WASHINGTON (AP)—Manager Willie Randolph was long gone, ejected for arguing a call. One starter left with an injury, all the position players had been used, and the bullpen was getting thin, too, as the game dragged on into the 12th inning.
“There were a lot of twists and turns,” Randolph said. “It was a little bit of everything.”
Beltran grounded a ball down the line just past first baseman Robert Fick to snap a 2-2 tie, and Wright’s single to left tacked on two more runs. Both hits came off Ryan Wagner after Saul Rivera (0-1) loaded the bases.
“I didn’t hit the ball that well,” Beltran said, “but it went through.”
The go-ahead runs capped a wild game that also included Washington starter Jerome Williams holding New York without a hit for 5 1-3 innings, a run that scored on a wild pitch, and a blown save by Nationals closer Chad Cordero.
“We kept scratching and clawing,” Randolph said.
Ronnie Belliard drove in Washington’s two runs with RBI doubles off Tom Glavine in the sixth and Aaron Heilman in the eighth. So the Nationals led 2-1 heading to the ninth, with Cordero aiming for his third save in three days. He was an out away, too, with no one on.
“That’s the situation I want,” Washington manager Manny Acta said.
Endy Chavez, pinch-running for Green, slid around rookie catcher Jesus Flores’ tag to beat the throw from right fielder Austin Kearns. While Chavez rose and pumped a fist, Flores turned to the umpire to plead his case, to no avail.
“We let ‘em off the hook,” Acta said.
The Mets didn’t have many chances early on, thanks to a suddenly effective Williams. He was 0-4 with an 7.77 ERA coming in but held the Mets without a hit until Beltran delivered a no-doubt single to center with one out in the sixth.
Williams got plenty of help, particularly from third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, and particularly in the fifth inning. When Easley led off the fifth with a sharp grounder, Zimmerman backed up and backhanded the ball on the grass before turning to barely throw him out at first. An out later, Zimmerman went to his knees behind the bag, popped up and threw out the speedy Reyes with a one-hop throw. Zimmerman punched the air and let out a yell.
Williams (zero runs, one hit, five walks) left with a sprained left ankle after walking the first batter in the seventh. New York’s first run came in that inning off reliever Jesus Colome and was unearned: Green scored on a wild pitch after reaching third on a throwing error by—of all people—Zimmerman.
Washington went ahead 1-0 in an unusual sixth.
With one out, Williams hit a shot to left field and trotted out of the batter’s box, admiring the trajectory and smiling, as if to say, “Hey! That’s my first big league homer!” But the ball hit the base of the wall, and Williams wound up with a single.
“It’s uncalled for, something like that,” Williams said, chastising himself for jogging. “I kicked myself in the butt for that.”
He said he hurt his ankle on that swing.
Felipe Lopez followed with a grounder to shortstop Reyes that appeared to be tailor-made for an inning-ending double play. Reyes flipped to second to get Williams, but Lopez was called safe on the relay to first. Randolph came out to argue with first-base umpire Tony Randazzo and was tossed. Belliard then doubled to left.
Nationals CF Ryan Church walked four times. … Glavine gave up one run in six innings. … Valentin was to fly to New York on Sunday for an MRI exam on his right knee. … The Nationals said they planned to activate LHP Ray King (shoulder) on Sunday.