Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals took the rubber match over the New York Mets on Sunday by a score of 5-2. Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez worked in and out of jams early, but with help from the defense he was able to get through 5.2 innings, giving up just one run on seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts. The Mets made him labor, as Gonzales threw 110 pitches, but they struggled to take advantage.
Harper became just the fifth 19-year old to hit at least 12 home runs in a season and later added a triple as he drove in two runs. Second baseman Danny Espinosa added a homer of his own, his 14th of the season, in the Nationals' win.
Mets starter Jeremy Hefner took the loss. He was chased after five innings, allowed five runs on eight hits. The game started late after a near three-hour rain delay.
The first-place Nationals begin an important home series against the second-place Braves tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Tim Hudson will be on the mound for Atlanta. Washington has yet to announce a starter.