Say what you want about Jayson Werth, but there’s no denying how good he’s been this year when the Nationals have needed him most. Be it a game-tying late inning home run or a big catch in the outfield, Werth has constantly stepped up at the right moments, as he did Friday night against the Mets.
In typical Rafael Soriano fashion, the Nationals’ closer allowed Daniel Murphy, the tying run, to step up to the plate with two outs in the top of the ninth. Soriano proceeded to challenge Murphy on the inside of the plate until the Mets left-hander nearly jacked a game-tying three-run homer to right, but Werth reached over the wall and caught it, robbing Murphy, saving Soriano and preserving a 5-2 win for the Nationals.
Although the game ended in dramatic fashion, it started with an offensive outburst from the Nationals in the bottom of the first. Werth started the scoring with an RBI single to left that allowed Denard Span to score and moved Anthony Rendon to third base. Rendon then scored on a sacrifice fly by Wilson Ramos, making it a 2-0 game. The Nationals scored their third run of the inning when Tyler Moore reached base on an error, allowing Werth to score.
Washington scored two more runs in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI double by Scott Hairston and an RBI single by Tyler Moore.
The rare early-innings run support was more than enough for Tanner Roark, who turned in yet another strong start at Nationals Park. Roark pitched just five innings but allowed only two runs on four hits while striking out four, earing him his third win of the season.
With Friday’s victory, the Nationals are three games over .500 and sit a half game behind the Braves in the division.