Mets Finish Off Nats for 3-Game Sweep

Daniel Murphy's tiebreaking homer, a call overturned by umpires in yet another replay review involving the New York Mets, led an uncharacteristically wild Johan Santana to a 7-4 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

Murphy had a career-best five RBIs and Gary Sheffield hit an early two-run double off rookie Jordan Zimmermann (2-2), helping the injury-ravaged Mets finish a three-game sweep.

Despite playing without Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran (for two games), New York has overtaken Philadelphia for the NL East lead by winning five of six following a four-game skid.

The only lowlight: Top prospect Fernando Martinez, playing his second big league game, failed to run out an infield popup that was dropped. The 20-year-old was booed his next time up.

Adam Dunn hit a mammoth homer — estimated at 465 feet, no review needed — for woeful Washington, which fell 20 games below .500 only 46 games into the season. The Nationals have dropped 15 of 18 since a three-game winning streak.

Santana (7-2) struck out 11 and walked six, one shy of his career high. He labored through six innings, throwing a season-high 120 pitches while allowing three runs and three hits.

The left-hander issued four free passes in a 41-pitch fourth, the first time he has walked four in an inning. But the Mets gave him some rare support, with an assist from the video replay system.

Murphy came up with a runner on in the sixth and hit a drive to right that appeared to scrape off a yellow advertisement on the facade of the second deck, which hangs 8 feet over the field.

The ball landed on the warning track and was initially ruled in play, so Dunn started a relay that cut down Sheffield at the plate — he wasn't running hard most of the way.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel came out to argue and the umpires huddled before three disappeared under the third-base stands to watch replays. After a delay of about 4 minutes, they returned and signaled home run, giving New York a 5-3 lead.

It was the fourth time in five Mets games that a disputed home run call went to video review. Two were reversed, and all four rulings ended up benefiting New York.

Pedro Feliciano fanned Dunn with a runner on to end the seventh, preserving a two-run lead. It was one of 15 strikeouts by Mets pitchers.

Murphy, who had an RBI single in the third, added a two-run double in the seventh off Jesus Colome.

Santana remained tied for the NL wins lead with Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo, who beat Houston 6-1. The two-time Cy Young Award winner reached double digits in strikeouts for the 47th time in his career, four this season.

It was the fourth time Santana walked at least six in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The last time he did it was July 15, 2002, with Minnesota, when he set a career high with seven free passes against the Angels.

An elite prospect himself, Zimmermann is 0-2 in six starts since beating the Mets 8-1 on April 26.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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