- - Monday, April 9, 2018

“Meet the Mets” has been a fight song of the New York Mets since the 1960s.

Right now Nationals fans would just like to beat the Mets.

Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI single in the top of the 12th inning off reliever Brandon Kintzler to break a tie and teammate Adrian Gonzalez had a grand slam as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Sunday night.

The Nationals have now lost five games in a row after starting the year 4-0 and a curious decision may have cost them the game Sunday.

Juan Lagares of the Mets led off the 12th with a single off Kintzler, who lost for the second time in the series, and took second on a sacrifice bunt. Washington manager Dave Martinez elected to give an intentional walk to Michael Conforto, and after that Nats nemesis Cespedes had the game-winning hit off Kintzler with a flare into center.

Washington right fielder Bryce Harper, hitting .357 this year, had three hits and two walks in six trips to the plate. He led off the ninth with a walk, went to second on a throwing error and took third on a flyout but was stranded as catcher Pedro Severino fanned with the bases loaded.

The previous time the Nationals were swept in a series by the Mets was Sept. 7-9, 2015 at Nationals Park. Washington outscored the Mets 115-74 last year while winning 13 of 19 games.

The Nationals tied the game at 5-5 in the seventh with an RBI single by Michael A. Taylor, who entered the game hitting .120.

For the second time in the series the Nationals were unglued by an opponents’ grand slam.

This time it was Washington starting pitcher Tanner Roark who was victimized, as he yielded a blast to Gonzalez in the third as his shot gave the Mets a 4-2 lead.

The first-place Mets loaded the bases on three walks in a row off Roark before Gonzalez went deep with two outs. Jay Bruce of the Mets hit a grand slam on Thursday in an 8-2 victory.

Former Washington infielder Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo homer in the fifth off Roark to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.

Washington cut the margin to 5-4 as Harper singled and later scored on a base hit by Turner in the fifth. But Turner was thrown out rounding third for the third out after an infield hit by Taylor on a costly baserunning mistake. The Nationals had another runner picked off Sunday.

The Nationals once again scored in the first inning as Harper hit a two-run homer down the right-field line in the first to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead against Matt Harvey, the Mets starter.

Before the homer, Harper was 2-for-29 (.069) in his career against Harvey, with one homer. It was the league-leading sixth homer of the year for Harper.

Left fielder Adam Eaton of the Nationals returned to the starting lineup. He tweaked his ankle in the home opener Thursday and left the game in the top of the sixth. Eaton was retired as a pinch-hitter Saturday.

Martinez said before the game that second baseman Daniel Murphy will probably need another week of running the bases before he could play. Murphy had knee surgery in October and has not played in a regular-season game.

“We want to see him really run the bases, go first-to-third, score on base hits, things like that,” Martinez told reporters. “And then after that, we’ll determine where he’s at. I watched him work out today, and he’s coming along really well.”

NATS NOTES: Washington begins a three-game series at home Monday with the Atlanta Braves, who won two of three against the Nationals earlier this month. Washington right-hander Max Scherzer (1-1, 1.64) will face Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran (0-0, 10.13) on Monday … The temperature was 47 degrees for the first pitch at 8:08 p.m. … Third base umpire Marty Foster was greeted with some boos when his name was announced before the game. He was the home plate umpire Saturday when he ejected Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon and Martinez. 

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