NEW YORK (AP) — Travis d’Arnaud hit two home runs and the New York Mets ended a three-game skid, rallying past a watered-down lineup of Washington Nationals 7-6 on Friday night.
Washington manager Dusty Baker said he needed to “give my big boys much needed rest” with the playoffs nearing, and not a single regular started for the NL East champions. Star Daniel Murphy pinch hit in the eighth and flied out.
The Nationals begin the Division Series in exactly two weeks. If the current standings hold, they would host the World Series champion Chicago Cubs to open the best-of-five matchup.
Adam Lind hit a three-run homer for Washington. It was the Nationals’ 203rd home run this season, matching the franchise record dating to 1969 when they were the Montreal Expos.
Howie Kendrick had an RBI double and prized prospect Victor Robles lined a two-run triple in the fifth that put Washington ahead 6-1.
Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley exited in the eighth inning because of an apparent injury. He’ has struggled this season and missed more than two months because of back problems.
Nori Aoki had three hits for the Mets, including a go-ahead double in the sixth inning off Joe Blanton (2-4).
Chasen Bradford (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Jeurys Familia, the Mets’ third pitcher in the ninth inning, came on to strike out Robles with runners on first and third for his fourth save — his first since May 5. Familia, who missed three months after surgery to repair a blood clot, entered as part of a double switch, with Kevin Plawecki taking over at catcher for d’Arnaud.
D’Arnaud hit a solo homer in the second and connected for a tying, three-run drive in the fifth that finished starter Edwin Jackson. That gave d’Arnaud a career-best 15 homers and marked his second multihomer game, the other coming in April against Washington.
Mets starter Robert Gsellman allowed six runs in five innings. He moved up a day to pitch in place of ace Jacob deGrom, who was moved back in the rotation until Sunday because of a stomach illness this week.
Nationals: RF Bryce Harper (knee) ran the bases during batting practice. The 2015 NL MVP is to hit in a simulated game Saturday.
Mets: Rookie SS Amed Rosario started after missing three games because of a stomach ailment. He went 1 for 4.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (14-4, 2.60 ERA) can match his career high in wins with a victory Saturday. He has won four straight starts, and has allowed one earned run in 35 innings over his last five outings.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard will start and pitch one inning Saturday in his first major league action since partially tearing a lat muscle on his right side April 30. Matt Harvey will take over to begin the second inning.
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