WASHINGTON — Daniel Murphy has gotten the best of his former teammates a lot this season. On Tuesday night, though, the New York Mets retired the Nationals’ second baseman when they need to most.
Left-hander Jerry Blevins struck out Murphy with a 3-2 curveball in the 10th inning for his first save since 2012 to seal the Mets’ 4-3 victory. Washington’s lead in the NL East was cut to nine games.
“I was trying to put it into play,” said Murphy, the former Mets star who has hit safely against them in 18 consecutive games this season and is hitting .411 against his old team. “I was unsuccessful.”
Second baseman T.J. Rivera, in the lineup because of Wilmer Flores’ stiff neck, homered in the top of the 10th inning to give the Mets the lead for good. Rivera, who had three RBIs, drilled an 0-2 pitch with one out in the 10th into the left field seats off Nationals closer Mark Melancon (2-2).
“The guy was a thorn in our side all night,” manager Dusty Baker said.
The loss snapped Washington’s four-game winning streak.
Jeurys Familia (3-3) earned the victory despite surrendering two runs in the ninth to blow his fourth save of the season.
Washington mustered only four hits in the first eight innings, but quickly got to Familia in the ninth. Murphy led off with an infield single, and third baseman Jose Reyes threw Bryce Harper’s grounder into the seats. Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos then delivered consecutive singles to tie it.
Familia then got Ryan Zimmerman to line out and pinch-hitter Clint Robinson to hit a soft liner to second that fooled pinch-runner Wilmer Difo, who was doubled off first.
“Jeurys is tough,” Murphy said. “I saw him all year last year from behind him. He’s tough in there and to be able to grind out at-bats like that and turn 3-1 into 3-3 is a good inning for us.”
Noah Syndergaard struck out 10 over seven innings for the Mets, yielding just one run and four hits.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings.
ZEROES FOR RZEPCZYNSKI
Washington reliever Marc Rzepczynski retired the lone Met he faced and has not allowed an earned run in nine appearances since being acquired from Oakland on Aug. 25. Rzepczynski has yielded four hits and three walks in 8 1/3 innings since joining the Nationals.
Mets: INF Flores (stiff neck) remained out of the lineup and was going to try to hit in the batting cage before the game. Flores has not played since Saturday. … OF Justin Ruggiano, on the DL since Aug. 27, underwent left shoulder surgery. He hit .350 with two homers in 20 at-bats this season.
Nationals: 1B Zimmerman, who did not start the last two times Syndergaard pitched against Washington, was in the lineup against the right-hander. Zimmerman entered the night 1 for 8 lifetime against Syndergaard and went 1 for 3 against him.
Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (2-1, 3.92) faces Washington for the second time this month. The rookie allowed one run in six innings to earn the victory against the Nationals on Sept. 3.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (14-8, 2.85), who has quality starts in seven of his last nine outings, starts the finale of the three-game series for Washington.