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Nationals Take On Mets In Labor Day Matinee

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Danny Espinosa had the best game of his very young career as he hit a grand slam and a solo home run to lead the Washington Nationals to a 13-3 rout of the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game set.

Espinosa, playing just the fifth game of his career after joining the team on September 1, went 4-for-5 with six RBI for the Nationals, who have won three straight. Ivan Rodriguez drove in three runs, while Roger Bernadina scored three times in the win.

Jordan Zimmermann went just four innings in the start and was charged with three runs -- one earned -- on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Scott Olsen (4-8) worked four innings of hitless ball to pick up the win.

Josh Thole drove in two runs for the Mets, who have lost six of their last eight. Mike Pelfrey (13-9) was tagged for six runs on five hits with three walks over 3 2/3 innings.

The Mets got on the board in the first inning with a pair of runs. Angel Pagan led off with a single and promptly stole second. Two batters later, Chris Carter beat out an infield single and David Wright followed with a sacrifice fly to score Pagan. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Thole worked a free pass to score Carter for a 2-0 lead.

The Mets added a run in the third inning on an RBI single from Thole that plated Carter for a 3-0 lead.

Washington got one back in the third when Espinosa led off the frame with a shot over the left field wall.

In the fourth, the Nationals surged ahead with a five-run frame. After consecutive one-out walks, Rodriguez doubled to chase home both runners. Mike Morse then singled to give Washington the lead. Later in the inning, Nyjer Morgan singled to bring home Morse and a walk with the bases loaded by Kevin Mench gave the team a 6-3 lead.

Washington tacked on another run in the fifth as Espinosa's single to center plated Bernadina for a 7-3 advantage.

The Nationals added another five runs in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly from Rodriguez and a grand slam off the bat of Espinosa for a 12-3 lead.

Ryan Zimmerman's RBI single in the seventh made it a 13-3 contest.

Washington has taken eight of the 13 games against New York this season...Before the game, the Mets brought up pitchers Dillon Gee, Sean Green and Raul Valdes and outfielder Jesus Feliciano from Triple-A Buffalo. Gee will start Tuesday's game as Johan Santana was scratched from his scheduled start with a strained pectoral muscle...Washington right fielder Willie Harris left the game after crashing into the outfield wall in the third inning on a Carter double. Harris was replaced by Morse...Pelfrey has dropped his past two starts.