WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite winning two of the three games in the series, the New York Mets still left Washington with a little bit of an empty feeling.
Jayson Werth's two-out RBI double in the eighth inning capped a late rally and the Washington Nationals avoided a series sweep with a 6-5 win over the Mets on Sunday night.
The Mets led 5-2 entering the seventh, but the Nationals scored once in that inning on Wilson Ramos' run-scoring single and added three in the eighth.
"Anytime you can win a series, it's big," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "This time of the year, you've got to win as many as you can.
"Certainly, this is one we're going to look back on and kick ourselves a little bit for letting it get away. But yeah, winning a series is big."
Starter Jonathon Niese never had a 1-2-3 inning, but the Nationals managed only single runs in the second and fourth against him. He allowed two runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings before leaving with a left leg cramp.
The left-hander also left with the lead, poised for his fourth win in five starts.
Scott Atchison replaced Niese with two outs in the sixth and stranded two inherited runners. Ramos' RBI single against Atchison in the seventh made it 5-3.
Gonzalez Germen (1-2) allowed one run after Scott Rice gave up two in the eighth.
"A lot of things didn't go our way tonight," Niese said. "A lot of broken-bat hits, ground ball hits that got through the hole. And that's kind of how it goes sometimes, a game can unravel in a hurry."
Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda each drove in two runs, and Matt de Dekker smacked his first career home run for the Mets. New York last swept a series from Washington May 25-27, 2009.
Rice entered in the eighth with the Mets leading 5-3. Rice, New York's third pitcher, allowed consecutive singles including Denard Span's pinch-hit single which extended the outfielder's hitting streak to 15 games.
After Bryce Harper sacrificed the runners to second and third, Scott Hairston scored on Anthony Rendon's groundout and Span came around on Ryan Zimmerman's infield single.
Werth's second double of the game scored Zimmerman from first base and was one of Washington's 16 hits.
"We finally got some hits with runners out there," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "It took a while."
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