Washington, DC – Ian Desmond and Denard Span smacked back-to- back home runs in the second to back a solid start from Dan Haren, as the Washington Nationals edged the New York Mets, 4-1, Saturday in the third contest of a four-game series at Nationals Park.
Bryce Harper added a two-run homer in the third to provide more than run support for Haren (5-11), who held the Mets to one run on three hits while striking out six over seven frames to snap a lengthy 11-start winless skid.
Haren, who hadn't won since May 9, added a double and a run scored in the victory, Washington's third in its last four games.
"It feels great," Haren said of snapping his skid. "It's obviously been a long time to have that winning feeling after a game."
New York starter Dillon Gee (7-8) entered the contest looking to extend his six-start unbeaten streak, but was tagged for four runs on six hits -- including three home runs -- over seven innings to absorb the loss.
"They're a very good team with really good hitters and they're going to make you pay when you make mistakes like that," Gee said of the Nats. "The damage was done early and there's nothing I can do about it."
David Wright recorded two of New York's four hits and knocked in the lone run for the Mets, who will look to salvage a series split with a win in Sunday's finale.
Gee hadn't given up an earned run over his last two starts, covering 13 2/3 frames, and breezed through the first five Nats in order before getting Desmond in an 0-2 hole with two away in the second.
Desmond battled back and worked the count foul before scorching a changeup into the seats in center field to make it 1-0.
Gee, who hadn't surrendered a home run over his last five starts, was unable to find his composure after the blast, as Span sent the right-hander's next offering over the wall in right to increase Washington's edge.
Harper doubled the Nats' lead with a longball of his own in the third. After Haren helped his own cause with a leadoff double to center, Harper drilled a liner just over the center-field wall to make it 4-0.
Haren held the Mets to just one hit over five scoreless frames before the visitors pushed a two-out run across in the sixth.
Eric Young legged out an infield single before swiping second with two outs. Wright ripped a base hit to left to score Young and bring New York within 4-1.
Haren bounced back with a 1-2-3 seventh, Tyler Clippard pitched a perfect eighth, and Rafael Soriano worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to secure his 26th save of the season.
Gee, who suffered his first loss since June 17 at Atlanta, entered the game 3-0 with a 0.96 earned run average in three starts against Washington this season ... Clippard ran his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 15.0 frames ... Young stole his 21st base of the season ... New York went 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position ... The game was delayed 62 minutes in the eighth due to rain.