July 14, 2018 / 11:22 PM / a month ago

Wheeler, Mets down Nationals, 7-4

Zack Wheeler tossed 7 2/3 solid innings in his longest outing in more than four years Saturday afternoon for the New York Mets, who rode a pair of big innings to a 7-4 win over the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

The Mets have won the middle two games of the four-game series to give themselves a chance Sunday to close out their first series win since they swept the Arizona Diamondbacks from May 18-20. Since then, New York has lost 11 series and split four others.

The Nationals have lost 10 of 15 to fall under .500 (47-48) for the second time this month.

Wheeler (3-6) allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven. He recorded an out in the eighth inning for the first time since his lone career complete game on June 19, 2014. Wheeler didn’t pitch in the majors in 2015 or 2016 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.

Wheeler carried a one-hit shutout into the sixth, when the four straight Nationals reached base with one out, including Bryce Harper, who capped the rally with an RBI single.

With the Mets ahead 7-2 and one out and one on in the eighth, Mets manager Mickey Callaway visited Wheeler but left him in to face Harper, whom he struck out on a splitter. But Matt Adams ended Wheeler’s afternoon three pitches later by hitting a two-run homer.

Anthony Swarzak got the last out of the eighth, and Jeurys Familia earned his 17th save with a perfect ninth.

Wheeler also played a part in the Mets three-run second inning, when he followed Amed Rosario’s RBI single with a sacrifice fly. Brandon Nimmo then delivered a run-scoring groundout.

The Mets chased Nationals starter Austin Voth (0-1) during a four-run fifth, when Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer and Jose Reyes added an RBI single.

Reyes, Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki had two hits each.

Adam Eaton had three hits for the Nationals.

Voth, who was making his major league debut, allowed seven runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out three over 4 1/3 innings.

—Field Level Media

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