WASHINGTON — Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz homered as the Nationals sent Mets right-hander Tyler Megill to his earliest outing of his career as Washington beat New York 8-3 on Wednesday night .
Soto hit a two-run homer in the Nationals’ five-run first inning, Cruz hit .170 with three homers, his 453rd career long ball, and left center in the second inning Hit a 3-pointer, hit a 3-pointer. Estimated 436 feet.
Megill (4-2) walked down the next batter and his night was over. He recorded four outs while allowing eight runs, one walk and one batter on eight hits, and he lost his second straight starter as his ERA increased from 2.43 to 4.41. The second-year pitcher’s shortest previous outing came on Sept. 15, when he dropped six runs in a three-inning loss to St. Louis.
Aaron Sanchez (2-2) had a big lead, dropping out with 11 pitches in the third, 10 in the fourth and six in the fifth. He didn’t hit the batter until he fanned Francisco Lindor for the lead in the sixth. Pete Alonso then hit a comeback, hitting the heel of Sanchez’s glove to end his longest start of the season.
Alonso hit a two-run homer in Game 1, his eighth homer of the season, and quickly wiped the Mets to a 3-0 lead.
The NL East-leading New York team has lost five or more games for the third time this season and must overcome bottom-ranked opponents in Thursday’s rubber game to avoid dropping the series for the first time. The Mets won eight series and split one.
Trevor Williams took over for Megill and went 3 2/3 scoreless innings, followed by Stephen Nogosek in his first of the season Three missed innings were thrown in the debut.
Washington relievers Austin Voss, Victor Alano and Paul Espino kept the Mets ahead at 3 2/3 innings.
Nationals second baseman César Hernández jumped to catch Starling Marte’s liner to end the seventh inning. He also had three hits in the starting position. His single in the third quarter was Washington’s final blow of the game.
Mets: RHP Sean Reid-Foley underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on Wednesday and will rehab with the hope of returning in 2023.
Nationals: SS Alcides Escobar missed the lineup for the second day in a row with an infection under his left index finger. … RHPs Stephen Strasburg (recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery) and Joe Ross (bone spur removal from right elbow) report no issues after throwing sims during extended spring training in Florida.
New York’s Taijuan Walker (0-0, 4.91 ERA) and Washington’s Joan Adon (1-5, 6.99) are starters in Thursday’s series finale. Walker has faced the Phillies in each of his three starts this season, but was interrupted by a right shoulder bursitis injury list. Arden dropped four runs in 4 1/3 innings in his season debut in a loss to the Mets on April 9.
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