Friday, July 08, 2005

Mets 3, Nationals 2 (11 innings)

WP: Heath Bell (1-3)
LP: Luis Ayala (7-5)
S: Braden Looper (20)

The first place Nationals dropped a home series to the (formerly) last place Mets, missing their chance at a split when Mike Piazza hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning.

Pitchers Kris Benson and Tony Armas Jr. were locked in a duel for most of the game, with Benson giving up two runs on seven hits in seven innings and Armas giving up two runs on four hits in seven innings.

But Mike Piazza, who has been struggling and got the day off yesterday, came through big time for the Mets with three hits and two RBI, including the game winner.

For the Nationals, Jose Vidro knocked in both runs with a double in the third that scored Armas and Brad Wilkerson. Since coming back from the DL, Vidro has gone 1-4 in all three games.

The win pushed the Mets ahead of the Phillies for fourth place in the NL East. They are still eight games behind the Nationals.

Taking advantage of the short stint of Washington struggles, the Braves have won five in a row to cut the Nationals lead in the NL East to 2.5 games.

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