WASHINGTON (AP) — Wilson Ramos talked himself into the lineup. His calm approach at the plate took care of the rest.
Ramos drove in four runs and Ian Desmond homered to help Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Sunday.
Desmond's solo shot tied the score in the second inning and Ramos' two-run double in the third put the Nationals ahead for good. The catcher drove in two more with a bases-loaded single in the fifth off starter Zack Wheeler (1-4) for a 5-1 lead.
"His heart rate doesn't increase," Washington manager Matt Williams said of his cleanup hitter. "That's key for anybody in the middle of the lineup driving in runs. ... It's no different at-bat just because there are guys out there."
There was some debate about putting Ramos in the lineup for a third straight game, something he had not done since returning to action May 9. He missed more than a month with a hand injury and played only 78 games last year after multiple stints on the disabled list.
"There was a conversation (Saturday) night about how he felt," Williams said "He was adamant about playing today because he felt that it was coming along."
Though he was hitless in Saturday's 5-2 loss, Ramos sensed better days were ahead. On Sunday, he produced his first multihit game of the season.
"Yesterday I was feeling good. I hit the ball well, "Ramos said. "I talked to (Williams) and said I want to play (Sunday). Every time I play games straight I feel better and better and better."
Zimmermann (3-1) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings for his first win in three starts. It came hours after Washington put left-hander Gio Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano shut out the Mets over the final three innings. Washington's bullpen pitched 13 scoreless innings in the series as the Nationals took two of three.
Soriano worked the ninth for his 10th save.
One day after New York snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Nationals, a scuffling Wheeler gave up five runs — three earned — and six hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked two.