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Fister pitches Nationals to 2nd straight 1-0 win over Mets

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Fister pitches Nationals to 2nd straight 1-0 win over Mets

NEW YORK (AP) -- Doug Fister breezed through his latest dominant outing against the Mets, and the Washington Nationals held on for their second straight 1-0 win over New York at Citi Field on Sunday.

It was the first time in franchise history, dating to the team's Montreal debut in 1969, the Nationals won consecutive 1-0 games, according to STATS.

Ryan Zimmerman blooped an RBI single in the first inning, and the Nationals took three of four from the NL East leaders to make it 17 victories in their last 19 tries in Queens. A heavy favorite to win the division, Washington has won five of six behind its vaunted rotation following a six-game losing streak.

Nationals reliever Matt Thornton struck out Lucas Duda with two runners in scoring position in the eighth, and Aaron Barrett whiffed cleanup man Michael Cuddyer to end the inning. Drew Storen pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

Prior to Gio Gonzalez's win Saturday night, saved by Storen, the Nationals had not won 1-0 on the road since May 15, 2008, also against the Mets.

Fister (2-1) threw 68 of 89 pitches for strikes before a quick hook from manager Matt Williams with a runner on second and one out in the seventh. Tanner Roark, one of four relievers who combined to finish a five-hitter, kept New York off the scoreboard.

Fister allowed those five hits and walked none while improving to 5-0 with a 0.82 ERA in five starts against the Mets, who have dropped five of six. They are 3-7 since their 11-game winning streak.

Dillon Gee (0-2) was chased in the sixth. He has lasted at least five innings in 51 straight starts, breaking the previous club record held by Dwight Gooden (1987-89). It is the longest active streak in the majors.

The last time the Mets had lost 1-0 on consecutive days was Sept. 4-5, 1990, at St. Louis and Pittsburgh, STATS said.

The previous team to defeat New York 1-0 on back-to-back days was the Chicago Cubs in April 1973 at Shea Stadium. Ferguson Jenkins beat Tom Seaver in the opener in a matchup of future Hall of Famers.

Cuddyer robbed Zimmerman of a fourth-inning home run with a leaping grab at the 358-foot sign in left.

Gee, however, faded quickly after working hard in the middle innings. He escaped a jam in the fifth against the middle of the lineup and then reached base himself in the bottom half. The pitcher was running on four consecutive full-count deliveries before Curtis Granderson struck out to end the inning.

Perhaps completely gassed, Gee never got another out. He was pulled with the bases loaded following his fifth walk, but Alex Torres momentarily rescued the Mets by striking out three straight to prevent any damage.

Gee walked his first batter and New York, shaky on the infield, squandered two chances to turn a double play. That proved costly when Zimmerman poked a two-out RBI single off the end of his broken bat on an 0-2 pitch.

Fister retired 14 of 15 before Gee's two-out single in the fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: CF Denard Span (abdomen) was back in the leadoff spot after sitting out two games because of soreness and fatigue.

Mets: Struggling SS Wilmer Flores was rested for the second consecutive game. "We've got to get his mind straight first. And so, get him out, give him a couple days to think about it and get him back in there," manager Terry Collins said. "We're just hoping that a couple days off kind of refreshes him and gets him back on track." Ruben Tejada started at shortstop again.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Following a 5-5 road trip in NL East cities, Jordan Zimmermann (2-2) pitches Monday night at home in the opener of a three-game series against Miami. Zimmermann threw the first no-hitter in Nationals history against the Marlins in the regular-season finale last year. He gave up two runs over six innings in a no-decision at Miami on April 24.

Mets: Monday and Thursday are off days for the Mets, bookending a two-game interleague series versus visiting Baltimore. Bartolo Colon (4-1, 3.31 ERA) starts Tuesday night against Bud Norris (1-2, 12.18).

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: April update

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: April update

Frankly, it’s too early to make major changes to our power rankings. Let this serve as the requisite reminder that the season is only ~10% done, and all reactions right now could be classified as overreactions.

That said, nearly three weeks’ worth of games is all we have to go on right now, and there have already been a few teams to make our preseason rankings look silly.

Some players/teams have no reason to worry (Nationals, Cubs), and some have truly changed our minds (Mets, Orioles). There’s so much baseball left to be played, however, so just like our preseason edition, these newest rankings will also look laughable as early as next month.

It’s always fun to take a snapshot of the current order of teams though, especially when it means we get to move the Yankees down in the rankings.

Without further ado, here’s our mid-April update to the 2018 MLB Power Rankings.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL 2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS