NEW YORK — Daniel Murphy keeps raking against the New York Mets.
Murphy homered in the 10th inning and the Nationals bullpen followed Stephen Strasburg with five scoreless innings, lifting Washington over the Mets 4-3 Saturday night after Noah Syndergaard’s return.
Murphy led off the 10th with his 23rd home run this season, taking reliever Jacob Rhame (0-1) deep with a shot that clanked off the home-run apple in center field. It was Murphy’s ninth homer against the Mets, and he is hitting .393 (53 for 135) with 35 RBIs in 37 games versus his former team. Five of those home runs have given the Nationals the lead.
“I wanted to take one just to get an idea of what the ball is going to do. I think I fouled off a 2-2 slider and got another one a little bit more up and out over the plate, and was able to put a pretty good move on it,” Murphy said.
Syndergaard (1-2) started for New York and pitched a scoreless inning. It was his first action in the majors since partially tearing his right lat muscle on April 30. Matt Harvey took over for New York and allowed three runs in four innings.
“I felt really good out there. I felt like I was out there throwing pretty effortlessly and staying in control,” Syndergaard said.
Strasburg struck out six in five innings, giving up three runs and seven hits. Sammy Solis (1-0) got the win.
“All in all, for the most part everything was good. I wouldn’t say it was great but you’re going to have games like that,” Strasburg said.
Sean Doolittle completed his 20th save in 20 chances since being acquired from Oakland. He’s 23 of 24 in save chances overall this season and hasn’t blown an opportunity since April 15 against Houston.
Strasburg ran into trouble in the third inning. Brandon Nimmo started the scoring with an RBI ground-rule double down the line in left. Kevin Plawecki followed with a bouncing single to center to drive in two and make it 3-0.
“Tonight was kind of weird,” Strasburg added. “Obviously I didn’t hit my spot really well on the ground-rule double, but the other ones, that’s baseball. That’s just kind of how it is. I made a good pitch to Plawecki and perfect single I guess.”
Washington tied it in the fifth. Matt Wieters led off with a solo home run into the Nationals bullpen in right off of Harvey.
Matt Albers began the parade of Washington relievers, and Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson, Solis and Doolittle followed, allowing one hit and one walk combined. Washington retired 21 of 22 batters before Asdrubal Cabrera walked in the 10th.
“You’ve got three closers at the back end on your bullpen and that’s a tremendous relief when I don’t have to (go) left-right, left-right and go through your whole bullpen,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.
Adam Lind hit a two-run homer to left in the fourth, the 200th home run of his career. The homer was the Nationals’ 204th of the season, setting a new franchise season record.
“It was goal I had at the beginning of the year that I’d like to try to accomplish,” Lind said of the milestone.
Washington now has 206 home runs on the season.
Nationals: OF Bryce Harper played in a simulated game. Harper has been on the disabled list with a hyperextended left knee since Aug. 13. Baker said Harper is “very close” to returning. … OF Brian Goodwin saw action in the simulated game. Goodwin is on the DL with a left groin strain retroactive to Aug. 14. Baker said Goodwin ran and made some turns on the field. … RHP Shawn Kelley has inflammation in his forearm and is set to be evaluated. It doesn’t appear to be related to his previous ulnar collateral ligament injury.
Mets: Manager Terry Collins said RHP Jacob deGrom, whose start was pushed back to Sunday due to a stomach ailment, is good to go. … OF Michael Conforto, on the DL since Aug. 25 after tearing the posterior capsule in his left shoulder, said it will be about six months before he recovers from surgery and can resume baseball activities.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (15-6, 2.59 ERA) starts Sunday afternoon in the finale of the three-game series and the final meeting of the teams this year.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (15-9, 3.55) looks to win his second straight decision.
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