By IAN QUILLEN Associated Press=
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Daniel Murphy drove in five runs on four hits, Bryce Harper had three hits and two RBIs and the Washington Nationals routed the New York Mets 11-4 on Tuesday.
Murphy improved his career average to .405 against the Mets, his first and only former big league team. This was the third straight victory for NL East-leading Washington.
Joe Ross (5-3) allowed two runs over seven innings for the Nationals in his fourth consecutive start giving up two runs or fewer.
New York’s Seth Lugo (3-2) yielded four of his sixth runs in his fifth and final innings, and failed to pitch beyond the fifth for the first time since his return from injury in June.
Jay Bruce hit his 21st home run for New York in the ninth. Jose Reyes and Rene Rivera also homered and Brandon Nimmo had three hits, but the Mets left nine men on and finished 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
In his fifth start after missing two months with elbow inflammation, Lugo required eight pitches to retire Washington’s first five batters. But he eventually walked two and allowed 10 hits, including five straight to open the fifth.
Wilmer Difo singled and scored from first on Bruce’s error fielding Harper’s single to right. Harper raced to third and scored on Murphy’s second single of the game. Two batters later, Ryan Raburn doubled in two runs to make it 6-2.
Murphy drove in two more on a single into shallow right, after relievers Erik Goeddel and Josh Edgin loaded the bases on three consecutive walks, making it 8-2.
Ross allowed eight hits, walked three and let multiple baserunners reach in each of the first five innings. He finally pitched a clean inning in the seventh and finished throwing 114 pitches, his last one a sinking changeup to strike out Lucas Duda on an eight-pitch at-bat.
Harper’s RBI single and Murphy’s RBI double in the ninth helped the Nationals score 10 or more runs for the seventh time this season in a game Ross has started.
Mets: OF Curtis Granderson (hip) was a late scratch and has now been out of manager Terry Collins’ starting lineup for the last three games. He pinch hit again Tuesday after he entered to hit a game-tying home run Monday night. . OF Yoenis Cespedes was also out of the lineup after as a precaution after developing leg cramps on a diving attempt in the outfield Monday night, Collins said.
Nationals: LF Jayson Werth (foot) is rehabbing in Florida but a Gulf Coast League limit on minor league service time has prevented him from playing in a rehab game, manager Dusty Baker said. . OF Chris Heisey (biceps) went 2 for 6 in two rehab games at Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday and Monday.
Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (8-3, 3.55) looks for his fifth consecutive win against Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (6-6, 5.27), who has an 11.88 ERA over his last four starts.
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