7:10 PM ET, August 14, 2014
Citi Field, New York, New York
NEW YORK -- Smoke billowed out of the Washington Nationals' clubhouse when the doors opened after yet another victory celebration in New York. The National League East leader's fog machine has been getting plenty of use lately.
No special effects were needed on the field, though.
Stephen Strasburg bounced back from one of his worst starts to pitch seven efficient innings, Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche each hit a two-run homer, and the Nationals beat the New York Mets 4-1 on Thursday night to set a franchise record with their 11th consecutive win on the road against one team.
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"We played really well here," manager Matt Williams said. "Now we've got to go do it at home."
The Mets' 11 straight losses to Washington in Queens are their most against one club at home. New York dropped 10 in a row to the Braves at Shea Stadium from 1991 to 1992.
Strasburg (9-10) gave up three hits and an unearned run, improving to 2-8 in 13 road starts this season. He struck out eight and walked two.
Rafael Soriano was perfect in the ninth for his second straight save in the series and 28th overall. Washington finished a three-game sweep and increased its NL East lead to six games over Atlanta.
LaRoche and Harper both connected after walks by Dillon Gee (4-5). LaRoche homered in the first, and Harper hit a long drive to right-center in the fourth.
"It felt great," said Harper, who missed time with a thumb injury. "That's one of the best balls I've hit all year."
The Nationals hit seven homers in the series, outscoring the Mets 14-4 and continuing a lopsided trend during a streak in New York that began June 30 last year. Washington has outscored the Mets 74-21 during the run at Citi Field, which now tops the Montreal Expos' 10 road wins in a row against the Chicago Cubs from 1982 to 1983.
The Nationals are 25-4 at the Mets' home since Sept. 12, 2011. The teams play four more times this year in New York and three more in Washington, where the Nationals have won four of six meetings. They lead the season series 10-2.
"They've been a thorn in our side for the last two or three years for sure," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Strasburg was coming off an outing in which he allowed a career-high four homers and seven runs to Atlanta, but he was rarely in trouble Thursday, working his fastball to both sides of the plate.
"I think I wanted to go out there and focus on the execution aspect and just pitch," Strasburg said, "make it a little harder for them to be comfortable."
Nationals: Right fielder Jayson Werth missed his third straight game but said he felt 50 percent better after getting a cortisone injection for his ailing right shoulder. Williams thinks Werth might be available to pinch hit Friday against Pittsburgh and could even start Saturday.
Mets: Right-hander Matt Harvey (Tommy John surgery) heard from his manager a day after the ace boasted on a radio program that he was throwing in the mid-90 mph range during a rehabilitation session. The team is being especially cautious with Harvey since starter Jeremy Hefner had a recent setback in his recovery from similar elbow reconstruction. But Harvey still says he wants to pitch this season. "The process is, right now you've got to understand it's the big picture, and the big picture is 2015. So back off," Collins said he told Harvey.
Nationals: Right-hander Tanner Roark (11-7) faces the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first time. In his first year in the rotation, the 23-year-old has allowed one run or fewer in 13 of his 20 starts since April 21.
Mets: Right-hander Zack Wheeler (7-8) faces the Cubs on Friday night. Wheeler pitched 6 2/3 innings of two-hit ball in his only start against Chicago on June 3, a game the Mets lost 2-1.
Harper also homered in the series opener, giving him two long balls in a series for the first time since April 25-28, 2013, against the Reds, STATS said.
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the New York Mets...(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Washington leads 15-4 (as of Thu 8/14)|
|Mon 3/31||WSH 9, @NYM 7||Recap|
|Wed 4/2||WSH 5, @NYM 1||Recap|
|Thu 4/3||WSH 8, @NYM 2||Recap|
|Fri 5/16||@WSH 5, NYM 2||Recap|
|Sat 5/17||NYM 5, @WSH 2||Recap|
|Sun 5/18||@WSH 6, NYM 3||Recap|
|Tue 8/5||NYM 6, @WSH 1||Recap|
|Wed 8/6||@WSH 7, NYM 1||Recap|
|Thu 8/7||@WSH 5, NYM 3||Recap|
|Tue 8/12||WSH 7, @NYM 1||Recap|
|Wed 8/13||WSH 3, @NYM 2||Recap|
|» Thu 8/14||WSH 4, @NYM 1||Box Score|
|Thu 9/11||WSH 6, @NYM 2||Recap|
|Fri 9/12||@NYM 4, WSH 3||Recap|
|Sat 9/13||WSH 10, @NYM 3||Recap|
|Sun 9/14||WSH 3, @NYM 0||Recap|
|Tue 9/23||@WSH 4, NYM 2||Recap|
|Thu 9/25||NYM 7, @WSH 4||Recap|
|Thu 9/25||@WSH 3, NYM 0||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Nationals | Mets|
|1st||A LaRoche homered to left center (398 feet), A Cabrera scored.||2||0|
|4th||B Harper homered to right center (417 feet), I Desmond scored.||4||0|
|4th||L Duda hit sacrifice fly to center, D Murphy scored.||4||1|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Citi Field, New York, NY|
|Attendance||22,782 (54.3% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||77 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Brian Gorman, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Stu Scheurwater|
After a rough stretch shortly after the All-Star Break... Harper has been on fire... He's done it mostly by hitting line drives and fly balls... He was pounding the ball into the ground but he's cut that in half in his past 8 games.[+]
Bryce Harper Since July 23
The Nationals have won 11 straight road games against the Mets, now their longest road winning streak against a single opponent in franchise history. They also had an 8-game win streak at Citi Field in 2012, and are 21-4 there during the last 3 seasons.[+]
Longest Road Winning Streaks vs an Opponent
Bryce Harper (WSH): 5 career HR at Citi Field (his most at any visiting ballpark)
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