NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom hit his first major league home run and shut down a bruising Washington Nationals lineup on three singles for eight dominant innings Sunday, giving the New York Mets a 5-1 win that prevented a four-game sweep.
Fresh off pitching the Mets’ first complete game of the season in his previous start against the Cubs, deGrom turned in a complete effort, excelling with his arm, bat and glove.
The NL East-leading Nationals had been 6-0 at Citi Field this season and had battered the Mets in three games this week, never trailing while totaling 18 extra-base hits. But they had trouble touching the blue-stitched balls — used all around Major League Baseball on Father’s Day — thrown by deGrom (6-3).
The right-hander mixed his fastball, slider and changeup well, fanned Bryce Harper with a 97 mph heater on his 105th and last pitch and walked off to a standing ovation. He struck out six and walked two, and the only run against him was unearned.
A career .199 hitter in 176 at-bats coming in, deGrom also provided the biggest jolt. He hit the first pitch of the third inning from Joe Ross (3-3) over the wall in left-center.
The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, a converted infielder at Stetson University, kept holding down his helmet as he rounded the bases, making sure it didn’t fly off his flyaway hair. His victory made the Mets 17-0 when their pitcher homers dating to a loss when Jason Isringhausen connected in 1996, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
T.J. Rivera had four hits for the Mets. A popup that Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy lost in the sun set up two New York runs in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.
Trea Turner stole four bases, setting a Nationals record. Harper extended his hitting streak to 11 games, leading to Ryan Zimmerman’s sacrifice fly in the first.
Nationals: RHP Shawn Kelley was put on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained muscle in his upper right back. The reliever is 3-2 with four saves and a 7.00 ERA in 22 games, giving up nine homers in 18 innings. He was on the DL in May with a lower back strain. RHP A.J. Cole was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. He pitched once for Washington in May, winning a start vs. Philadelphia.
Mets: Star LF Yoenis Cespedes got a planned day off after starting three straight games. He spent six weeks on the DL with a strained hamstring and returned last weekend.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (6-4, 4.39 ERA) opposes LHP Justin Nicolino (0-1, 4.15) to begin a three-game series at Miami. Roark has given up a career-most three home runs to Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, but has held him to a .214 batting average (6 for 28).
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (3-4, 4.48) starts against lefty ace Clayton Kershaw (9-2, 2.23) in the opener of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium. Wheeler is coming off the shortest start of his career, giving up eight runs in 1 2/3 innings vs. the Cubs.
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