- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 1, 2010

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. | Mets right-hander John Maine pitched through stomach problems and allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings as the Washington Nationals defeated New York 9-3 Thursday.

Maine, who will pitch second in the Mets’ rotation gave up six hits and walked four.

“I just hit a brick wall in the fifth inning, and once that happened I was trying to do way too much,” Maine said.

Maine had gotten off to a good start. Washington managed just one hit through the first three innings.

“Those first few innings, I was right where I wanted to be,” Maine said. “The majority of the time, I was throwing first-pitch strikes. … The slider was OK, but the change-up is the biggest thing for me. I threw a couple good ones to righties and a couple good ones to lefties. I’m happy about that. I just wish I could have gone through five innings.”

Mike Jacobs hit a two-run homer off National starter Jason Marquis in the third.

Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer for Washington in the fourth off Maine to make it 3-2, and the New York pitcher couldn’t get through the fifth.

He walked two to start the fifth. Adam Dunn followed with an RBI single and Willingham drove in another run on a ground-rule double to take the lead.

Marquis allowed three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks in five innings.

“It’s a step in the right direction from last time,” Marquis said. “My last two times out I felt comfortable on the mound. My sinker was in the bottom half of the strike zone. I fell behind a few hitters a little more than I wanted today, but I was able to work out a few jams and keep the ball on the ground for the most part.”

Nationals outfielder Willie Taveras, who is competing for a platoon spot in the outfield, went 2 for 2.

Mets reliever Bobby Parnell, who might not make the team, surrendered two runs and three hits in a third of an inning in the eighth.

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