WASHINGTON – Rookie Danny Espinosa drove in six runs, hitting a grand slam, a solo homer and getting two other hits and helping the Washington Nationals rout the New York Mets 13-3 Monday for their third straight victory.
Espinosa, called up from Triple-A on Wednesday, led off the third inning with a home run off Mike Pelfrey. Espinosa added an RBI single in the fifth, hit a grand slam off Ryota Igarashi in the sixth and doubled in the eighth.
Espinosa has three homers in his last four games.
Washington scored 13 unanswered runs to post its 60th win of the season, eclipsing the Nationals' total from both 2008 and 2009.
Ivan Rodriguez's two-run double ignited a five-run rally in the fourth. Michael Morse hit a tiebreaking single off Pelfrey (13-9) as the Nationals came back from a 3-0 deficit. Rodriguez finished with three RBIs.
Scott Olsen (4-8) picked up the victory with four hitless innings of relief. It was Olsen's his appearance out of the bullpen since his 2005 rookie season. Collin Balester worked the ninth, finishing a three-hitter.
Pelfrey lost for the third time in five decisions. He allowed six runs on five hits and walked three.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first without benefit of a hit out of the infield. Angel Pagan dropped a bunt single, stole second went to third when shortstop Espinosa bobbled Chris Carter's grounder and scored on David Wright's sacrifice fly. Jordan Zimmermann then walked the next three hitters, a free pass to Josh Thole forcing home a run.
Thole's RBI single made it 3-0 in the third.
After Espinosa's homer just inside the left-field foul pole in the third, the Nationals chased Pelfrey in the fourth. Washington batted around for the third straight game.
Zimmermann worked four innings, allowing three runs — one earned — on three hits.
Rodriguez hit an RBI single in the sixth and Espinosa hit a grand slam off the right-field facade later in the inning.
Notes: Washington RF Willie Harris left the game for precautionary reasons after crashing face-first into the scoreboard in right-center while trying to catch Carter's third-inning double. ... Nationals SS Ian Desmond (sore left hamstring) got the day off from the starting lineup, but struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. ... Tuesday's game will feature two starting pitchers making their major league debuts: Washington LHP Yunesky Maya and Mets RHP Dillon Gee. Maya is a Cuban defector who was 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts at three different minor league levels, while Gee went 13-8 with a 4.96 ERA in 28 starts at Triple-A Buffalo. "This year has been unbelievable and especially to end it here. The main goal was just to go out this year and to prove that I'm healthy again," said Gee, who missed much of 2009 with a right shoulder injury. ... Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said Rodriguez and rookie Wilson Ramos would split the starting catcher's job for the final month of the season. ... Pelfrey has a 10.98 ERA in two September starts after posting a 1.20 ERA in five August starts.
(This version CORRECTS Nationals 13, Mets 3. Corrects to three home runs in four games in 3rd paragraph.)