- Associated Press - Saturday, September 13, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - To the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals were getting just a little too comfortable at Citi Field.

And for the first time in well over a year, the Mets did something about it.

Juan Lagares hit a go-ahead double and the Mets made it stand up, ending a 12-game home skid against Washington by holding off the NL East-leading Nationals 4-3 Friday night.

The Mets’ losing streak at home versus Washington dated to June 2013, and was their longest in team history against a visiting club.

“Well, it is really nice, and we have played them good. They are just really tough,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

“There has been a lot of nights where we have had them late in the game and then they come back, do some big damage against us,” he said.

Washington almost did it again in the ninth inning. Denard Span led off with a single against Jenrry Mejia, and Asdrubal Cabrera flied out to the wall. After Span stole his 30th base, Mejia struck out Anthony Rendon, walked Adam LaRoche and then fanned Ian Desmond for his 26th save in 28 chances.

Mejia danced off the mound, pretended to cast a fishing rod toward home plate and reeled in the save.

Mejia later acknowledged he doesn’t yet have “a signature move” to finish off wins.

“You have to have some emotion in the game, and we see it everywhere. I see other teams doing it,” Collins said. “I want these guys to have some fun. I do not want to corral them and have them worry about every move they make.”

“It is a big win for us against a first-place team and there is no reason to not be excited about it.”

Said Span: “That wasn’t called for.”

But Nationals manager Matt Williams took no issue with the display, saying the way to stop such celebrating by closers is to beat them.

Rendon got three hits, including his 20th homer - which came after a replay reversal. Washington has outhomered the Mets 32-6 over their last 13 meetings in New York.

Dillon Gee (7-7) and a trio of Mets relievers ended the drought, helped when Lagares drove in Eric Young Jr. for a 4-3 lead in the fifth. Young is 7 for 11 in the last three days.

Travis d’Arnaud put New York ahead with a bases-loaded double in the first off Gio Gonzalez (8-10). Three runs scored on the hit, with Lucas Duda kicking the ball out of catcher Wilson Ramos’ glove for an error.

In his last eight games, d’Arnaud has five doubles and seven RBIs.

LaRoche and Ramos hit RBI singles in the third, and Rendon hit a solo homer in the fifth that made it 3-all.

Gee gave up nine hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings. Carlos Torres threw a double-play ball to end the sixth and worked the seventh, Jeurys Familia pitched the eighth and Mejia closed.

Lagares also singled, was hit by a pitch and stole a base.

Mets rookie second baseman Dilson Herrera boxed around several grounders. But he also went back for a tricky catch on Cabrera’s soft liner with the bases loaded to end the second.

A day after Bartolo Colon was ejected for hitting two Washington batters with pitches following home runs and a Mets batter got nicked, Williams predicted there wouldn’t be any carry-over from the “shenanigans.”

There were a couple of early HBPs, but no hostility. Lagares was plunked by Washington for the third straight series, and Span was hit by Gee on a pitch that bounced.


Mets: 2B Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup, a day after he was hit in the left wrist by a pitch from Nationals reliever Matt Thornton. Collins said the wrist was swollen, but that Murphy said he thought he’d miss only one day.


Nationals: RHP Doug Fister (13-6, 2.53 ERA) starts Saturday night. He beat Atlanta in his last outing, ending a four-start winless string.

Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (10-9, 3.38) gets the ball Saturday night. He won at Washington on Aug. 5 and is 2-4 against the Nationals overall.


Gee extended a pair of long streaks. He pitched at least five innings for the 44th straight start, the longest string in the majors. He also went hitless in two at-bats, leaving him at 0 for 40 since last September.

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