WASHINGTON -- Rookie pitcher Zack Wheeler was dominant on the mound and got plenty of help from his offense as the New York Mets cruised to an 11-3 victory Saturday over the Washington Nationals.
In just his 14th major league start, the right-hander steamrolled his way through the Washington lineup, allowing a mere five singles in 6 2/3 innings of work. Wheeler (7-3) struck out just three, but only walked one batter.
The Mets continued to play well behind the rookie, winning for the 10th time in Wheeler's starts. New York took advantage of a shaky outing from Dan Haren (8-12), using a seven-hit, six-run third inning to capture its third straight victory.
Eric Young, Daniel Murphy and Juan Lagares each had three hits and two RBI for the Mets, who racked up a season-high 17 hits.
Washington has now lost two straight after going 8-1 in its previous nine contests.
Haren had been one of the Nationals' most consistent starters over the past month, but he was peppered by a light-hitting New York lineup.
Omar Quintanilla had the lone extra-base hit among the nine hits Haren allowed, a two-run double that went in and out of the glove of a diving Denard Span in center to give the Mets a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
New York continued its station-to-station assault in the third, scoring six runs in the frame off Haren and replacement Tanner Roark. Young's second hit of the inning, a two-run single, made it 8-0.
Among the barrage of singles in the third was center fielder Matt den Dekker's first major league hit, an RBI blooper over the head of Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.
Span was the lone bright spot for Washington, extending his career-high hitting streak to 14 games with a third-inning single.
NOTES: Nationals manager Davey Johnson was back in the dugout Saturday after leaving Friday's game due to dehydration. "I pinch hit for myself," the manager joked, saying he was feeling better. ... Mets 1B Ike Davis left the game after his third-inning sacrifice fly with a strained right oblique. Lucas Duda replaced Davis. ... The Mets improved to 34-34 on the road, the fourth-best mark in the NL. ... Nationals OF Jayson Werth reached enough plate appearances to become eligible for the NL batting title Saturday, and he entered the night third with a .325 average, behind Yadier Molina and Chris Johnson.