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Mets, on right track after Wright's talk, win again

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- David Wright fielded a question about whether calling a team meeting following a loss to the Chicago Cubs filled with mental errors prompted the New York Mets to put together their best two weeks of the season.

Wright struggled to come up with an answer before drawing laughter from the media crowd surrounding his locker after the Mets capitalized on three Washington Nationals errors in a 5-1 victory on Saturday at Citi Field.

"I just think that I'm a helluva motivator," Wright said. "I think when this whole streak started, we had that walk-off against the Cubs and we really played lousy up until the ninth inning, and I think that kind of kick-started us and we were able to take a deep breath.

"It wasn't pretty, but we won a game and from then on. I think it allowed us to kind of take a deep breath and enjoy playing the game, and play a little more free rather than playing tight."

New York's ninth victory in 14 games fell into Wright's description of the first victory of this stretch, a 4-3 win over the Cubs decided on Kirk Niewenhuis' home run.

During that stretch, each loss has been a game decided by two runs or fewer, including Friday's 6-4 loss when the Mets blew a 4-1 lead in a start by Matt Harvey.

Each time they lost, the Mets have come back with a victory, although manager Terry Collins is unsure if the meeting has had that kind of effect.

"I'm not sure, I think David's little talk where he talked about one pitch at a time, one inning at a time, nine innings, you guys every time I come in here after a tough game, you want to know what I say to the team," Collins said.

"That's why you got to be careful but when one of your peers stands up and says something, and he's the lead dog, it brings a little more clout. I think they ran with it and said, 'You know what, let's play it out and see what happens."

Dillon Gee pitched through trouble over six innings against the Nationals and Marlon Byrd reached base four times despite getting only one hit.

"I think that you get a couple or wins and get some confidence back, I think that guys start enjoying themselves more rather than pressing and trying to put so much pressure on themselves, and I think that you get a couple of wins under your belt, you start winning a couple of series, you start enjoying it," Wright said.

"You laugh, you joke around and you play a little more loosely and you let your talent take over rather than force the issue."

Gee didn't force anything in winning for the fourth time in five decisions, a stretch that began with his 12-strikeout performance at Yankee Stadium on May 30.

Gee allowed one run and six hits while working around three walks to Ryan Zimmerman in an 85-pitch outing.

"I was pretty fortunate today," Gee said. "I'm pretty upset walking Zimmerman three times; the kind of guys he has hitting behind him, you can't get away with it every day and I was fortunate in that regard."

Gee capitalized on the breaks he received and the defense, which turned two double plays and prevented Kurt Suzuki from advancing to second on his fourth-inning RBI single.

"Gee, he pitched a good ballgame," Washington manager Davey Johnson said."

Byrd also capitalized on things, getting hit by a pitch in first, reached base on fielding errors by Zimmerman at third base in the fourth and fifth that led to runs. Byrd added a run-scoring single in the sixth.

The Nationals scored two runs or fewer for the 35th time this season while equaling their season high in errors.

While Zimmerman walked four times, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche were a combined 2-for-8 with four strikeouts behind him and all three players struck out in the eighth.

Taylor Jordan (0-1) allowed three runs (one earned) and five hits over 4 1/3 innings in his major league debut. He gave up a run in the fourth on John Buck's RBI single that scored Byrd, who was safe on Zimmerman's first error.

In the fifth, the Mets took the lead when Washington made two errors on the same play.

Byrd hit a ball that took a high hop and deflected off Zimmerman's glove and to shortstop Ian Desmond, who threw the ball away, allowing Daniel Murphy to score.

The Mets added their next two runs on sacrifice flies by Nieuwenheis and Eric Young Jr. Their final run came on an RBI single by Byrd that scored Daniel Murphy, who tripled.

NOTES: The Nationals said RHP Ross Detwiler had some back stiffness that is on a different side of his body than the earlier oblique injury that landed him on the disabled list. Detwiler will test it out in his normal side session between starts before the Mets make a decision on his next start. ... New York LHP Jon Niese said that his left shoulder is feeling better and that he hopes and MRI exam on Thursday will confirm that. ... Washington OF Bryce Harper was expected to play nine innings for Class AA Harrisburg Saturday night, have Sunday off and return from the disabled list on Monday. ... New York SS Omar Quintanilla was hitless in 17 at-bats before a fourth-inning single.
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