NEW YORK — Daniel Murphy continued to torment his former team Saturday night, lacing the tiebreaking homer leading off the 10th inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.
The National League East champion Nationals (93-61) snapped a two-game losing streak. Washington entered Saturday 5 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NL.
The Mets (66-88) have lost four of five and nine of 12.
Murphy’s homer off rookie right-hander Jacob Rhame (0-1) was his ninth in 37 games against the Mets, with whom he spent the first eight years of his career before signing with the Nationals following the 2015 season. With his 2-for-4 effort Saturday night, Murphy is now batting .393 against New York.
Sammy Solis (1-0) threw a perfect ninth and Sean Doolittle worked around a two-out walk in the 10th to earn his 23rd save of the season, and his 20th since the Nationals acquired him from the Oakland Athletics on July 16.
Brandon Nimmo (RBI double) and Kevin Plawecki (two-RBI single) each delivered run-scoring hits in the third inning for the Mets. Nori Aoki had two hits.
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six over five innings.
Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard started for the Mets and threw a scoreless inning in his first major league action since he tore his right lat against the Nationals on April 30. Syndergaard, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list before the game, allowed one hit while throwing just five pitches.
Matt Harvey, making his first professional relief appearance, followed Syndergaard and gave up three runs on four hits over four innings.
The Mets took a 3-0 lead in the third against Strasburg, who entered the inning having allowed just three runs in his previous 45 frames. Aoki delivered a leadoff single and Asdrubal Cabrera drew a one-out walk before Nimmo’s double scored Aoki. Plawecki followed with a two-run single.
The Nationals pulled within 3-2 in the fourth when Murphy doubled with one out and scored on Lind’s milestone two-out homer, and tied the game on Wieters’ shot leading off the fifth.
NOTES: To make room for RHP Noah Syndergaard on the 40-man roster, the Mets transferred RHP Zack Wheeler (stress reaction in his right arm) to the 60-day disabled list. … Before Saturday, Mets RHP Matt Harvey hadn’t pitched in relief since his sophomore season at North Carolina in 2009. … Nationals RF Bryce Harper (left knee) and OF Michael Goodwin (left groin) each participated in a simulated game Saturday. Manager Dusty Baker said Harper, who was injured Aug. 12, was closer to returning to the Nationals than Goodwin, who hasn’t played since Aug. 13. … Nationals RHP Shawn Kelley (right forearm) will undergo what Baker called “extensive testing” early next week. Kelley left Friday’s game with numbness in his right arm.