WASHINGTON(AP) Another meltdown by the
New York Mets
a rare winning streak.
With the help of two wild throws on potential double-play grounders in the eighth inning, the 103-loss Nationals scored the
tiebreaking run in a 4-3 win over the Mets on Tuesday night for their second straight win.
''It was kind of embarrassing to watch that kind of play - especially at that time of the game,'' Mets manager
said. ''Poor, poor, poor defensive play.''
With one out and the scored tied at 3,
ran for him.
grounded to shortstop, but former Nationals infielder
's toss to second was off target, allowing Maxwell to advance and Guzman reached first.
, who had earlier hit a two-run homer, then grounded to shortstop. Hernandez threw to second baseman
to force Guzman, but Castillo's relay to first landed in Washington's dugout and Maxwell scored.
The Mets, who were considered a championship contender when the season started but had their year wrecked by injuries, matched
the 2004 team with their 91st loss. New York hadn't lost more than 79 games since then.
''We have to put forth a better effort than we did tonight,'' Manuel said.
Castillo also cost the Mets a game in June when he dropped
's popup in the bottom of the ninth inning.
''I think I have a chance to turn a double play,'' Castillo said. ''I hurried the ball.''
The win was the Nationals' second in a row against New York - just the second time this month the club with the worst record
in the majors has managed back-to-back victories.
''We've played hard all year - well, the last few months - and I think we haven't been rewarded too much,'' interim manager
Jim Riggleman said. ''We just couldn't find a way to win ballgames. The fact that they have grinded it out, I think you have
to be proud of. In September, it's tough to do that.''
(3-2), who pitched two scoreless innings and worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, got the win.
picked up his 18th save with a scoreless ninth thanks to
' spectacular catch to end it.
hit a long fly to right. On a run, Dukes caught it and slammed face-first into the scoreboard in right field. He fell backward,
but held on to the ball for the final out.
''When it first came off the bat, I thought it was a double,'' Dukes said. ''I got that good jump, I was gaining ground on
the ball and I said I've got a chance.''
Manuel, who can't help but feel snakebit, wasn't surprised Dukes made such a wonderful grab.
''The way we're going, I thought he'd climb over the fence and pull it back,'' Manuel said.
The Nationals trailed 3-0 as the Mets scored once in the first and twice in the second. The first four Mets reached against
starter J.D. Martin. Pagan led off with a double. Castillo bunted for a base hit. Wright walked to load the bases, and Pagan
New York added two runs in the second on a double by
, starting pitcher
's sacrifice bunt, an RBI single by Pagan and a two-out RBI double by Wright.
In the first four innings, Pelfrey had allowed just Martin's slow roller for a hit in the third. In the fifth inning, he allowed
three runs. Desmond blasted a two-run home run, his second. With two outs,
, Dukes and
singled. Zimmerman's RBI tied the game at 3.
NOTES: New York LHP
appeared in his 86th game, tying the club record he set a year ago. ... Washington C
returned after missing 10 games with a strained left hamstring. ... Pelfrey said he was leaving the team to visit his ailing
grandfather and won't pitch again this season. RHP
will start against Houston in the Mets' final game on Sunday. ... Riggleman hasn't named a starter for Saturday's game in
Atlanta. It's LHP
's turn, but the team has shut the rookie down.