- Associated Press
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

NEW YORK — Pinch-hitter Brandon Drury delivered a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the New York Mets rallied from a pair of three-run deficits to defeat the Washington Nationals 8-7 on Wednesday in the resumption of a game suspended by rain the night before.

The teams were then supposed to play their regularly scheduled game Wednesday night, but it was postponed with a severe storm approaching and rescheduled as part of a single-admission doubleheader Thursday beginning at 12:10 p.m.

Pete Alonso broke out of an 0-for-21 slump with three hits, including an RBI double off the center-field fence that pulled the Mets to 7-6 in the seventh. New York tied it on a throwing error by 6-foot-7 rookie reliever Mason Thompson (0-1) in the eighth and snapped a season-worst four-game slide, winning for only the third time in 12 games to avoid falling to .500.

“I liked the conviction behind the swings that we took out there,” manager Luis Rojas said. “It started last night. … It’s just great to see.”

Juan Soto hit a three-run homer Tuesday night and finished 3 for 4 with a walk in his return to the starting lineup from a sore right knee. Washington went up 7-4 in the fifth with the help of a two-run double by Luis Garcia, but its inexperienced bullpen couldn’t hold it.

J.D. Davis led off the eighth with a double and scored when Thompson threw away Jonathan Villar’s sacrifice bunt. One out later, Drury fisted a soft single over a drawn-in infield — the ball landed at the back of the infield dirt behind second base.

Trevor May (5-2) worked a perfect inning and Edwin Díaz got three quick outs for his 24th save in 28 tries, striking out Soto to start the ninth.

“We’ve had a lot of big wins this year,” Rojas said. “This is one of them.”

Washington, which tore down its team in a huge selloff at the trade deadline, has dropped seven of eight.

“Yeah, they’re different,” Rojas said.

The game resumed in a mostly empty ballpark with the Nationals leading 3-1 in the top of the second.

With the nightcap shortened to seven innings, both teams changed pitching plans in the opener. New York put 41-year-old lefty Rich Hill on the mound when the game resumed, and Washington turned to Joe Ross.

Hill had been scheduled to start Thursday, and Ross was originally lined up for Wednesday night.

“It was a great comeback,” Hill said.


New York is now set to play its 12th doubleheader of the year Thursday, with two more scheduled. The last team to play 14 doubleheaders in one season was the 1979 Milwaukee Brewers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Washington optioned left-handed reliever Sam Clay to Triple-A Rochester and selected the contract of LHP Sean Nolin, who returned to the majors for the first time since 2015 with Oakland. The 31-year-old Nolin pitched in Japan last year and was 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 11 games (nine starts) for Rochester this season.


Nationals: Soto was listed in the Game 2 lineup as well. The slugger was limited to two pinch-hitting appearances last weekend against Atlanta. … RHP Stephen Strasburg, recovering from season-ending neck surgery, was transferred to the 60-day injured list to open a 40-man roster spot for Nolin.

Mets: SS Francisco Lindor (right oblique strain) simulated game situations at shortstop and took batting practice on the field for the first time since getting injured July 16. He’ll have a light day Thursday, but there’s no next step in place yet. “He looked good,” Rojas said. … Javier Báez (lower back) pinch-hit in the sixth and struck out on three pitches to end the inning. Báez, initially announced as Drury over the public address system, was out of the posted starting lineup in the second game as well. … The team is eyeing Noah Syndergaard as a potential reliever if he can return from Tommy John surgery in September.


Technically, it was the first major league relief appearance for Hill since 2014 with the Yankees. After he was moved up to pitch Wednesday, the Mets need a starter for Thursday, and right-hander Trevor Williams is an option to make his New York debut. Williams, acquired with Báez from the Cubs at the July 30 trade deadline, has been pitching at Triple-A Syracuse.


New York planned to recall RHP Geoff Hartlieb from Triple-A Syracuse as the 27th man for the second game of the doubleheader.


Nationals: Had planned a bullpen game in the nightcap, with RHP Andres Machado listed as the opener. RHP Erick Fedde (4-8, 5.15 ERA) was already scheduled for Thursday.

Mets: RHP Marcus Stroman (7-11, 2.83 ERA) gets pushed back from Wednesday night to one of the games Thursday. He has lost three straight starts and is 1-7 in his past 10.

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