|Washington Nationals Bryce Harper, right, trots the bases after hitting a first-inning, two-run home run off New York Mets starting pitcher Chris Young in their baseball game at Citi Field in New York, Monday, July 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)|
Mets again trounced in extras, beaten by Nationals
NEW YORK—These extra-inning games are becoming exceptionally maddening for the New York Mets.
Shortstop Ruben Tejada's error on a potential double-play ball put the Mets in peril, and Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals broke away in the 10th for an 8-2 win Monday night.
"It's frustrating, but it is part of the game," starting pitcher Chris Young said.
The Mets lost for the 10th time in 11 games. A day earlier, they gave up five runs in the 12th inning and fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3.
The six runs tied the most the Mets had ever allowed in an extra inning. Never before had they lost consecutive extra-inning games by at least five runs.
"It seems like we're one play away, one bounce, one break," Young said. "When things are going good, you get those and when things are going bad, they go against you. We've got to find a way to make our own luck and make our own break."
Harper homered his first time up in New York, then hit a tiebreaking single to key the big 10th. Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run double and Michael Morse added a two-run homer for the NL East-leading Nationals.
It was 2-all on a rainy evening when Roger Bernadina opened the Washington 10th with a bloop single. Sandy Leon followed with an easy comebacker to Tim Byrdak (2-2), but Tejada dropped the throw and got spiked in the right calf by a sliding Bernadina.
"I have to make that play. I tried to make the transfer too fast. It's a really good runner from first to second, but I have to make that routine play," Tejada said.
As for his two spike wounds, he said: "I'm good for tomorrow. I'm a little bit sore, for sure."
Pedro Beato relieved, Mark DeRosa bunted into a forceout at third and Steve Lombardozzi singled to load the bases.
After pitching coach Dan Warthen went to the mound, Harper made it 3-2 with a sharp single to right-center. Zimmerman, chosen earlier in the day as the NL player of the week, doubled to the right-center alley and a hustling Harper almost caught Lombardozzi near home plate. Morse capped the rally with his sixth homer.
The Mets fell to 1-5 in extras this season, including 0-3 against Washington. Their ERA in extra innings ballooned to 14.73 -- that's 18 earned runs in 11 innings.
"There's not much you can do except try to put guys in there who we think can get people out," manager Terry Collins said.
Tom Gorzelanny (3-2) retired Jason Bay on a grounder with a runner on second to end the ninth.
David Wright and Ike Davis homered for the Mets in their fourth straight loss.
Harper hit a two-run homer in the first inning that sailed into the Washington bullpen beyond the right-center wall.
The rookie connected for his ninth home run of the season and first since June 28. He later drew a walk from Young and stole his 13th base.
Harper grew up in Las Vegas and said he twice came on family vacations to New York City. The highlights, he recalled, were seeing Times Square and Central Park and going to a game at old Yankee Stadium when was about 12 in which current teammate Chien-Ming Wang pitched.
If he has time on this short trip, Harper said he most wanted to visit the 9/11 memorial at ground zero.
Wright hit his 15th homer in the fourth off Jordan Zimmermann. Davis hit a tying home run in the seventh on the first pitch from reliever Michael Gonzalez.
Young and Zimmermann matched up for the third time this season. Last Wednesday, Zimmermann threw six scoreless innings to win in Washington.
Zimmermann allowed four hits, walked none and struck out six in six innings. Young retired 14 straight batters in the middle innings, allowed three hits and struck out seven before leaving after the seventh.
NOTES: A Snooki, a Wookiee and a Rookie -- but no Mookie. It was "Star Wars" night at Citi Field, featuring dressed-up characters. Mets fan Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi from "Jersey Shore" also was on hand -- she got booed -- as was Mets rookie pitcher Matt Harvey, who will make his big league debut Thursday night at Arizona. Alas, Mets ambassador Mookie Wilson was not seen. ... Mets closer Frank Francisco (oblique) will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Class-A Brooklyn.