WHAT IT MEANS: David Wright continued a recent hitting surge, delivering a three-run homer, doubling and then walking in his first three plate appearances as the Mets beat the Nationals 7-3 Friday night. The Mets have won three straight and seven of eight.
New York Mets
Wright's first-inning homer was his first long ball in 32 career games at Nationals Park. He had gone homerless in 125 previous at-bats at the ballpark. It was the only active National League ballpark in which he had yet to homer.
Wright (2-for-3) is now hitting .500 (13-for-26) with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in his past eight games.
Wright's lone blemish came after a fifth-inning walk. He was doubled off first base when Jayson Werth caught Angel Pagan's fly ball at the track in right field and fired in time to catch Wright, who had rounded second base before beginning his retreat.
Nick Evans had a leadoff homer in the second and Pagan contributed a two-run single in the third against left-hander Ross Detwiler as the Mets built a 6-1 lead.
After Rick Ankiel's two-run homer off R.A. Dickey in the fifth pulled Washington within three runs, Lucas Duda answered with a solo homer in the seventh against Collin Balester, the lone run surrendered by the Nat in four relief innings.
New York Mets
PITCHING IN: Utilizing his fastball more than a typical outing, Dickey contributed his eighth straight quality start, extending his career-high streak. His 18 quality starts this season lead the team.
Working on short rest as a starter for the third time in his career because of a Sunday rainout and Monday doubleheader, Dickey departed with a 7-3 lead after allowing a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Brian Bixler in the seventh and with his pitch count at 100.
Tim Byrdak entered and consecutively struck out Ian Desmond and Ankiel. Ryota Igarashi then surrendered a single to Ryan Zimmerman before recording the inning's final out with a strikeout of Michael Morse to stand two runners and close the book on Dickey.
DEBUTANTS: Josh Stinson tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning in his major league debut, then remained in the game to pitch the ninth after a rare plate appearance. Stinson threw a 93 mph strike on his first major league pitch, then retired Werth on a groundout to shortstop with his second offering. He then struck out Chris Marrero on a 94 mph fastball. Wilson Ramos also struck out, on a slider, to end the eighth.
Stinson had only 21 minor league plate appearances over six seasons, but he batted in the top of the ninth and walked on four pitches against Henry Rodriguez before returning to the mound to try to close out the victory.
Alex Cora opened the ninth with a single off Stinson, but Roger Bernadina then grounded into a double play. Desmond followed by sending a flare into center field for a hit, and Stinson departed an out shy of finishing the game.
Daniel Herrera, making his Mets debut, retired pinch-hitter/former Cincinnati Reds teammate Jonny Gomes to end the game.
Quick research by Mark Simon reveals Tom Seaver, Randy Sterling and Tom Hausman are the only other Mets pitchers to walk in their major league debuts besides Stinson.
WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (12-5, 4.24 ERA) opposes left-hander Tom Milone, who will make his major league debut for the Nats, Saturday at 7:05 p.m.