- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - With a rookie starter on the mound and runners at second and third in the seventh inning, Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams said summoning reliever Aaron Barrett was a logical choice.

It just didn’t work out.

Pinch-hitter Eric Campbell delivered a two-run single on Barrett’s second pitch to give the New York Mets the lead in a 7-2 win over Washington on Tuesday night.

“Barrett’s a good matchup for Campbell,” Williams said. “He just left a slider up.”

Barrett thought he got it down and away.

“It was the right pitch. It was the right location,” he said. “You’re going to get beat sometimes.”

Up or not, the slider sealed defeat for right-hander Joe Ross (2-2), recalled before the game to make his fourth start in the majors as Stephen Strasburg recovers from an oblique injury.

The 22-year-old Ross gave up three runs - two earned - and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. He’s pitched to a 2.70 ERA so far while allowing three runs or fewer and completing at least five innings in all four outings.

“I’m glad to be back, obviously,” Ross said. “It was all right. Nothing too special. I felt good out there, though.”

Jacob deGrom (10-6) allowed two runs in six innings before Mets manager Terry Collins removed him for Campbell, now batting .179 on the season.

“He’s had, in my opinion, the best at-bats in the last two or three games,” Collins said. “So I just said, ‘I think he’s the guy to go up there.’”

Washington leads the NL East by two games over New York going into the rubber game of the series Wednesday afternoon.

Wilson Ramos’ two-run homer gave the Nationals a 2-1 lead, and Ross retired his first nine batters.

Ross got in a jam when Wilmer Flores singled leading off the seventh and reached third on first baseman Clint Robinson’s two-base error.

Williams came out and asked umpires whether he could review if Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ misplayed bouncer had gone foul, and was told he couldn’t.

Ross got Kevin Plawecki on a popup and then made way for Barrett.

“It’s one of those situations where I wanted to stay in and try and pitch out of it,” Ross said. “But bringing in Barrett was probably the smart move.”

After going 4 for 72 with runners in scoring position over their previous nine games, the Mets were 5 for 15 this time.

Curtis Granderson, Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy added RBI singles in a four-run ninth following a costly throwing error by left fielder Matt den Dekker.

ROARK REGRESSING?

Nationals reliever Tanner Roark was charged with those final four runs after allowing four hits and a walk in one-third of an inning. Roark has yielded 16 earned runs in his last 10 2-3 innings while seeing his ERA spike from 3.25 to 4.97.

“I think I’m trying to do too much right now,” said Roark, who went 15-10 as a starter last season before moving to a relief role this year. “I feel like I’m underperforming, and I need to pick it up.”

ENCOURAGING DEBUT

Abel de los Santos came on for Roark in his major league debut, walking one before retiring two batters to end the Mets ninth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Strasburg (left oblique strain) threw his first bullpen session since going on the disabled list July 5. Williams said Strasburg threw about 30 pitches and had no issues. … INF Anthony Rendon (left quad strain) went 1 for 3 with two walks in his third rehab game with Class A Potomac.

UP NEXT

Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard (4-5, 3.05 ERA) will oppose Jordan Zimmermann (8-5, 3.27), who hasn’t lost since June 17. He’s 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA since that defeat.


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