Angel Pagan did something that hadn’t been done by a player in 55 years, but the Mets still couldn’t win a game.

That’s how bad things have gotten, as the Mets fell 5-3 to the Nationals to begin a mini two-game set in D.C.

In place of the demoted Oliver Perez, the Mets brought up knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to fill in. Dickey got off to a flying start—he didn’t allow his first hit until the fourth inning.

Before the Nationals got their first hit, the Mets got theirs.

With two outs in the fourth, still hitless against Livan Hernandez, Angel Pagan hit an inside-the-park home run to centerfield. Nationals centerfielder Nyger Morgan leaped to make a play, but the ball hit off the top of the wall and bounced back towards the infield.

By the time he got to it, Pagan circled the bases to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Dickey allowed his first hits and walked a batter to load the bases with no outs. Josh Willingham tied the game with an RBI single, and two batters later, Roger Bernadina gave the Nationals a lead with a sacrifice fly. On the play, Pagan made a tumbling catch to save more runs from scoring.

In the fifth, Hernandez led off with a single, and Morgan walked. The next batter Cristian Guzman lined a ball to centerfield. Pagan came in to make the shoestring catch for the first out, but there was no immediate call on whether it was a trap or not.

Two Nationals runners had already advanced to second and third not knowing what had happened. Pagan threw the ball into the infield where catcher Henry Blanco threw to second base, throwing out the runner who went to third, and Reyes threw to first to get the runner who went to second for a triple play.

And with that play, Angel Pagan became the first player since 1955 to hit an inside-the-park home run and start a triple play in the same game.

The Mets tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth on a Jeff Francoeur sacrifice fly. Meanwhile, R.A. Dickey did a solid job filling in for the Mets as he went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.

In the seventh, the Nationals would score three off the Mets bullpen.

Raul Valdes started the inning by allowing a double to Roger Bernadina. After Ian Desmond hit an advancing ground ball, Fernando Nieve came in an allowed a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run to score. He then walked a batter and gave up a run-scoring triple, followed by a run-scoring single to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead.

Oliver Perez came in to relieve, and after walking his first batter, got an inning-ending lineout to second.

The Mets would get a home run from Fernando Tatis, playing at third base for David Wright, in the ninth off Nationals closer Matt Capps, but that was it as they lost 5-3.

The Mets are now 1-6 on their current eight-game road trip with one more game to go tomorrow night with John Maine on the mound.


Series probable pitchers: May 20

New York: John Maine (2010: 1-2, 6.13 ERA) vs. Washington: Luis Atilano (2010: 3-0, 3.90 ERA)

Upcoming Schedule

New York Mets
May 20 at Washington Nationals
May 21-23 vs. New York Yankees

Washington Nationals
May 20 vs. New York Mets
May 21-23 vs. Baltimore Orioles

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