WASHINGTON (AP) - It's merely a consolation that the New York Mets finished with a winning record on their road trip.
The Mets were rolling until the bats went quiet over the weekend against the Washington Nationals. Scott Hairston's solo home runs accounted for both of New York's runs in a 3-2 defeat Sunday.
The Mets were shut out 3-0 Saturday to finish 6-4 on their swing through Florida, Cincinnati and Washington. They now head back to New York for a 10-game homestand.
``It's frustrating to lose back-to-back games,' Hairston said. ``We're playing good as a whole. We didn't catch our breaks toward the end there. We've just got to keep our heads up. There's a lot of time left.'
Amid the annual anxiety of trade deadline day, the Mets lost the game on a walk-off chopper up the middle in the ninth. As it turned out, all those eyeing the large clock attached to the scoreboard in right-center field were waiting for naught - the 4 p.m. deadline passed with neither team making a deal, leaving them instead to focus on persevering through an afternoon in which the first-pitch temperature was 96 degrees.
The Mets were down to their last out in the top of the ninth when Hairston hit a sinker that didn't sink from Drew Storen (6-2). The drive barely cleared the left field fence.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jesus Flores opened with a single to right off Bobby Parnell (3-3), New York's fifth pitcher. Parnell then hit Ankiel with a pitch to put runners on first and second with none out.
Brian Bixler attempted to sacrifice, but first baseman Daniel Murphy pounced on the bunt and threw to third to force out Flores. Parnell, also chasing the bunt, made an awkward landing on his left ankle on the play but stayed in the game.
Ankiel and Bixler advanced on a wild pitch, forcing the Mets to bring the infield in for Ian Desmond, whose chopper was deflected by Parnell. Second baseman Willie Harris' throw was too late to get Ankiel, and the game was over.
``I felt like I made a good pitch and got a groundball,' Parnell said. ``Unfortunately, it was that high and I couldn't get to it. That's the game of baseball. What can you do? ... We still had a good road trip, but I wish the plane ride could be a little bit happier.'
The game was a scoreless tie until the sixth, when Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse doubled in a two-run inning off New York starter Jonathon Niese.
The Mets had their chances early. They loaded the bases with a walk to the pitcher and a pair of singles in the third, but David Wright hit into a 9-3-4 double play when Murphy strayed too far off first on a flyout to right field.
New York then had Murphy and Wright on base with one out in the sixth. Zimmermann balked, allowing both to advance, but he composed himself to strike out Angel Pagan and Jason Bay.
``Those are chances we usually have capitalized on, not only this trip but throughout the year,' manager Terry Collins said. ``Today we had miscommunication on the fly ball to right and it cost us. And then the strikeout to Angel. We've got to make those situations count, for sure.'
Notes: Wright has hits in all 10 games since returning from the disabled list. However, his streak of seven straight multihit games came to an end. ... The Nationals optioned RHP Yunesky Maya to Triple-A Syracuse and recalled LHP Atahualpa Severino from Syracuse. Severino's first appearance with the Nationals will mark his major league debut. ... Washington LF Jonny Gomes singled twice, his first two hits after a 0-for-6 start since being acquired in a trade from Cincinnati last week.
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
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