April 7, 2019 / 9:13 PM / 16 days ago

Free passes help Nationals hold off Mets

Anthony Rendon and Victor Robles each scored three runs as the visiting Washington Nationals raced to an 11-run lead before hanging on for a 12-9 win over the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon.

Sep 28, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Washington took advantage of 12 walks issued by two Mets pitchers. Every player in the Nationals’ starting lineup walked at least once, except winning pitcher Max Scherzer (1-2).

The 12 walks were the most issued by New York hurlers since they walked 12 against the Chicago Cubs on March 31, 2003. Starter Zack Wheeler (0-1) walked seven while Tim Peterson, who relieved Wheeler in the fifth, walked five.

Wheeler’s seven walks were the most by a Mets starter since Oliver Perez walked seven on May 9, 2010. Peterson’s five walks were the most by a New York reliever since Mike Bacsik on March 31, 2003.

The Nationals batted around during a five-run second inning, when Wheeler walked two and gave up RBI singles to Scherzer and Robles, a two-run double to Adam Eaton and a sacrifice fly to Howie Kendrick.

Wheeler retired nine in a row beginning with Kendrick’s sacrifice fly before losing the strike zone again in the fifth, when he walked four, including a bases-loaded pass to Suzuki that ended Wheeler’s afternoon.

Wheeler was charged with seven runs on four hits while striking out two.

The Nationals drew four more walks during a two-run sixth in which Zimmerman coaxed a bases-loaded free pass and Suzuki hit an RBI single.

Rendon hit a three-run homer in the seventh to extend the lead to 12-1 before the Mets almost mounted a massive comeback

The Mets scored five times in the bottom of the seventh against Scherzer and Matt Grace. Brandon Nimmo’s RBI double chased Scherzer, and hot-hitting rookie Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer off Grace. Alonso has nine extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in his first nine major league games.

In the ninth, reliever Joe Ross hit Jeff McNeil with a pitch and walked Alonso before Michael Conforto hit a one-out, three-run homer. Nationals closer Sean Doolittle entered and got the final two outs in a non-save situation.

Scherzer (1-2) avoided his first 0-3 start since 2009 by allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out seven and walked none in 6 1/3 innings.

—Field Level Media

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