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Mets settle for split with Nats after 2-1 loss

Saturday - 7/27/2013, 12:38am  ET

Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman rounds third base after hitting a game-winning solo home run against the New York Mets in the ninth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park, Friday, July 26, 2013, in Washington. The Nationals won 2-1. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

IAN QUILLEN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The New York Mets got two more exceptional starts from young starting pitchers. They only scored enough runs for one of them to beat the Washington Nationals on Friday.

LaTroy Hawkins gave up a home run to Ryan Zimmerman in the ninth inning of the second game of a day-night doubleheader, and the Mets lost 2-1 -- settling for a split.

Matt Harvey struck out seven and walked one in eight innings in the fifth start he has made this season without allowing an earned run. He gave up one unearned run when second baseman Daniel Murphy threw wildly while attempting to turn a double play, allowing the tying run to score in the fifth inning.

"I misplayed the only ball that really mattered all night," Murphy said. "Everybody did what they were supposed to do except for me, so that's a tough one to swallow right there."

Harvey, who ended up with a no-decision, turned the ball over to Hawkins for the ninth inning. He wasn't as fortunate as first-game starter Jenrry Mejia, who earned the win in New York's 11-0 victory.

The Mets overwhelmed the Nationals in the opener. Their offense was fueled by two homers from Murphy, and Mejia tossed seven scoreless innings in his major league season debut.

Murphy tied a career high with five RBIs in the opener. He had two hits for New York in the nightcap, going 6 for 9 in the doubleheader.

In the second game, after Anthony Rendon grounded out to start the bottom of the ninth, Zimmerman hit a 3-1 fastball from Hawkins (3-2) over the fence in right center.

"Just worked into a good count and finally didn't try to do too much," Zimmerman said.

The Mets got runners on the corners in the top of the ninth when Andrew Brown doubled and went to third on a wild pitch before Ike Davis drew a pinch-hit walk. But Rafael Soriano (2-2) got Juan Lagares to pop out to first, and Murphy to fly out to center to end it.

Harvey threw 99 pitches before he was lifted for pinch-hitter Davis.

"I knew in a 1-1 ballgame with me coming up there was a chance of me not going out there for nine," Harvey said on the one-year anniversary of his major league debut. "I tried to leave it all out there in the eighth inning."

Washington starter Ross Ohlendorf, making his second start of the season, went seven innings. He allowed one run and six hits, striking out eight and walking two.

With one out in the fourth, New York's Josh Satin doubled. Ohlendorf fanned Justin Turner, but John Buck doubled to the wall in left to make it 1-0.

The Nationals tied it in the fifth. With runners on first and second with one out, Wilson Ramos hit a grounder up the middle. Turner fielded the ball behind second and shoveled it with his glove to Murphy.

Murphy barehanded it for the force and turned and threw to first, but his throw was wide and hit Ramos, allowing Werth to score as the ball rolled into the infield.

In the opener, Murphy went 4 for 5 with two homers and a pair of RBI singles. Lagares had three hits, and Davis added a three-run homer for New York, which scored six runs in the ninth.

Mejia (1-0), who had been on the disabled list since March with shoulder inflammation, allowed seven hits. He struck out seven with no walks.

"I haven't seen him, obviously, that good in a long time," said manager Terry Collins, who added that Mejia will remain with the Mets. "The command of his stuff was very, very good. His location. I thought he pitched an outstanding game."

Mejia, 23, was 0-4 for the Mets in 2010. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Buffalo. He was 1-2 with a 6.33 ERA in three September starts for the Mets.

Before being recalled for Friday's start, the right-hander went 2-0 in a pair of rehab starts at Double-A Binghamton.

Jordan Zimmermann (12-6) needed 118 pitches to go 6 2-3 innings in the opener. He allowed five earned runs and six hits, and took his third straight loss.

With one out in the first, Murphy hit a 1-1 slider off the second deck fa
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