PHOTO VIA USA TODAY SPORTS
WASHINGTON - Ike Davis hit a two-run homer, Daniel Murphy scored from second on a groundball, and Dillon Gee allowed two runs over 7 2-3 innings Friday night in the New York Mets' 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals.
Gee (10-9) allowed six hits, struck out three and walked one, outdueling Jordan Zimmermann as the Mets won for only the third time in nine games.
The Nationals, trying to work their way into the NL pennant race, lost for just the second time in 10. Washington began the day 6 1/2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild-card spot.
Gee's ERA had been just under 2.00 in his previous eight starts, and the Nationals rarely threatened him. He faced three batters above the minimum through seven innings. The only scoreboard damage came on Wilson Ramos' homer to lead off the third and pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi's two-out solo shot in the eighth.
Zimmermann (15-8), who remains tied with Adam Wainwright for the NL lead in wins, allowed three runs and six hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 7 2-3 innings. He didn't allow a hit until Murphy's single to lead off the fourth, but that was followed two batters later by Davis' opposite-field home run.
Murphy's hustle then gave the Mets a 3-1 lead in the eighth. On second after his two-out double, Murphy never stopped running after Andrew Brown hit a smash down the line. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made the stop, but he unwisely uncorked a no-hope throw to first on the run. Adam LaRoche couldn't field the short hop, allowing Murphy to score easily while Brown got credit for a single and an RBI.
Lombardozzi cut the lead to one with his home run in the bottom of the inning. Span followed with an infield hit, and Zimmerman singled to left to chase Gee. Scott Rice came on to face Bryce Harper, who fouled off a 3-0 pitch with hot-hitting Jayson Werth on deck and then grounded out to second.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
While scoring chances were few, the Mets wasted a couple of good ones, getting a runner on second with none out twice but failing to score. Eric Young walked and stole second in the first, while Travis d'Arnaud doubled to start the fifth.
Notes: Span stretched his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games, while Harper's 11-game hitting streak came to an end. ... Nationals manager Davey Johnson says Ross Ohlendorf will start Sunday's game. Johnson had considered giving Tanner Roark a debut major league start, but Roark pitched in relief Thursday night. ... Gee received a visit from the trainer when he flexed his arm after a pitch to Ian Desmond in the seventh inning. Gee waved off the trainer, then got Desmond to swing at a low pitch for strike three.