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Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Angel Pagan hit an inside the park homer run and initiated a triple play, but the Mets suffered a 5-3 loss to the Washington Nationals in the opener of a two-game set.
The center fielder also hit an inside the parker last season against the Phillies, as infielder Eric Bruntlett ended the game with an unassisted triple play for the Phils.
Nationals starter Livan Hernandez allowed two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings, but didn't factor in the decision. His earned run average dropped to 1.62 on the season. Drew Storen (1-0) earned the win after getting the final two outs in the seventh. Matt Capps earned his 15th save.
Washington scored three times in the seventh inning, highlighted by pinch- hitter Adam Kennedy's go-ahead sacrifice fly as the Nats won for the first time in six tries.
Fernando Tatis also homered for the Mets, who have dropped two straight and 9-of-11.
Pagan came up with two down in the fourth and drilled the ball off the top of the wall in right-center and rounded the bases for a 1-0 Mets lead.
After consecutive singles and a walk to start the bottom of the fourth, Josh Willingham singled in the Nats first run. With one out, Pagan made a sprawled- out catch on Roger Bernadina's line drive, but Ryan Zimmermantagged and scored on the play.
With runners on first and second in the fifth, Nats outfielder Cristian Guzman lined out to a charging Pagan in center, as both Hernandez and Morgan advanced thinking the ball hit the ground.
The Mets center fielder then overthrew second base, allowing catcher Henry Blanco to pick up the ball and throw to Jose Reyes covering second, who tossed to Ike Davis at first for the three-out conversion for a triple play, the 10th in Mets history and first since 2002.
The Mets took the momentum of the rare play and tied the game in the sixth on Jeff Francoeur's one-out sacrifice fly to left. But Tatis lined out with two men aboard to keep the game knotted at two.
Washington took a 3-2 lead in the seventh. Valdes allowed a lead-off double to Bernadina before Fernando Nieve entered with one down. Kennedy then drove home Bernadina on sac fly. After Morgan walked, he came home on Guzman's triple into the gap in right. Guzman came home next on Zimmerman's single to right, chasing Nieve for Oliver Perez.
Perez, making his second career relief appearance in eight years since being bounced from the rotation last week, walked Adam Dunn with two down before getting Willingham on a lineout.
The Mets placed pitcher Jon Niese on the 15-day disabled list with a mild right hamstring strain on Wednesday and recalled Dickey from Triple-A Buffalo prior to the game...Mets infielder David Wright didn't start for the first time this season...The Mets finished 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position...Zimmerman and Guzman each had two hits.