WASHINGTON – Daniel Murphy delivered a game-tying, pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning right after Jose Reyes was ruled out at third base on a disputed call, then added a two-run double in the ninth, helping the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 Thursday night for their sixth consecutive victory.
In a seesaw game delayed 45 minutes at the start by rain, and seen by an announced crowd of only 13,568, the Mets led 1-0, trailed 2-1, tied it at 2 in the eighth, fell behind 3-2 later that inning, then produced a four-run rally in the ninth against Washington closer Sean Burnett (0-1).
That allowed Pedro Beato (1-0) to record his first major league win despite giving up fellow rookie Wilson Ramos' sac fly in the eighth that momentarily put Washington ahead by a run.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth to earn his sixth save in seven chances.
This was the first time in more than a year the Mets trailed on the road in the ninth and rallied to win, according to STATS LLC. The previous time was Sept. 25, 2009, when they scored twice in the ninth to win 6-5 at Florida.
The Mets loaded the bases with none out in the ninth thanks to three straight singles, and pinch-hitter Chin-lung Hu's sac fly made it 3-all, meaning Burnett blew his second save in five chances. Josh Thole followed with an RBI groundout that put the Mets ahead 4-3.
After Reyes was walked intentionally, Murphy doubled to make it 6-3. When Reyes slid across home plate, he bounced up and threw his arms wide apart in an exaggerated "safe" motion, then pointed in the direction of third-base umpire Marvin Hudson.
That was all follow-up from what happened an inning earlier, when Reyes argued vociferously after being called out trying to stretch a double into a triple.
With one out in the eighth and his team trailing 2-1, Reyes tried to take the extra base. Slow-motion TV replays appeared to show that Reyes' right fingers stayed on the bag even as he slid through the tag made by third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. from center fielder Rick Ankiel's throw.
But Hudson called Reyes out. Reyes popped up and yanked off his helmet, then threw it to the ground while yelling at the umpire. As Reyes continued arguing, his dreadlocks flying this way and that, third-base coach Chip Hale intervened, pushing the player away from Hudson.
Mets manager Terry Collins came out to argue, too, but the call stood. As Reyes paced in the dugout, shaking his head, Murphy came to the plate to bat for Justin Turner. With the count full, Murphy hammered a solo shot to right, making it 2-2.
Reyes was the first teammate to meet Murphy at the top of the dugout steps, greeting him with a big high-five and a slap on the helmet.
Mets starter R.A. Dickey gave up two runs and eight hits in his 6 2-3 innings.
Washington's Tom Gorzelanny went 6 1-3 innings, giving up one run and four hits. The Nationals are the only team in the majors whose starting pitcher has lasted at least five innings in each game this season.
The Mets' winning streak is their longest since an eight-game run June 10-17, 2010.
They went ahead 1-0 in the third inning on Turner's RBI single. Washington tied it in the fourth when Michael Morse's sacrifice fly brought home Jayson Werth, who had singled, then taken third on Ramos' single.
The Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Ankiel's run-scoring, two-out double to left. He went to third on a passed ball but was stranded when Werth grounded out.
NOTES: Nationals RHP Livan Hernandez's name surfaced at the trial of a convicted drug dealer in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and officials there will meet with representatives of Major League Baseball. Hernandez told the AP he wouldn't comment, directing questions to the Nationals' public relations staff. Spokesman John Dever said the Nationals "are aware of and are monitoring the situation." ... Mets RHP Mike Pelfrey says he lost 11 pounds in recent days while sick but wants to make his next scheduled start Friday against the Phillies. Pelfrey threw a bullpen session Wednesday and said he "felt fine." ... Washington SS Ian Desmond is expected to return to the team Thursday and start the series finale against the Mets after missing two games while on baseball's new paternity list. His first child was born Tuesday. ... Before Wednesday's game, the Nationals put RHP Chad Gaudin (inflamed right shoulder) on the 15-day DL, and reinstated RHP Henry Rodriguez from the DL.