WASHINGTON (AP) — Jonathon Niese pitched into the eighth inning and Ike Davis hit a two-run homer in the seventh to lead the New York Mets over the Washington Nationals 2-0 Saturday night.
Nationals starter Edwin Jackson allowed one hit through six innings — a triple to Mike Baxter in the first — and struck out a season-high 10. In the seventh, Jackson (7-8) issued a leadoff walk to David Wright and Davis drove the next pitch the other way to left field for his 22nd home run.
Seventeen of his 22 homers have come on the road, most in the NL.
Niese (10-6) allowed one-out singles to Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman in the first. With Espinosa on third, Zimmerman stole second, but the left-hander pitched out of trouble.
After allowing a leadoff single to Espinosa in the sixth, Niese retired the last seven batters he faced. Jon Rauch relieved him with one out in the eighth and retired his only two hitters. Frank Francisco worked a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances.
Francisco was helped by right fielder Mike Baxter, who made a nice running catch of Zimmerman’s fly ball to start the ninth.
Niese, who is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six games against Washington, allowed five hits and struck out seven without a walk. New York posted its 11th shutout of the season, while Washington was blanked for the fifth time.
Jackson pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and two hits. He walked one and struck out 11.
The Nationals began the game leading the NL East by four games over Atlanta. The two teams begin a three-game series Monday in Washington.
NOTES: Mets manager Terry Collins said he would meet with general manager Sandy Alderson on Monday to discuss struggling LHP Johan Santana. Collins said Santana is scheduled to pitch Thursday. The 33-year-old left-hander, who missed last season following major shoulder surgery, permitted six runs and seven hits over five innings Friday in his second outing since spending three weeks on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. He has lost five straight starts, giving up at least six runs in each one. Collins said Santana wasn’t asking to be shut down. “I don’t think he’s asking for it. What he’s basically saying is if that’s what we think we should do to make sure he’s healthy next year, he’s on board with that,” Collins said. … Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he would give SS Ian Desmond the day off on Sunday. Desmond returned Friday from more than three weeks on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. … For the 500th straight time, the character portraying Teddy Roosevelt lost in the Nationals’ “Racing Presidents” mascot race. … The crowd of 42,662 was the second-largest in Nationals Park history. … Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (15-6, 3.29 ERA) pitches Sunday against New York RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-4, 4.76).
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