Thole then led off the decisive seventh with a walk and moved to second base on a Ruben Tejada sacrifice bunt that also brought an end to Hernandez’s outing with left-handed swinging pinch-hitter Lucas Duda looming on deck.
Washington skipper Jim Riggleman countered with southpaw Sean Burnett and Mets manager Jerry Manuel then called on the righty-swinging Evans, who made the strategy pay off with a broken bat double down the first base line by that put New York back in front to stay.
“It stinks. Livan pitched a good game,” Burnett said. “That was the hardest part. I felt I was doing what I had to, and I took a chance at going in, and unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
The Nationals had just one base runner over the final three innings.
New York finished its 10-game road trip with four wins…The Mets open a 10- game homestand Friday against Philadelphia…Dickey beat the Nats for the first time in five games, including four starts…The Mets are 59-4 when leading after seven innings…Washington catcher Ivan Rodriguez was scratched from the lineup shortly before game time as he was feeling ill…Hernandez is 12-15 in 36 career starts against the Mets and has lost six of his last eight decisions to them…Washington is 11-6-2 in home series since April 23…The Nats are 10-11 in rubber games this season.