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New York Mets blow lead before topping Nationals in 10 innings

Sep 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Rich Hill (21) throws to the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Rich Hill (21) throws to the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Alonso hit a leadoff RBI single in the 10th inning Friday night to spark a four-run outburst for the visiting New York Mets, who avoided a potentially ugly defeat by beating the Washington Nationals 6-2.

The Mets (67-67) overcame a blown save in the ninth inning by Edwin Diaz to win their fifth straight and climb back to .500. New York, which entered Friday five games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, preceded the current streak by losing 12 of 14.

The Nationals (55-78) have lost six straight and 10 of 12.

Rich Hill tossed six scoreless innings and Michael Conforto and Alonso each had RBI hits to help the Mets carry a 2-0 lead into the ninth, when Juan Soto homered to the opposite field on Diaz’s first pitch.

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After Josh Bell struck out, Ryan Zimmerman drew a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Andrew Stevenson. Riley Adams followed with a double just past diving center fielder Brandon Nimmo.

The relay throw from second baseman Javier Baez beat Stevenson to the plate, but Stevenson collided with Chance Sisco as the catcher tried applying the tag, causing Sisco to drop the ball. Sisco, in obvious pain, exited and was replaced by Patrick Mazeika before Diaz (5-4) stranded Adams at third by striking out Carter Kieboom and inducing Luis Garcia to ground out.

Alonso’s single off Austin Voth (3-1) scored automatic runner Francisco Lindor. After Conforto was intentionally walked with one out, Kevin Pillar provided insurance with a two-run double. Pillar scored on Jonathan Villar’s two-out single.

Hill, who entered Friday 0-2 with a 4.83 ERA in seven games (six starts) since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23, gave up three hits and walked two while striking out four.

The six-inning outing was Hill’s longest since June 29, when he went six innings for the Rays against the host Nationals.

On Friday, Washington built its biggest threat against Hill in the fifth, when Riley Adams drew a one-out walk and went to third on a two-out double by Garcia. Hill escaped the jam by getting Keibert Ruiz, who was pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Sean Nolin, to pop out to second.

Nolin allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out three over five innings.

–Field Level Media