NA­TION­ALS

Mets pitcher homers, al­lows just three hits in eight in­nings

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY BEN WALKER

“You’ve got to put it on deGrom. We knew he was go­ing to be tough go­ing into to­day be­cause they didn’t want to be swept at home,” Wash­ing­ton man­ager Dusty Baker said.

DeGrom mixed his fast­ball, slider and changeup well, fanned Bryce Harper with a 97 mph heater on his 105th and last pitch and walked off to a stand­ing ova­tion. The right-han­der struck out six and walked two, and the only run against him was un­earned.

A ca­reer .199 hit­ter in 176 at-bats com­ing in, deGrom also pro­vided the big­gest jolt. He hit the first pitch of the third in­ning from Joe Ross (3-3) over the wall in left-cen­ter.

“I was run­ning pretty hard,” deGrom said. “I didn’t know it was gone.”

The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, a con­verted in­fielder at Stet­son Univer­sity, kept hold­ing down his hel­met as he rounded the bases, mak­ing sure it didn’t fly off his fly­away hair.

The ball sat in a dis­play box, on the top shelf of his locker, by the end of the game. He said the prize was des­tined for his dad, Tony.

DeGrom’s lone pro homer had been for Triple-A Las Ve­gas in 2013. He said he used in­jured cap­tain David Wright’s bat for this drive, hav­ing tried it once be­fore and play­fully de­scrib­ing the lum­ber as “a good bunt­ing bat.”

DeGrom later put down a sac­ri­fice, too, set­ting up an RBI sin­gle by Michael Conforto.

The victory made the Mets 17-0 when their pitcher homers, dat­ing to a loss when Ja­son Is­ring­hausen con­nected in 1996, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

T.J. Rivera had four hits for the Mets. A popup that Na­tion­als sec­ond base­man Daniel Mur­phy lost in the sun set up two New York runs in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.

Trea Turner stole four bases, set­ting a Na­tion­als record. Harper ex­tended his hit­ting streak to 11 games – match­ing his long­est in a sin­gle sea­son – lead­ing to Ryan Zim­mer­man’s sac­ri­fice fly in the first.

DeGrom made a nifty play in the fourth, charg­ing in to grab Mur­phy’s tap­per and throw­ing out his for­mer team­mate. Mur­phy dou­bled in the ninth off re­liever Ad­di­son Reed and has safely reached base in all 29 games he’s played against the Mets.

DeGrom is 16-4 with a 1.71 ERA in 32 ca­reer day­time starts. Na­tion­als team­mates An­thony Ren­don and Michael A. Tay­lor both were hit­less in three at-bats against him — Ren­don is 0 for 16 life­time vs. deGrom and Tay­lor is 0 for 14.

Turner is 26 for 31 on steal tries, putting the lead­off man three be­hind Cincin­nati’s Billy Hamilton for the ma­jor league lead. He said first base coach Davey Lopes, who swiped 557 bases in the ma­jors, had given him a key piece of ad­vice.

“Tell me to run. For me, it’s all about confidence, he gives you the confidence to run, but that’s some­thing I’ve never re­ally had,” Turner said. “I’ve had coaches that give you the green light, but it was al­ways on me. He’s push­ing me to run and that’s huge for me per­son­ally.”

Mets left fielder Yoe­nis Ce­s­pedes got a planned day off af­ter start­ing three straight games. He spent six weeks on the DL with a strained ham­string and re­turned last week­end.

Na­tion­als right-han­der Tan­ner Roark (6-4, 4.39 ERA) op­poses lefty Justin Ni­col­ino (0-1, 4.15) on Mon­day to be­gin a three-game se­ries at Mi­ami.

NEW YORK | Tot­ing his tod­dler around the club­house postgame, Ja­cob deGrom joked about the Fa­ther’s Day present he gave him­self — the sou­venir ball from his first big league home run.

“I think I got lucky,” the New York Mets ace said. With 1-year-old Jaxon and his own dad in the ball­park, deGrom put on quite a per­for­mance Sun­day. He shut down a bruis­ing Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als lineup on three sin­gles for eight dom­i­nant in­nings and also de­liv­ered the loud­est hit in a 5-1 win that pre­vented a four-game sweep.

Fresh off pitch­ing the Mets’ first com­plete game of the sea­son in his pre­vi­ous start against the Cubs, deGrom turned in a com­plete ef­fort, ex­celling with his arm, bat and glove.

“It was awe­some,” is how he summed it up.

The NL East-lead­ing Na­tion- als had been 6-0 at Citi Field this sea­son and had bat­tered the Mets in three games this week, never trail­ing while to­tal­ing 18 ex­tra-base hits. But they had trou­ble touch­ing the blue-stitched balls — used all around Ma­jor League Base­ball on Fa­ther’s Day – thrown by deGrom (6-3).

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als pitcher Joe Ross watches as New York Mets pitcher Ja­cob deGrom rounds the bases af­ter hit­ting a solo home run in the third in­ning on Sun­day.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als pitcher Joe Ross dropped a 5-1 loss to New York Mets Sun­day.

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