Harper delivers walk-off single as Nats edge Mets in 12th inning

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper got some revenge and gave the Washington Nationals a wild, come-from-behind win Tuesday.

Harper struck out in his 11th-inning at-bat against Elvin Ramirez but then hit a bases-loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the 12th against him to give the Nationals a 7-6 victory over the New York Mets.

Scott Hairston had given the Mets a 6-5 lead with a solo homer off Ross Detwiler (4-3) in the top of the 12th, but Washington scored twice in the bottom half to rally for the win.

Michael Morse doubled off Ramirez (0-1) to start the bottom of the 12th and scored on Ian Desmond's one-out double to make it 6-6. Desmond then went to third on a wild pitch, and Ramirez intentionally walked Jesus Flores.

Detwiler then drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Xavier Nady forced Desmond at home before Harper singled to left to score Flores.

Washington's 19-year-old rookie got the game-winning single on an 0-2 pitch.

"Pretty amazing out there, especially in that type of game," Harper said. "He was effectively wild. He got me the (first time), and I said if I go up there again, I'm going to get him -- so I got him."

It was the first time a teenager has collected a walk-off hit since Gary Sheffield did it for Milwaukee on Sept. 9, 1988.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson liked how Harper adjusted to what Ramirez did in the previous at-bat.

"He struck him out the time before on three pitches," Johnson said. "(Harper) doesn't usually chase. He made some good adjustments."

Ramirez said he was working on a two-seam fastball, which is what he used to strike out Harper on the first at bat. However, he let the key pitch get out over the plate too much on the 0-2 delivery.

"I just think I missed the location a little bit on the last pitch," Ramirez said.

The win gave Washington (31-22) a one-game lead over the Miami Marlins (31-24) and a 1 1/2-game lead over the Mets (31-25) in the tight National League East.

Washington needed to rally three times late in game after falling behind 4-3, 6-5 and 7-6. Desmond (2-for-6, three RBI) played a big role in that, getting game-tying RBI in the eighth, 10th and 12th.

"I think any time you have the opportunity to help your team out, that's what you dream about," Desmond said. "That's what you come to play for."

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead on Harper's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the third. Danny Espinosa helped manufacture the run.

He started the inning with a bunt single and stole second with no outs. Espinosa moved to third with one out when Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann blooped a single to left. Harper later singled with two outs to drive in the first run.

Zimmermann tried to help his own cause in the fifth when he got his second hit of the game, a one-out double to left-center. Steve Lombardozzi followed with a walk before Mets starter Chris Young struck out Harper.

But Ryan Zimmerman, who's been struggling of late, came through. He got an RBI single to center that scored the pitcher. Zimmerman then got caught between first and second for a moment, and the Mets tried to run him down.

That's when Lombardozzi broke for him from third. Shortstop Omar Quintanilla tried to throw to the plate, but his throw sailed to the backstop. The error let Lombardozzi score for a 3-0 lead and moved Zimmerman to third.

New York began to rally in the sixth when pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin and David Wright each hit solo homers, cutting the lead to 3-2.

Andres Torres lined a two-run double to center off Craig Stammen to give the Mets a 4-3 lead in the eighth. But Washington tied it in the bottom half on Desmond's run-scoring single off Frank Francisco.

The Mets had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the 10th when Hairston singled, stole second, went to third on a Torres groundout and scored when Henry Rodriguez threw a wild pitch.

Washington tied it in the bottom of the inning thanks to New York's defensive problems. Zimmerman reached on shortstop Valdespin's error, went to second on a groundout and to third on a wild pitch from Bobby Parnell with Michael Morse up.

Morse then walked to put runners on first and third with one out. Zimmerman scored when Ian Desmond reached on Valdespin's second error of the inning, tying the game at 5-5. After Parnell struck out Espinosa, Flores reached on an infield single to load the bases. Parnell escaped the jam by striking out Rick Ankiel.

NOTES: Zimmermann's been showing he can hit also. This was his second multi-hit game in his last three starts. ... Morse's fourth-inning double was his first hit of the season. The right fielder had missed the first 50 games with a strained lat muscle and had gone 0-for-9 upon his return. ... The Mets called up Young from Triple-A Buffalo before the game. He is coming back from surgery to fix a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder and had last pitched in the majors on May 1, 2011. .. The Mets also activated pitcher Miguel Batista from the 15-day disabled list. He had been out due to a sore lower back. Reliever Ramon Ramirez, who strained his right hamstring running from the bullpen after Johan Santana completed his no-hitter Friday, was placed on the DL, and reliever Jack Egbert was designated for assignment.
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