Báez 4 for 4, Pillar slam, Mets hit 4 HRs to beat Nats 13-6

Sep 5, 2021, 1:58 AM | Updated: 3:33 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Javier Báez went 4 for 4 with a home run, Kevin Pillar hit a grand slam that capped a game-sealing, six-run ninth inning, and the New York Mets withstood another rally from the Washington Nationals to earn a 13-6 victory Sunday.

Francisco Lindor and Jonathan Villar also homered for the Mets, who squandered an early four-run lead but got 4 2/3 shutout innings from their bullpen to win for the seventh time in eight games.

Going into the day, the Mets had made up 5 ½ games on the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves since Aug. 28.

“We can’t constantly stare at the scoreboard,” Pillar said. “I know we’ve gotten some help over the last couple days, which helped us. Ultimately, it comes down to us taking care of business. With the margin we’re at right now, we know we have games with Philly left. We know we have the last three games of the year with Atlanta. If you had told me we’d be 2 ½ back two weeks ago, we’d like our chances.”

Lane Thomas and Josh Bell homered for Washington, which has lost eight of nine and 24 and its last 31.

With the score 6-all, Andres Machado (1-2) allowed three consecutive singles to open the eighth before Patrick Mazeika’s sacrifice fly to a diving Thomas in center put the Mets ahead.

Lindor greeted Austin Voth in the ninth with a first-pitch drive for his 13th homer. Voth allowed three more hits and a walk before Pillar sent a shot into the seats in left-center for his 14th homer of the year and third career grand slam.

Aaron Loup (5-0) worked a scoreless seventh. It was the 42nd victory by Mets relievers this season, the most in the National League.

Washington starter Josiah Gray’s three-inning outing was the shortest of his brief career. He allowed six runs on seven hits while striking out two. After allowing a four-run first, Gray yielded homers to Villar in the second and Báez in the third.

“From pitch one to pitch … I don’t know how many pitches I had today, I was battling command,” said Gray, who threw 82 pitches. “I was battling execution. A lot of hard-hit balls. Honestly, I’ll just take nothing positive from this.”

Báez, a July 30 trade acquisition from the Chicago Cubs, hit his 28th homer this season and scored three runs. He is hitting .306 (15 of 49) with four homers in 13 games since coming off the injured list Aug. 22.

“From Day One when he showed up in the clubhouse, he’s transmitted a lot good things — just good vibes and all the things he can do out on the field to help the team win,” manager Luis Rojas said.

New York’s Taijuan Walker remained winless in his last 10 starts, allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings. Walker surrendered Thomas’ leadoff shot and Bell’s two-run homer in the first, then Juan Soto’s two-run single in the fifth before permitting the tying run to score on a wild pitch.

It was the third time in as many days New York wasted a lead before regrouping to beat the Nationals.

Closer Edwin Díaz blew a two-run advantage in the ninth on Friday, only for the Mets to rally for a 6-2 victory. In the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader, New York scored the first nine runs, gave up the next nine and prevailed 11-9 in nine innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: Rojas said OF Dominic Smith is expected to be activated from the bereavement list Monday or Tuesday. … Rojas said C Chance Sisco was available in a “limited capacity.” Sisco left Friday’s game after a collision at home plate in the ninth inning. … New York optioned INF Travis Blankenhorn to Triple-A Syracuse.

Nationals: Washington placed OF Gerardo Parra (right knee inflammation) on the 10-day injured list and recalled LHP Josh Rogers from Triple-A Rochester. … C Keibert Ruiz was out of the lineup with soreness after taking a foul off his knee Saturday. … Manager Dave Martinez said INF Jordy Mercer (left calf strain) is running better and taking grounders, but might need a rehabilitation assignment before being activated.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Trevor Williams (4-2, 4.27 ERA) is 0-0 with an 0.69 ERA in four appearances for New York since his July 30 acquisition from the Chicago Cubs.

Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (7-14, 6.26), who is 0-5 with a 9.11 ERA in five home starts since July 1, gets the ball as the five-game series concludes.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE -LeBron James speaks at the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, Monday, ...
Associated Press

LeBron’s off-court legacy complements his basketball success

Mya Smiley is a student at the University of Akron thanks to an assist from LeBron James, and she is determined upon graduation to become a social worker that helps foster kids. Her education and career path would not have been possible, the sophomore says, were it not for a scholarship and counseling that she […]
1 day ago
Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett, center, is congratulated by his players after notching his 5...
Associated Press

Bennett earns 500th win as No. 18 Saint Mary’s beats USF

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Randy Bennett earned his 500th win as Saint Mary’s coach when the 18th-ranked Gaels beat San Francisco 68-59 on Thursday night for their 11th straight victory. Alex Ducas had 18 points and Aidan Mahaney scored 13 of his 17 in the second half to lead the Gaels (20-4, 9-0 West Coast […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Clippers' Nicolas Batum fouls Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the first h...
Associated Press

Antetokounmpo scores 54 points, Bucks beat Clippers 106-105

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated his most famous 50-point performance by ordering 50 chicken nuggets at a Chick-fil-A drive-through the next day. He already has an idea how to commemorate reaching that plateau for the third time in the last month. Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 54 points in the fourth quarter and the […]
1 day ago
Duke coach Kara Lawson directs the team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game ag...
Associated Press

Duke women’s coach Lawson says men’s ball used vs. FSU

Duke coach Kara Lawson said her team played with a men’s basketball for the first half of a loss to Florida State last Sunday. The 16th-ranked Blue Devils lost to the Seminoles 70-57 in Tallahassee, Florida — the team’s second Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season. After her team beat Pittsburgh 53-44 on Thursday, […]
1 day ago
Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman, front, pulls in a rebound in front of Denver Nuggets fo...
Associated Press

Murray, Jokic lead charge as Nuggets beat Warriors 134-117

DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray just nodded when asked if this might be the most confident he’s ever been. Nothing else really needed to be said. Murray had 33 points and Nikola Jokic recorded his 17th triple-double of the season, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 134-117 win over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on […]
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) battles New Orleans Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. ...
Associated Press

Mavs hang on after Doncic hurt, hand Pels 10th straight loss

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks barely held on after leading by 27 points when Luka Doncic exited the game with a right heel injury on a hard fall. The New Orleans Pelicans thought their one chance to finish the rally and end a long losing streak was taken away by the officials, who acknowledged […]
1 day ago
Báez 4 for 4, Pillar slam, Mets hit 4 HRs to beat Nats 13-6