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Tanner Roark becomes first 12-game loser in majors as Nats fall to Mets

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Tanner Roark becomes first 12-game loser in majors as Nats fall to Mets

NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard pitched out of trouble in a rusty return from the disabled list and helped himself with an RBI single as the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Friday night.

Amed Rosario tripled and doubled, both times over Bryce Harper's head in center field, and the Mets won for only the sixth time in their last 26 home games. Brandon Nimmo had three hits for New York, which built a three-run cushion in the first inning against struggling starter Tanner Roark.

Matt Adams homered for the inconsistent Nationals, who fell back to .500 at 47-47. They have lost just three of 13 games at Citi Field since the start of last season.

After missing seven weeks with a strained ligament in his right index finger, Syndergaard (5-1) came out firing 99 mph fastballs. But he gave up seven hits in five innings and never retired the leadoff hitter.

Still, the 2016 All-Star held the Nationals to one run while striking out three and walking two. Wilmer Difo made things easier by running into the first out of the third inning at third base, and Syndergaard retired Anthony Rendon and struck out Harper with two on to limit the damage.

Difo had doubled to drive in Roark, who opened the inning with the first triple by a Washington pitcher since Joel Hanrahan in 2007.

Syndergaard also got Harper to ground into an inning-ending double play with two runners aboard in the fifth. The right-hander was pulled after 75 pitches.

Seth Lugo overcame a wild start to his relief outing and worked two hitless innings. Robert Gsellman gave up Adams' upper-deck shot in the eighth but got six outs for his fourth save.

Roark (3-12) became the first 12-game loser in the majors this season. He allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.

The right-hander has lost his last five starts and six decisions since his most recent win June 6 against Tampa Bay. Washington has dropped his past seven starts and nine of his last 10.

Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco each had an RBI single in the first, sandwiched around Wilmer Flores' sacrifice fly. Rosario tripled off the center-field wall to open the second and scored when a smiling Syndergaard lined a single to right field.

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John Gant homers, pitches Cardinals to 6-4 win over Nationals

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John Gant homers, pitches Cardinals to 6-4 win over Nationals

ST. LOUIS -- Even John Gant cracked a smile.

Gant homered for his first major league hit and pitched one-run ball into the sixth inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 on Tuesday night for their season-high seventh consecutive victory.

Kolten Wong had three hits and three RBIs as St. Louis (65-55) pulled within four games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs and moved within one game of the Philadelphia Phillies for the second NL wild card. The Cardinals also improved to 18-9 since Mike Shildt was named interim manager on July 13, the most wins for a manager through his first 27 games in franchise history.

"Things are starting to click for us," Wong said. "We're playing confident. We're out there playing aggressive and I think it's the kind of baseball Cardinals fans have been waiting for."

The Nationals (60-60) have dropped six of eight to fall eight games behind Atlanta in the NL East.

"We've just got to keep pulling the same rope, keep grinding it out, keep trying to win ballgames," Nationals slugger Bryce Harper said.

Gant (5-4) permitted four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings. He has given up just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings in his last two starts, both wins.

The 26-year-old Gant was 0 for 30 for his career when he drove a 1-1 pitch from Gio Gonzalez (7-9) over the wall in left in the second. The two-run shot gave Washington a 3-0 lead.

"I was jogging kind of my hands in the air," said Wong, who scored on Gant's homer. "I already knew it was going out. Looking back I think he almost caught me."

Added Gant, "I thought it was going to hit the wall maybe but when I finally looked up and (Wong) was looking back at me, that's when I knew it was going over the wall."

Gant, who has a reputation for being a stoic player, admitted to smiling "once or twice" once he got back to the dugout.

Wong's solo homer made it 6-1 in the sixth, but Washington responded with three in the eighth. Harper hit a two-run shot, and Daniel Murphy singled in Anthony Rendon.

Matt Adams then struck out looking against Dakota Hudson, ending the inning, and Jordan Hicks worked the ninth for his fourth save in eight chances.

Paul DeJong also doubled and scored for St. Louis one night after he connected for a game-ending homer in a 7-6 victory. Matt Carpenter walked in the sixth to extend his on-base streak to 32 games.

"We have a 25-man roster and we have confidence in all of them," Shildt said. "They're here for a reason and guys are looking to contribute every night and in different ways."

Gonzalez was charged with five runs and five hits in four innings. The veteran left-hander is just 1-4 in his last six starts.

"I wasn't hitting my spots," Gonzalez said. "Just not being as consistent in the strike zone as I should be. It's just one of those games you can't explain."

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Nationals place Ryan Madson on 10-day DL

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Nationals place Ryan Madson on 10-day DL

Ryan Madson is the latest Washington National headed to the DL, turning the team's relief pitching rotation upside down even more than it already is. 

According to MASN's Dan Kolko, the 37-year-old is nursing a "lumbar nerve root irritation" injury and will sit out for 10 days. 

In response, the team has named Koda Glover as the closer, who was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse Wednesday. 

Glover gave up a game-ending solo blast to the Cardinals' Kevin DeJong Monday night. 

The night before, Madson was on the other end of David Bote's walk-off grand slam in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Cubs. 

As for Tuesday night, Glover's status remains unknown.

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