NEW YORK -- Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 in seven innings and Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa hit back-to-back homers in the second inning to spark the Washington Nationals to a 5-2 win over the New York Mets.
The Wednesday win gave the Nationals a three-game sweep at Citi Field in front of 35,517 fans. Washington's fifth straight win tied them with the New York Yankees for the best record in baseball, while the Mets lost for the 11th time in 12 games since the All-Star Break.
Strasburg (11-4) allowed one run on four hits and no walks and was as efficient as he was dominant. He threw a first-pitch strike to 18 of 24 batters, threw more than 15 pitches in just one inning and needed 94 pitches overall. The right-hander, who recorded at least 10 strikeouts for the seventh time in 37 career starts, had at least one whiff in every inning but the second and struck out five in a row in the third and fourth.
Adam LaRoche's two-run homer into the upper deck in right field -- his second two-run homer in as many games -- extended the lead to 5-1 in the seventh. Espinosa had two hits. Ryan Zimmerman went 0-for-5 for the Nationals, just the third time he's been held hitless in 21 July games.
Ike Davis homered leading off the second for the Mets, who opened the eighth with three straight walks off Henry Rodriguez and Craig Stammen, but scored just one run on a Jordany Valdespin groundout. The Mets have scored nine runs in their last four games.
Tyler Clippard, the sixth pitcher for the Nationals, recorded his 18th save with a perfect ninth inning.
Jeremy Hefner (1-4) took the loss. Making his fourth start of the season, Hefner allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out a career-high seven.
NOTES: Nationals manager Davey Johnson said outfielder Jayson Werth, who has been on the disabled list since he broke his left wrist May 6, could return when the Nationals begin a seven-game homestand against the Philadelphia Phillies next Tuesday. Werth played five innings in centerfield for Triple-A Syracuse Tuesday night and was expected to serve as designated hitter today. ... Infielder Chad Tracy, who is also on a rehab assignment at Syracuse as he recovers from right groin surgery May 29, had the night off Tuesday with general soreness after playing the previous four days. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said Johan Santana, on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain, will remain in New York during the Mets' upcoming season-long 11-game road trip but could return shortly after the Mets come back home. Santana will continue long tossing this week and is scheduled to throw from a mound next week. "I think we have him penciled in for a start somewhere around the eighth or ninth of August," Collins said. ... Collins is hopeful outfielder Mike Baxter, who broke a rib and suffered a displaced right collarbone while saving Santana's no-hitter with a diving catch into the wall June 1, will be able to come off the disabled list by the time the Mets visit San Francisco for a four-game series Monday. Baxter was hitting .300 in nine rehab games through Tuesday but Collins said he wants to make sure Baxter's right arm is fully recovered before he's activated.