Mets get offense from Vientos, Marte and Iglesias before maligned bullpen holds off Nationals 8-7

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Iglesias had three hits, including a go-ahead single in the fifth inning, and Mark Vientos homered as the New York Mets held off the Washington Nationals 8-7 on Monday night.

New York's beleaguered bullpen nearly coughed up another late lead. Washington scored two runs in the ninth charged to Adam Ottavino, but Jake Diekman threw a called third strike past Drew Millas with runners at the corners for his second save.

The scuffling Mets have lost six games since May 1 when leading after eight innings. Diekman held on this time, one day after blowing a save in a 5-4 loss to Arizona at home.

“It was good to see him bounce back, especially after the outing yesterday," Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “And then coming in with the bases loaded. Got behind 3-0, but he has been in this league for a long time. He was able to slow the game down and just think small, one pitch at a time. Got back in the count and obviously got the sac fly there and kind of back on track. And then stay on attack for the last out of the game.”

Starling Marte also had three hits and scored twice for New York in the first meeting this season between the NL East foes. No. 9 batter Luis Torrens delivered a two-run double in his second start at catcher with the Mets.

Iglesias, subbing at second base for the slumping Jeff McNeil against a left-handed pitcher, had three singles in his second start with New York since getting called up from the minors on Friday.

“There are so many ways that you can contribute to a team, not necessarily with the bat or the defense,” Iglesias said. "It’s the energy, keep pushing the team and supporting them. It’s also about vibe. It’s a long season. We are going to fail. We are going to succeed. We've got to stay positive, continue to work each and every day. That’s all we can control.”

Harrison Bader had two sacrifice flies for the Mets on his 30th birthday. A run-scoring single by Iglesias put them ahead 5-4 in a four-run fifth, and Torrens added a two-run double to right-center.

Vientos connected on the first pitch of the fourth against Nationals starter MacKenzie Gore (4-5) for his fifth homer of the season. The 420-foot shot to left-center gave the Mets a 2-1 advantage.

“Hit it pretty good," Vientos said with a smile. “Honestly, I didn’t think I got it until I saw the exit velo and I said, ‘OK, I hit it pretty well.'”

Francisco Lindor laced an RBI single, reached base three times and stole a bag. Tylor Megill (1-2) permitted five runs — four earned — and seven hits over five innings. He struck out four and walked three.

“Not great. I threw a lot of pitches," Megill said. "I fell behind there in the fourth and fifth in counts early and then gave them good leverage.”

Jesse Winker had three hits and three RBIs for the Nationals. Joey Gallo broke out of a slump with a two-run homer off Megill that gave Washington a 4-3 lead in the fourth. The first baseman entered the game hitting .151.

Gore allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in each of the first five innings. He walked four and gave up seven hits and six runs over 4 1/3 innings. He also threw two wild pitches and plunked a batter.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: C Francisco Alvarez (left thumb surgery) had a day off on his minor league rehab assignment and will “probably” catch nine innings Tuesday at Triple-A Syracuse, Mendoza said. Alvarez could come off the injured list when the team returns home next week.

Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (right elbow/forearm flexor strain) is scheduled to throw 50 pitches against hitters Tuesday. If everything goes well, he'll be sent on a rehab assignment after that. ... Washington SS CJ Abrams (shoulder) sat out his third straight game and CF Jacob Young (hand) missed his second in a row. Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Abrams is making progress but Young was still sore during pregame hitting.

UP NEXT

Mets LHP David Peterson (0-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second big league start of the season Tuesday night against former New York RHP Trevor Williams (5-0, 2.22), who hasn't lost since Sept. 10, 2023.

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