EditorsNote: Minor editing throughout; Soto’s condition updated in fifth graph
Asdrubal Cabrera got a measure of revenge on his former team, as Washington’s newest infielder laced a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning and the Nationals finally slowed down the New York Mets with a 7-4 win Sunday afternoon.
By stopping the Mets’ eight-game winning streak and salvaging the finale of the three-game series, the Nationals ensured they would retain at least a share of the top National League wild-card spot. They have a half-game lead over St. Louis.
The Mets, who lost for just the second time in 17 games, fell 1 1/2 games behind the Nationals and one in back of the Cardinals.
Cabrera, who was released by the Texas Rangers on Aug. 3 and signed with the Nationals three days later, doubled down the right-field line with the bases loaded and two outs against Justin Wilson. Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon (4-for-5) scored easily, but Juan Soto pulled up lame with an ankle injury rounding third and was tagged out as he limped toward the bag.
Soto was diagnosed with a right ankle sprain after the game. He is considered day to day after X-rays were negative.
Cabrera also hit the ball that resulted in a three-base, three-run error by the Mets in the first inning. The 33-year-old played for the Mets from 2016 until July 2018. He said this week he and his family were upset when New York chose to sign Jed Lowrie instead of him last winter. Lowrie has yet to play in the majors this season due to various injuries.
Matt Grace (1-2) got the final out of the sixth to earn the win. The Mets scored a run charged to Grace in the seventh, when Jeff McNeil laced a leadoff double and scored on Michael Conforto’s sacrifice fly. But New York left two on and went down in order in the eighth and ninth, when Sean Doolittle earned his 26th save.
Robert Gsellman (2-3) took the loss.
Victor Robles hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Nationals, who took the lead in bizarre fashion in the first.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Cabrera grounded to first, where Pete Alonso fielded the ball and fired to Jacob deGrom covering. But the throw sailed past deGrom and skipped towards the Mets’ on-deck circle as all three runners scored.
The Mets tied the score in the second when Joe Panik had a two-out RBI single and McNeil followed two batters later with a two-run double.
DeGrom allowed three runs (none earned) on four hits and one walk while striking out seven over five innings. Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three over five innings.
—Field Level Media