WASHINGTON (AP) - The New York Mets hit two home runs in the ninth inning off Washington closer Tyler Clippard on Wednesday night. That still wasn't enough to prevent the Mets from a 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals, extending their losing streak to a season-high six games.
New York was shut out by Jordan Zimmermann (7-6) for six innings and slipped to 46-45. The Mets haven't been only a game over .500 since May 5, and have dropped eight games behind the first-place Nationals in the NL East.
The solo shots off Clippard by All-Star third baseman David Wright and Jason Bay, who was playing in just his second game after missing more than a month with a concussion, couldn't get the Mets a win.
They did get a solid outing by starter Chris Young (2-4), who allowed six hits and two runs over six innings. Those runs came on a two-run homer by Adam LaRoche that broke the scoreless tie in the sixth.
``There's no feel-good about tonight. I made the mistake that cost us,' Young said.
``I didn't think it was a bad pitch. It's frustrating, (but) we're not going to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We got to snap out of it and we will. You go through stretches like this. I was on a team in San Diego that lost 10 in a row in September. I'd rather get it out of the way now. This team has a lot of character. We're not going to quit.'
That was Mets manager Terry Collins' message to his team in a pre-game meeting, telling his players: ``Quit worrying about who we don't have. You worry about who's sitting in this room because this is who's gotten us here. . There are no saviors. Just continue to battle and battle, get out of this and go win six in a row.'
Collins will get no argument from Miguel Batista, who relieved Young and gave up three hits in the Washington seventh including Steve Lombardozzi's game-winning two-run double off the right field wall on a 2-0 pitch.
``This team is way better than the way we've been playing,' Batista said. ``They're playing good baseball, but they're not a better team than us. I believe we have the best team in baseball. We just have to play.'
Lucas Duda doubled in the seventh and scored on Andres Torres' single to bring New York within 2-1. After Lombardozzi drove home Jesus Flores and Roger Bernadina in the bottom of the inning, Sean Burnett shut down the Mets in the eighth.
Wright hit Clippard's first pitch in the ninth into the right field seats for his 12th homer. Ike Davis and Duda struck out before Bay smacked Clippard's next offering off the left field foul pole. However, Jordany Valdespin, who had taken Clippard deep in the ninth on Tuesday, struck out to end the game.
Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper had an eventful night with two singles, and running down a long fly ball hit by Duda in left-center in the second. In the fourth, Harper singled, and when Ryan Zimmerman flied to center, he ran and was about 30 feet past second when he fell down and was easily doubled off first.
Wright had three hits. He's now reached base in 81 of New York's 87 games.
NOTES: Washington RHP Drew Storen will probably be activated Thursday, manager Davey Johnson said. Storen has yet to pitch this season due to elbow surgery. ... Nationals C Jhonatan Solano is probably headed to the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain. He's likely to be replaced by Sandy Leon, who's at Double-A Harrisburg. ... Washington OF Jayson Werth, who's on the DL with a broken wrist, took batting practice on Wednesday and launched seven straight home runs. Johnson said he'll be sent out on a rehab assignment on Thursday. ... Duda returned to the lineup after missing three games with a left hamstring injury. ... New York RHP Jon Rauch had his knees drained on Tuesday, but pitched the eighth. ... Mets RHP R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.66) will pitch against Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (12-4, 3.93) in Thursday afternoon's series finale.
The Associated Press News Service
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