WASHINGTON (AP) — Tommy Milone worked seven strong innings to get his first win in more than a year, Anthony Rendon homered and the Washington Nationals moved back above .500 with a 5-3 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday.
The Nationals followed their 25-4 blowout of the Mets on Tuesday night by jumping on Noah Syndergaard (6-2) early.
Bryce Harper singled in the first inning to drive in Trea Turner, who had stolen second.
In the third, Rendon got hold of a hanging curveball for his 16th homer this season, scoring Turner.
Rendon has six RBIs in two games since returning to the team after the birth of his first child.
Jose Reyes homered from both sides of the plate for the Mets, his 11th career multihomer game and his first since Sept. 8.
Washington completed a two-game sweep of its depleted NL East rival, moved within five games of first-place Philadelphia and thus far validated general manager Mike Rizzo’s decision to mostly stand pat at the non-waiver trade deadline.
Rizzo and the Nationals’ ownership are banking on the team getting healthy, breaking out of its season-long funk and challenging for a third straight NL East title.
Filling in for the injured Stephen Strasburg, Milone (1-0) mixed his pitches effectively and faced little stress in the second start of his second stint with Washington.
The 31-year-old left-hander made his major league debut for the Nationals in 2011 and has played for five teams since, including the Mets last season.
Milone allowed Reyes’ homer in the fifth and two singles.
He struck out nine and walked none in his first win since April 14, 2017, with Milwaukee and his longest outing since July 19, 2016, for Minnesota.
Batting left-handed against Ryan Madson in the eighth, Reyes hit his ninth homer this season to get the Mets within 3-2.
Washington built a cushion in the eighth thanks in part to two Mets errors.
Turner reached on a throwing error by shortstop Amed Rosario and later scored on Matt Adams’ grounder.
A throwing error by second baseman Reyes kept the bases loaded, setting up Wilmer Difo’s sacrifice fly.
Wilmer Flores homered in the ninth off Kelvin Herrera when his deep fly ball bounced out of the glove of left fielder Juan Soto and over the bullpen wall.
Herrera induced a game-ending double play to earn his second save for Washington and 16th in 18 opportunities overall.
Syndergaard kept the Mets in it by retiring 12 straight batters after Rendon’s homer.
He worked seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out four.
Washington stole four bases off him in four attempts, including two by Turner.
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