Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper reacts after hitting a bases loaded three-run double against the New York Mets during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Nats end 32-inning scoring drought, then romp past Mets 15-0

August 26, 2018 - 4:06 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Trea Turner set off a lively dugout celebration after scoring a run that ended Washington's 32-inning scoreless drought and then the Nationals really went wild at the plate, hammering the New York Mets 15-0 Sunday.

The Nationals had been shut out in three straight games — for the first time since the team moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005 — before Juan Soto's RBI groundout in the sixth.

Ahead 1-0, the Nats erupted for eight more runs in the eighth. Their biggest inning of the season featured homers by Adam Eaton and Wilmer Difo, and a three-run double by pinch-hitter Bryce Harper.

Mark Reynolds launched his sixth career grand slam to highlight a six-run ninth.

The lopsided win came with a cost, though, as Nationals reliever Kelvin Herrera was carted off the field with one out to go. He handled Jose Bautista's grounder, but appeared to hurt himself running to first base and hopped the rest of the way.

Hoping for the Nationals' first run since Ryan Zimmerman's game-ending homer on Wednesday night, manager Dave Martinez wrapped up his pregame media session with this exhortation: "Let's score some points!"

They did, and Jefry Rodriguez (2-1) produced his best performance since his big league debut in June. The 25-year-old righty blanked the Mets on two singles for six innings. He walked four and struck out three.

The Nationals neared the worst slump in franchise history, a 34-inning streak in 2004 as the Expos. The major league record is 48 innings without a run by the 1968 Chicago Cubs and the 1906 Philadelphia Athletics.

Turner almost stopped Washington's string by himself, leading off the sixth with a drive that hit the padding atop the left-field wall and went for a double. He took third on a single by Anthony Rendon and, after Zimmerman struck out, scored on Soto's slow roller to the right side.

Turner's teammates lined up on the bench for a row of hearty high-fives, plus plenty of relieved smiles.

Eaton started the eighth-inning burst with an infield single and capped it with a two-run homer.

In between, Soto drew a bases-loaded walk, Harper doubled and Difo followed with a homer that silenced the crowd at Citi Field. Harper and Difo slapped hands at the plate, loud enough to be heard in the second deck.

Steven Matz (5-11) gave up one run and five hits over seven innings in his fifth start of the year against Washington. He did a lot better than the previous time he faced them — on July 31, he was tagged for seven runs and recorded just two outs in the poorest outing of his career, a 25-4 loss.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: Harper wasn't feeling well and didn't start. ... RHP Ryan Madson was scheduled to throw a bullpen and could come off the disabled list Monday if he feels fine. He hasn't pitched since Aug. 12 because of nerve irritation that caused pain in his back and neck.

Mets: 2B Jeff McNeil walked and singled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, but left after six innings with tightness in his right quad.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-7, 4.23 ERA) starts vs. RHP Zach Eflin (9-4, 3.93) at Philadelphia on Monday night. Strasburg came off the disabled list last week after missing more than a month with a neck problem and gave up five runs in four innings against the Phillies. His velocity dipped in his last inning.

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 3.68 ERA) starts vs. Cubs LHP Jon Lester (14-5, 3.64) in a three-game series at Wrigley Field that begins Monday night.

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