Murphy powers Mets' offense in first game of doubleheader
Washington, DC – Daniel Murphy went 4-for-5, homered twice and knocked in five runs to back an excellent performance from Jenrry Mejia, as the New York Mets took the opener of a day-night doubleheader with ease in an 11-0 romping of the Washington Nationals.
Murphy's second career multi-homer game was more than enough for Mejia (1-0), who stifled the Nationals in his season debut with seven strikeouts over a seven impressive scoreless innings.
"It really started with Mejia. He threw the ball so well today," Murphy said. "To come up, first outing of the year like that, I think the biggest thing was to just throw strikes. He really pounded the zone and got some ground balls when he needed to."
New York has won five of its last seven and will go for the sweep of the twinbill when it hands the ball over to ace Matt Harvey later on Friday night.
Jordan Zimmermann (12-6) had gone 22 straight starts without losing at home, but has now dropped two in a row after being tagged for five runs on six hits over 6 2/3 frames. He struck out eight and gave up both of Murphy's home runs.
"I pitched a lot better than what the stat line says," Zimmermann said. "I made two mistakes. I've thrown those pitches to Murphy plenty of other times and gotten a groundout to second. Today wasn't my day."
The slumping Nationals managed just eight hits while dropping their 11th game in 14 outings.
The 23-year-old Mejia was called up to make the start with the Mets needing an extra pitcher for the double-header. He had been working his way back after being placed on the disabled list in the spring with elbow inflammation.
Murphy gave Mejia some room to work with before even taking the mound, as he tattooed a Zimmermann pitch off the second deck facade in the first to open up a 1-0 lead for New York. He then went deep again in the third, supplying a two-run shot that stayed just inside the right field foul pole.
Mejia danced around jams in the first and third innings before settling in to retire 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. The right-hander had great control of his command, throwing 66 of his 97 pitches for strikes.
Juan Lagares doubled twice, scored three runs and contributed an RBI single in the seventh to chase Zimmermann from the contest. Zimmermann has allowed 12 runs over his last two starts and has dropped his last three decisions.
Reliever Fernando Abad took over on the mound and the Mets took a 5-0 lead after a steal by Lagares and Murphy's third hit of the day.
New York then exploded for six runs in the ninth, with Drew Storen taking the brunt of it after giving up five runs on four pitches. He served up run- scoring hits on David Wright's single and Marlon Byrd's double, then Ike Davis went deep for a three-run homer to account for the final margin.
Murphy tied a career high with five RBI ... New York's Eric Young Jr. was scratched prior to the game because of a strained right knee ... The Nationals have still taken 22 of their last 31 games with the Mets ... Washington reinstated pitcher Ryan Mattheus from the 15-day disabled list. He pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief and was charged with three runs ... The Nationals will send Ross Ohlendorf to the hill for Friday's nightcap.