In a battle with the New York Mets for first week first place position in the NL East, Washington dropped their second straight game with a 4-3 loss in the bottom of the ninth. The Nationals jumped out to a 3-0 lead early on and rode a solid outing by Edwin Jackson, who went five innings and struck out six. Hitting cleanup, first baseman Adam LaRoche came through with two RBIs on singles in the first and third innings. He was called out at second trying to stretch out the second RBI single that brought home Ryan Zimmerman. LaRoche definitely looked safe and it was a potential rally-killing missed call. Aside from LaRoche, Zimmerman also knocked in a run on a double that brought Ian Desmond home. The top of the order had success early against New York starter Mike Pelfrey but they could not hold the lead.
David Wright singled off Jackson in the third inning to cut the deficit to two, brining home the pitcher Pelfrey who doubled to left. One inning later, center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a two-run shot to right that evened it all up at three. Overall, it was a solid outing from Jackson who had a good slider all night.
With a 3-3 tie in the 9th, Nats' relief pitcher Henry Rodriguez walked the leadoff hitter, Mike Baxter, who was pinch-hitting and had almost no major league experience. That opened the door for the top of the order to plate the winning run. Leadoff hitter Ruben Tejada put down a bunt trying to move Baxter over but Rodriguez fielded it and threw it wide of Danny Espinosa, who was covering first. It was the second error of the game for Washington. With Baxter on third and Tejada on second, Daniel Murphy cam through at the plate with a single that dropped in front of Jayson Werth and brought home the game-winning run.
The Nats will come back on Tuesday night for the second of the three-game series. Ross Detwiler will go for Washington while Dillon Gee will toe the rubber for the Mets.
For more on the two teams, head over to Washington Nationals blog Federal Baseball and New York Mets blog Amazin' Avenue. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.