WASHINGTON (AP) — Doug Fister made quick work of the New York Mets, and that's one reason why his teammates on the Washington Nationals provided him with ample hitting support.
Fister took a five-hit shutout into the eighth inning, Adam LaRoche homered twice and Danny Espinosa also connected as the Nationals cruised to a 7-1 victory Wednesday night.
Fister (11-3) allowed one unearned run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and reduced his ERA to 2.49.
In his first season with Washington, Fister has made a positive impression with his new team by working rapidly and going after opposing hitters. The technique confounded the Mets and provided the Nationals with plenty of time to take their hacks against New York starter Jonathon Niese (5-8).
"It's no coincidence that I feel like a lot of runs get scored when Doug pitches," LaRoche said. "I think it's a matter of really quick innings. He's pitching to contact, guys are on their toes, and there's a lot of action. Seems like when he's pitching, we're out there for 30 minutes on defense and spend two hours in the dugout."
The Mets, who had faced Fister only once previously, seemingly weren't prepared for his rapid-fire style.
"He works real quick, throws a lot of strikes, doesn't walk anybody," New York manager Terry Collins said.
LaRoche hit a two-run drive in the first inning and a solo shot in the eighth, his 23rd career multihomer game. Espinosa went deep with two on in the sixth and Anthony Rendon hit two doubles to help NL East-leading Washington increase its lead over sputtering Atlanta to four games.
Niese gave up a season-high six runs on eight hits in six innings. It was only the second time in his last 25 starts the left-hander yielded more than three earned runs.
Niese is 0-4 with a 5.76 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list with a left shoulder strain.
"It seemed like when I didn't feel 100 percent, that's when I was pitching best," Niese said. "My arm feels a lot better so I've got to figure out how to pitch with that."
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