Daniel Murphy continued to haunt his former team Sunday afternoon when he laced a two-run pinch-hit single to spark a five-run seventh inning that lifted the Washington Nationals to a 6-1 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.
The Nationals opened and closed the four-game series with wins to reach the All-Star Break at .500. The Mets have lost 34 of their last 48 during their worst first half of a full season since 1993, when they were 27-60 at the All-Star break.
The teams traded run-scoring fielder’s choice groundouts in the second inning before matching zeroes until the Nationals unloaded against three Mets relievers in the seventh.
Anthony Swarzak (0-2) opened the inning by walking the only batters he faced, Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon. Matt Adams followed with a single off Tim Peterson before Murphy, batting for Michael Taylor, singled to right.
Murphy, who capped his seven seasons with the Mets by winning the 2015 National League Championship Series MVP before signing a three-year deal with the Nationals, is hitting .381 with nine homers and 37 RBIs in 147 at-bats against New York.
The Nationals added insurance runs when Jerry Blevins plunked Adam Eaton with the bases loaded and gave up a two-RBI single to Trea Turner.
Taylor beat out a potential double play grounder to drive in the Nationals’ first run in the second inning. Adams finished with two hits.
The seventh-inning outburst made a winner out of Jeremy Hellickson (4-1), who combined with three relievers on a five-hitter. Hellickson allowed the one run on two hits and walked two while striking out six over six innings. It was just the second time he has completed six innings in 13 starts this season.
Jose Reyes beat out a potential double play to drive in the Mets’ lone run in the second and later added two hits.
Mets starter Corey Oswalt allowed one run on two hits and no walks while striking out one over five innings.
—Field Level Media