WASHINGTON, D.C. — Trying to avoid a disastrous 1-7 road-trip, the Mets sent John Maine to the mound looking for a deep outing.

That didn’t quite happen, but they got the result they wanted.

First off, in the first inning, the Mets got three runs on a bases loaded double by David Wright, who returned to the lineup after a day off.

In the Nationals first, that’s where things got strange.

After allowing a five-pitch walk to lead-off hitter Nyger Morgan, John Maine was pulled from the game due to what the Mets classified as, “precautionary reasons because Maine’s velocity and delivery was skewed.”

There was no specific injury given, and Maine and manager Jerry Manuel, got in to a war of words in the dugout following the departure.

The Mets replaced him with Raul Valdes who did a splendid job. He gave up three runs on seven hits and struck out six in five-plus innings of work, but what he meant to the team counted more than the numbers he put up.

Valdes helped the bullpen mightily by eating up probably as many innings as John Maine would have.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ offense broke through to have one of their biggest scoring nights of the season. With a 3-0 lead, the Mets tacked on five runs in the fifth.

Jason Bay, who went three-for-five, led off with a single.

Ike Davis, who also went three-for-five, hit his second double of the game, advancing Bay to third.

Wright followed with a sacrifice fly and three batters later, Jeff Francoeur, singled in two.

Later on in the inning, Jose Reyes hit a blooper towards third, where Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman lost his footing, allowing another to score.

Alex Cora added a sacrifice fly giving the Mets an 8-1 lead.

The Mets added two more in the sixth on a Rod Barajas home run, making it 10-1.

The Mets wouldn’t score any more runs in the game, but the Nationals sure did.

In their sixth, Willie Harris hit a two-run single off of Manny Acosta, who replaced Valdes, making it 10-3.

The Nationals scored three runs in the eighth off of Mets’ relievers Jenrry Mejia and Pedro Feliciano cutting the lead to 10-6, but Adam Dunn flew out with the bases loaded to the end the inning.

In the ninth, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez gave up a run but nothing else, as the Mets held on for the nail-biting 10-7 victory.

The Mets settled for a two-game split with Washington to finish the road-trip, 2-6. They will now start the first Subway Series of the season against the Yankees tomorrow night, with Hisanori Takahashi, filling in for the injured Jon Niese.

Next series probably pitchers

May 21

New York Mets: Hisanori Takahashi (2010: 3-1, 3.12 ERA) vs. New York Yankees: Javier Vazquez (2010: 2-4, 8.01 ERA)

May 22

New York Mets: Mike Pelfrey (2010: 5-1, 3.02 ERA) vs. New York Yankees: Phil Hughes (2010: 5-0, 2.25 ERA)

May 23

New York Mets: Johan Santana (2010: 3-2, 3.72 ERA) vs. New York Yankees: CC Sabathia (2010: 4-2, 3.43 ERA)

Upcoming Schedule

New York Mets

May 21-23 vs. New York Yankees
May 25-27 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

New York Yankees
May 21-23 @ New York Mets
May 25-27 @ Minnesota Twins

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