WASHINGTON (AP) — Willie Harris had a pinch-hit two-run single, highlighting a four-run rally in the sixth inning that lifted the New York Mets a 6-3 win over the Nationals and spoiled what was likely Livan Hernandez’s final game with Washington.
Hernandez, who started the Nationals home opener in 2005, made his final start of this season, and though he’s indicated a willingness to return as a reliever, the team hasn’t indicated that it would want him back.
Knowing that Hernandez’s career here is probably over, the fans gave Hernandez (8-13) a warm ovation as he walked in from the bullpen to start the game, and a longer thank you when he left the game in the midst of the four-run inning.
Lucas Duda hit a long home run to center field with one out in the sixth to tie the score at 3.
After David Wright, Jose Pagan and Jason Bay singled to load the bases, Washington manager Davey Johnson walked out to hook Hernandez.
The 36-year-old pounded fists with his catcher, Wilson Ramos and infielders, shook Johnson’s hand and trudged off the mound. Savoring his moment, Hernandez tipped his cap to home plate umpire Brian O’Nora and acknowledged the crowd’s roars by waving his cap.
Todd Coffey’s first pitch was hit sharply by Harris over first base for two runs, and Mike Nickeas squeezed home Bay with a bunt to make it 6-3.
Ryota Igarashi (3-1) was the winner. After starter Mike Pelfrey walked the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth, Igarashi retired the only batter he faced.
Josh Stinson pitched two scoreless innings, Jason Isringhausen a scoreless eighth and Bobby Parnell the ninth for his fifth save.
The Mets scored two runs off Hernandez in the third. Josh Statin led off with a single — his first major league hit. Nickeas followed with a single. Pelfrey advanced them with a bunt, and Ruben Tejada punched an opposite-field single to right to score both.
The Nationals took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third off Pelfrey. Jayson Werth led off with a walk. Rick Ankiel singled, and Werth scored on Danny Espinosa’s double. Ankiel scored on Chris Marrero’s infield out, and Espinosa came in on Ramos’ double.
NOTES: Mets 1B Ike Davis, who’s been on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his left ankle since May 11, will meet the team in Florida, manager Terry Collins said. “We’ll all get together with the trainers and see what his next step will be,” Collins said. The manager said that Davis is unlikely to need surgery on the ankle. “He’s not going to play this year,” Collins said. He described Davis’ mood as “extreme frustration.” … SS Jose Reyes was given the day off. Tejada, who missed the previous two games with a bruised middle finger on his left hand, filled in. … C Josh Thole, who missed the last two games with a bruised left wrist pinch hit in the eighth inning. … Espinosa had three hits. … Nationals 1B Michael Morse was given the day off. … The Mets begin a three-game series in Florida on Monday. LHP Chris Capuano (10-11) is scheduled to face the Marlins’ RHP Javier Vazquez (8-11). Capuano is 4-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 13 games against Florida. … The Nationals host the Los Angeles Dodgers for four games beginning Monday. John Lannan (8-11) will pitch for Washington against Hiroki Kuroda (11-14).