Sep 1, 2013, 11:18 PM EDT
Game in a nutshell: Ross Ohlendorf got the Nationals off to a poor start against the Mets with three runs allowed through the first three innings. It seemed everything he tossed found the barrel of a bat as even pitcher Jonathon Niese got in on the fun. One of the hits allowed included a solo home run to Matt den Dekker, the first of his MLB career. But despite Ohlendorf digging them a hole, the Nats rallied to tie the game and then take the lead in the eighth. The go-ahead hit was a double by Jayson Werth to the gap in right-center field, scoring Ryan Zimmerman all the way from first. Rafael Soriano then came into shut it down and record his 36th save of the year. With the Reds and Diamondbacks both losing earlier in the day, the Nats are now 6 1/2 games back from the final NL Wild Card spot and just a half game back from Arizona as the first team out. They lost two of three to the lowly (and injury hampered) Mets, but are still in this thing with 26 games left.
Hitting highlight: The Nats scored three runs in the eighth inning to complete the comeback and take the go-ahead lead. Scott Hairston led the inning off with a single and was joined on base by a pinch-hitting Denard Span. Bryce Harper bunted to put them both in scoring position and a Anthony Rendon infield grounder scored Hairston. Zimmerman also hit an infield grounder that saw an errant throw to first to bring home Span. Jayson Werth then belted a double to the gap and brought Zimmerman home for their sixth run.
Pitching lowlight: For the second night in a row, the Nationals saw the Mets jump all over their starting pitcher with hit after hit after hit. Ohlendorf matched Dan Haren with nine hits allowed, but managed to ‘hold’ them to four runs in five innings of work. He was lofting high-80’s fastballs over the middle of the plate and New York took advantage. They notched six extra-base hits off the veteran, including one from Niese to lead off the fifth inning.
Key stat: Everyone in the Nats’ starting lineup besides Ohlendorf recorded a hit, and all but Harper and Rendon had more than one.
Up next: The Nats will try build off the come from behind win as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies. Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.96) goes up against Cole Hamels (6-13, 3.58) in a bout of San Diego-natives. The game will also be the second in two nights the Nats play on ESPN2.
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