WASHINGTON -- Ross Detwiler appeared headed for an unlucky 13th start as he walked off the mound in the middle of the sixth inning Monday night.
Then Mike Morse led off the bottom of the sixth with his third homer in as many games and the Nationals held on for a 2-1 win.
"You give up that one run, and it's, 'Here we go again,'" Detwiler (1-6) said. "Then Morse hits the home run and it's amazing."
Detwiler earned his first win in what is likely his last start of the season. He allowed seven hits and one run and got a lift from his bullpen as well. Jason Bergmann threw two scoreless innings and Mike MacDougal threw a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
"It feels great," Detwiler said. "It kind of feels like I've got some pressure off myself."
While Detwiler saw his luck improve, Mets starter Nelson Figueroa (2-8) lost for the fifth straight time despite almost matching Detwiler's numbers. Figueroa allowed six hits and two runs in six innings. Figueroa has given up four runs over 13 innings in his last two starts, both losses.
"This is like Groundhog's Day -- I just want to wake up from it," Figueroa said. "It just keeps happening and keeps happening. It's just frustrating ... because no one likes to lose, and I'm definitely not someone who's going to sit there and say, 'Well at least I put forth a good effort.' I'm tired of losing. I hate losing."
Morse's home run over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field was his third this season, all in the past three games. During the stretch he has doubled his career total -- Morse had three before Saturday, all in 2005.
Morse has had a hard time breaking into the lineup. He was used at first and third base the past two games, started in right field Monday, and Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he may play second base before the season ends.
"I've come to kind of like it. A new day, it's something else," Morse said. "You get a lot of views of the field."
Justin Maxwell led off the bottom of the first with a grounder that glanced off third baseman David Wright's glove as he tried to backhand it on the run. The ball bounced deep into foul territory, allowing Maxwell to reach second with a double. He advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Ryan Zimmerman's sacrifice fly to right field.
Carlos Beltran led off the top of the sixth with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Fernando Tatis' single up the middle. A wild pitch by Detwiler put runners on second and third with two outs, but Figueroa struck out to end the threat.
"Obviously if you're going to win those games, you got to find a way to get those hits and get those runs in and we were unable to do that," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.
Washington C Wil Nieves missed his 10th straight game with a strained hamstring, but Riggleman said Nieves would likely return Tuesday. ... Washington 1B Adam Dunn has 171 strikeouts this season, a franchise record. The previous high was 169 by Andres Galarraga in 1990 when the team was the Montreal Expos. Dunn struck out in the first inning Monday. ... Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano made his 85th appearance, one shy of his own team record. Feliciano retired the only batter he faced in the seventh.