- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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After consecutive two-out walks to Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. in the ninth, Murphy sent a shot to the very top of the right-field wall. Jayson Werth made sure it stayed in the park with a game-ending catch.
"I thought I had a chance," Murphy said after the 5-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. "My heart of hearts, I knew it was going to be close. He crowded me just a little bit, got it in on me just a hair. I knew it was going to be tight. Jayson made a good play on it."
Werth said he could not tell whether the ball would have cleared the wall.
"When it was hit, I figured it was right about where it was at," he said. "I think the rain might have knocked it down a little bit, gave me a better chance. It was close. I know he hit it good. [Anthony] Recker Recker hit that ball good, too, to start off the inning. I think the mist might have helped us out a little bit."
Jonathon Niese allowed five runs (three earned) in a season-low four innings as his ERA climbed to 2.54.
"I just couldn't get in a rhythm, fell behind," Niese said. "I wasn't able to execute pitches when I needed to. When that happens, it's tough for the defense to stay on their toes."
Murphy, though, noted that he and David Wright failed to make plays behind Niese in a three-run first inning by the Nats.
"That first inning, unfortunately, David misplays a ball. I misplay a double-play ball," Murphy said. "We kind of put him into trouble. I thought he settled down nicely after that and could have gone deeper into the game, most certainly."
Said Niese: "I've been feeling good lately. I felt OK tonight. Like I said, I didn't execute pitches when I needed to."
WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy said closer Rafael Soriano got the final pitch of Friday's game inside just enough to prevent a game-tying three-run homer.