Mets Fall to Nationals 9-1

Unbeaten Stephen Strasburg struck out 10, Daniel Murphy homered against his old team and Bryce Harper finally got a hit off shaky Matt Harvey as the Nationals routed the Mets 9-1 on Thursday night.

Slumping Ben Revere singled to start a seven-run burst in the third inning and capped it with a two-run triple for a 9-1 lead, chasing Harvey and sending boos bouncing all around Citi Field.

The NL East-leading Nationals handed the Mets their sixth loss in seven games.

Strasburg (7-0) gave up one run and six hits in six innings, and tied Cubs ace Jake Arrieta for the league lead in wins. Harvey (3-6) was tagged for a career-worst nine runs.

Strasburg kept paying dividends on the $175 million, seven-year contract he recently signed. He struck out the side in the first with a fastball clocked at 98 mph, and fanned at least 10 for the fourth time this season.

Washington has won 13 in a row when Strasburg has started, dating to last year. Manager Dusty Baker let Strasburg bat in the top of the seventh — he flied out — and then pulled him after 113 pitches.

Murphy gave Strasburg the lead before he threw a pitch, hitting a two-run homer in the first. Murphy later doubled and tops the majors in batting at .397 in his first season since leaving the Mets as a free agent.

Harper flied out in the first, making him 0 for 21 lifetime against Harvey. The reigning NL MVP singled in his next at-bat, breaking that slump.

Harvey gave up six earned runs on eight hits and two walks in a career-low 2 2/3 innings.

Harvey began to walk off the mound even before manager Terry Collins reached him, and exited with a 5.77 ERA. His velocity and confidence down, the Mets have become increasingly concerned their ace has lost his way.

In early 2013, in a memorable game for Mets fans, the crowd chanted "Harvey's better!" over and over as he outpitched Strasburg. They matched up again in 2015 and Harvey won that time, too.

This time, there was no doubt which of the 27-year-old righties who's come back from Tommy John surgery was better.

The Mets scored on three singles in the second, including Asdrubal Cabrera's hit after Strasburg's prep time was cut short. He threw only five warmup pitches, instead of the customary eight, after grounding out to end the top half — the countdown clock between innings begins at 2 minutes, 25 seconds, and he ran out of time.

It was 2-1 when an intentional walk to Murphy loaded the bases with one out in the third. Ryan Zimmerman hit a grounder in the hole that Cabrera bobbled for an error, Anthony Rendon followed with a two-run double that leaping left fielder Michael Conforto couldn't quite hold and Wilson Ramos added a two-run single.


Mets: 1B Lucas Duda was back in the lineup after sitting out two games because of a stiff back. He went 0 for 4, striking out three times.


Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (2-3, 3.10) tries again to beat the Marlins. He's 0-3 with an 8.40 ERA against them this year going into this start at Miami.

Mets: LHP Steven Matz (5-1, 2.86) returns to the rotation to face visiting Milwaukee. He missed a turn over the weekend in Colorado because of elbow soreness.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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