WASHINGTON (AP) — For the second time in a week, Patrick Corbin righted the ship for the Washington Nationals.
Corbin struck out 11 in eight strong innings and Victor Robles homered to help the Nationals top the New York Mets 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Corbin (4-1) allowed one run and four hits to win his second consecutive start. Signed to a $140 million contract as a free agent in the offseason, the left-hander also beat the Los Angeles Dodgers last Thursday and has given up one run over his past 15 innings.
“You always want to be that guy to take the ball and go out there and compete,” Corbin said. “Just trying to put up as many zeros as I can and keep us in the game. They did a great job putting up five runs today.”
Corbin, facing the Mets for the third time this season following two no-decisions, retired 15 of 16 batters from the third into the eighth inning, often making New York hitters flail at sliders that ended up out of the strike zone.
“He’s able to throw that slider for strike-to-ball, and it’s hard to lay off it,” Mets manager Mickey Calloway said. “It’s one of the best pitches in the major leagues. He had good fastball command as well. He was kind of dotting that where he wanted to.”
The Nationals are 6-3 in games Corbin has started. His past two wins have ended four- and two-game skids, respectively.
Anthony Rendon had three hits for Washington (17-25), which had lost seven of 10. He had two doubles and a single, scored twice and drove in a run.
Wilmer Font (1-1) didn’t make it through the third in his second start for New York after being acquired from Tampa Bay on May 6. He gave up five runs and six hits — including a homer and three long doubles — in 2 1/3 innings.
Font was 1-0 with the Rays this season.
J.D. Davis had an RBI double for the Mets, who had won three straight.
Washington scored three runs in the first and two more in the third, with Font departing after Howie Kendrick’s RBI double made it 5-1.
“Tonight was a really big night for us, especially with a lot of the young guys making the strides that they did, having good at-bats,” Kendrick said.
Mets second baseman Robinson Canó (0 for 4 with three strikeouts) is hitting .191 (9 for 47) in May with no homers and one RBI.
Mets LHP Jason Vargas (left hamstring tightness) threw an extended bullpen Tuesday. He is eligible to come off the injured list Thursday. “We want Vargas to be the best version of himself when he comes back, so we’re going to sit down and try to come up with a game plan to get him to that point, whether it’s a rehab outing or just getting activated up here,” Callaway said.
LHP Steven Matz (forearm) threw a bullpen, one day after playing catch.
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (3-2, 4.35 ERA) starts the finale of the three-game series. He is 4-9 with a 5.01 ERA in 15 career starts against Washington.
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