Washington Nationals rookie starting pitcher Luis Atilano
(3-0) celebrated his 25th birthday by out-pitching New York Mets 29 year old veteran starter John Maine
(1-2) and the Nats back-up to the back-up closer, Miguel Batista
, notched his 1st save of the season despite giving up a solo home run to Angel Pagan
while closer Matt Capps
and reliever Tyler Clippard
rested as the Nats held on to beat the Mets 3-2 and take sole possession of 2nd place in the NL East.
With 1 out in the top of the 3rd inning the Nats opened the scoring when Adam Kennedy
and Ryan Zimmerman
hit back-to-back solo home runs giving them a 2-0 lead.
For the 2nd consecutive day a key Mets player lost his cool and was ejected from the game. Jeff Francoeur
led off the bottom of the 7th with a single. Rod Barajas
followed with a single. After pinch-hitter Gary Matthews
Jr. struck out, Pagan grounded into a fielder's choice with Francoeur being tagged out in a rundown between 3rd and home. Luis Castillo
lined an RBI single to left scoring Barajas on a close play at the plate making the score 2-1. On the play Pagan moved up to 2nd base as the tying run. The next batter Jose Reyes
took a called strike 3 for the final out of the inning. Yesterday David Wright
objected to a called 3rd strike and was ejected. Tonight Reyes objected to the call and threw his bat down to the ground in disgust. While home plate umpire Laz Diaz noted the fine for throwing equipment, Reyes threw his helmet down as well and was ejected from the game. Mets manager Jerry Manuel came out to continue the conversation with Diaz and was quickly ejected himself.
The Nats got that run back in the top of the 8th. Adam Dunn
doubled leading off the inning against Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano
. Willy Taveras
pinch-ran for Dunn. Josh Willingham
followed with a single sending Taveras to 3rd base. An RBI single by Ivan Rodriguez
plated Taveras for a 3-1 Nats lead. The Mets then stranded the tying runs on base in the bottom of the inning. With 1 out Wright and Ike Davis
hit back-to-back singles but Francoeur then struck out. With Barajas at the plate Wright and Davis both moved up a base on a wild pitch but Barajas popped out to short to end the threat.Box score