Washington, DC – The New York Mets only required three hits to knock off the Washington Nationals, 2-0, in the middle installment of a three-game set.
Ike Davis had two of the hits and socked a two-run home run in the seventh inning that proved to be the difference for the Mets, who will try to win their second series since the All-Star break on Sunday.
"He left a fastball up and away and I hit it on the barrel and it got out of there," Davis said of his homer against Washington starter Edwin Jackson.
Davis' homer made a winner of Jon Niese (10-6), who tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings for the Mets. He held Washington to five hits and struck out seven without a walk.
It also made a hard-luck loser of Jackson (7-8), who only gave up two hits and a walk in seven innings while striking out 11.
"Tonight Niese was the better pitcher," Jackson said. "He came out and he held us scoreless and the bullpen did the same."
Danny Espinosa had two of Washington's five hits, but the Nationals went hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position en route to the loss.
Mike Baxter came through with a one-out triple in the first inning, but Jackson pitched out of the jam and held the Mets hitless until the seventh inning.
Jackson walked David Wright to start the seventh before Davis hammered a first-pitch fastball into the left-field bullpen to put the Mets on the board.
The Nationals went down in order in the seventh and eighth innings against Niese and Jon Rauch, who recorded the final two outs of the eighth inning.
Frank Francisco tossed a perfect ninth to nail down his 20th save of the season.
The Mets are 1-8-1 in 10 series since the All-Star break ... Baxter has hit in a career-best seven straight games, going 9-for-25 since August 9 ... Rauch has allowed one run over his last 21 starts, spanning 15 innings ... Niese has thrown six or more innings in his last 14 starts and has a 7-4 record with a 2.90 earned run average (31 earned runs in 96 2/3 ... Niese pitched on extra rest. In 13 starts with extra rest this season, he is 6-2 with a 2.17 ERA (22 earned runs in 91 1/3 innings) ... Niese has not walked a better in 32 2/3 innings.