WASHINGTON (AP) — Joey Meneses drove in four runs as part of a four-hit day, CJ Abrams homered and the Washington Nationals defeated the New York Mets 10-3 on Monday to split a four-game series.
New York has lost nine of its last 13 and dropped 15 of 21 since its 14-7 start. The Mets are 0-5-2 in their last seven series and have not won consecutive games since taking three in a row from April 19-21. Big-spending New York fell to fourth in the NL East, 1 1/2 games ahead of last-place Washington.
“A lot of times you know what the problem is and you’re just trying to figure out ways to fix it,” Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo said. “That’s what makes this sport difficult. I don’t really know. There’s probably a number of things you can point at.”
Patrick Corbin (2-5) earned his first home victory since last Aug. 28, surrendering two runs and eight hits over six innings.
The rebuilding Nationals, who scored in each inning they batted except the second, improved to 17-17 since losing five of their first six games.
“Let’s forget about the first week of the season," Washington manager Dave Martinez said. "We’ve been playing really well. I want them to take that into consideration. Not just playing one team, but understanding where we’re at and what we’re doing. It’s been fun. They’re playing with a lot of energy. They come to the ballpark ready. They’re engaged. They’re going out there and they’re doing the simple things right.”
Meneses doubled in Lane Thomas with one out in the first to put New York in another early hole. The Mets have been outscored 37-9 in the first inning this season.
Meneses added another RBI double in the third off New York starter David Peterson (1-6). Keibert Ruiz followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.
The Nationals scored two more runs in the fourth and another in the fifth against Peterson, who allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings. Peterson has yielded at least four runs in six consecutive starts, and his ERA ballooned to a season-high 8.08.
“He knows he's capable of pitching well up here and he feels good physically,” manager Buck Showalter said. “That's what's been really frustrating for everybody. Some of the breaking balls have been inconsistent. I thought he had a little better one today, but he just never could get any footing where they had to guard against something.”
Abrams hit a solo shot off Tommy Hunter in the sixth. It was the second day in a row Abrams went deep, and three of his four homers this season have come against the Mets.
Meneses added a run-scoring infield single later in the inning and an RBI double in the eighth. He is hitting .452 (19 of 42) with 20 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
The Mets managed three hits in two different innings against Corbin, but pushed across just one run in both of them — Jeff McNeil's RBI single in the second and Tommy Pham's sacrifice fly in the sixth.
New York has not homered since Pete Alonso's second-inning homer Wednesday at Cincinnati, a span of 52 innings. The Mets had two doubles among their 11 hits Monday, while seven of Washington's 15 hits went for extra bases.
“We know what we’re doing right now is not producing wins, but we also know this team is very capable of that,” Nimmo said. “Look to what you’ve done in the past, look at things that have helped in the past and be open to new information on how we can get better. Then when you get up to the plate, it’s compete time. It’s time to grind it out.”
Mets: Showalter said RHP Carlos Carrasco (elbow inflammation) could return from the injured list Friday or Saturday if his between-starts work day goes well. Carrasco pitched four shutout innings Sunday in a rehabilitation start for Double-A Binghamton.
Nationals: Washington activated OF Corey Dickerson (left calf strain) from the injured list and optioned INF/OF Jake Alu to Triple-A Rochester. Dickerson had been on the IL since April 2.
Mets: RHP Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.25 ERA) makes his first home start at Citi Field on Tuesday as New York begins a three-game series against majors-best Tampa Bay.
Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (3-5, 2.96) starts Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Miami.