Nationals Top Mets 6-5 After Three Run Ninth Inning Rally

Ivan Rodriguez's walk off single capped off Washington's furious ninth-inning rally to defeat the Mets, 6-5. For more, check out Federal Baseball.

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Ivan Rodriguez Caps Off Three Run Comeback As Nationals Win 6-5

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ivan Rodriguez singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a wild, three-run rally that lifted Washington to a dramatic 6-5 comeback victory over New York in the middle of a three-game set.

Adam Dunn's two-run double off the top of the wall in center field tied the game before Rodriguez lined his decisive hit to right field with the bases loaded and one out to lift the Nationals to their seventh win in 11 games against the Mets this season.

Matt Capps (2-3) earned the win after entering the game with runners at first and second base with nobody out in the ninth and stranding them to keep the Nationals within two runs.

Stephen Strasburg allowed four hits and two runs, walked three and had five strikeouts in a five-inning start for the Nationals.

Francisco Rodriguez (2-2) suffered the loss and blew his fourth save chance of the season after giving up all three runs on three hits and three walks for the Mets, who suffered their 10th loss of the season in their opponent's final at-bat.

The Mets closer was looking for his 20th save of the season but struggled with his control, issuing two walks and giving up a base hit that loaded the bases with one out.

Dunn then smoked a 2-1 offering to score Cristian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan to tie the game. There was some confusion as to whether or not the ball actually cleared the wall for what could have been a walk-off grand slam but the play stood as called on the field after an umpire's video review. After Josh Willingham was intentionally walked, Ivan Rodriguez won the contest.

The Mets surged ahead with three runs in the eighth inning to snap a 2-2 tie. Alex Cora greeted Tyler Clippardby lacing his first pitch of the inning for a triple to right field. David Wright followed with a single off the glove of a diving Ryan Zimmerman at third base to plate Cora with the go-ahead run. Ike Davis then dumped a single into shallow left field and Josh Thole doubled off the wall in right field with one out to deliver Wright to make it a 4-2 game. Ruben Tejada finished the scoring rally with a bases loaded sacrifice fly.

Adam Kennedy's two-out, run-scoring hit off Bobby Parnell in the bottom of the frame plated Dunn to slice the visitors' lead to 5-3 before Ian Desmond fanned to end the threat.

Cora walked with one out in the first, stole second and advanced to third base on a throwing error by Ivan Rodriguez and stayed put when Davis coaxed a two-out walk. Jason Bay then slashed a double into right field to plate Cora and push Davis to third. Thole then worked the third walk of the inning by Strasburg to load the bases before Jeff Franceour flied out.

New York added to its' lead in the third when Thole singled with two outs to drive in Wright, who had singled with one out and advanced one base on an infield hit by Davis.

Strasburg threw a career-high 96 pitches, including 37 in the first inning, in the shortest of his six big league starts. He left trailing 2-0 and continued to suffer from a lack of support, as the Nationals have scored only one run while he has been on the mound during his last four turns.

Willie Harris walked with one out in the sixth, advanced to second base on Tejada's fielding error and scored on a two-out single to left by Willingham to cut the lead to 2-1. Ivan Rodriguez followed with a single to right- center field to plate Zimmerman, who had reached on the miscue, to even the score.

Mets starter R.A. Dickey yielded those two unearned runs on six hits while walking two and fanning four over seven innings.

Outfielder Roger Bernadina was a late scratch from the starting lineup for Washington due to tightness in his lower back, while Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes missed his fourth straight game Saturday and will not play in Sunday's game because of a sore right oblique muscle...The Nationals have played in a major league-leading 48 games decided by two runs or less and are 23-25 in those games...The two teams do not meet again after the conclusion of the series on Sunday until September 6-8 in Washington again.


Strasburg Takes The Hill As Nationals Face Mets

(Sports Network) - The New York Mets get a first-hand look at the phenom Stephen Strasburg this afternoon when they continue their four-game set against Washington at Nationals Park.

Strasburg had his worst outing as a pro on Monday in Atlanta, as the Braves hit him for four runs (three earned) and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, sending him to his second straight loss and dropping him to 2-2, while raising his earned run average to 2.27.

"Not good enough to win the game, period," Strasburg said. "For the most part I did well enough to keep the team in the ball game, but things aren't working for us right now."

The 21-year-old right-hander did strike out seven in the loss and has fanned an incredible 48 batters in 31 2/3 innings.

Strasburg, though, will have to better than Luis Atilano was on Friday for the Nationals, as Alex Cora drove in three runs to back Jon Niese's solid pitching performance in the Mets' 5-3 win.

Niese (6-2) gave up one run on six hits in seven innings. The 23-year-old left-hander also struck out a career-high eight batters en route to winning his fifth straight decision. Niese also had an RBI.

"He's making the pitches when he has to make them," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said of Niese. "Hopefully that's a sign that he's maturing right before our eyes."

Ike Davis knocked in a run for the Mets, while David Wright went 3-for-5 with a run scored for the victors.

Josh Willingham hit a solo homer for the Nationals, who have dropped seven of their past nine games. Roger Bernadina and Ian Desmond had an RBI apiece.

Atilano (6-5) got rocked in 3 2/3 frames, allowing five runs on four hits. He also fanned four batters and walked two in the loss.

New York, meanwhile, will hand the ball today to knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who is coming off his first loss of the season. Dickey was hit hard by the Florida Marlins in Puerto Rico on Monday, as he surrendered five runs and five hits in five innings to fall to 6-1 on the year to go along with a 2.98 ERA.

Dickey did not get a decision against the Nats in his first start of the year back on May 19, but is 0-1 in three outings (two starts) against them with an 8.38 ERA.

Washington has won seven of its last nine at home versus the Mets, who are 6-4 overall against the Nats this season.

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