x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Lannan restricts Mets

John Lannan pitched his first complete game as the lowly Washington Nationals pounded the New York Mets 7-1 on Saturday.

John Lannan pitched his first complete game as the lowly Washington Nationals pounded the New York Mets 7-1 on Saturday. Lannan allowed just four hits and a run and was aided by a franchise-record-tying five double-plays as Washington belied their lowly position to end a three-game losing run with a second win in 11 games.

"John was outstanding out there for us and the offence exploded," the Washington manager Manny Acta said. "We had everything working for us tonight, offence and defence, and we were due." Adam Dunn, Elijah Dukes and Nick Johnson all homered for the Nationals, as Lannan needed just 96 pitches to close out the two- hour game. "I haven't felt that good in a while," Lannan said. "And to get five double-plays in one game, well that sure helps too."

It was just the third complete game of the season by a Washington pitcher as Lannan struck out two and walked three while staying in command all night before a crowd of 31,456, one of the biggest of the season in Nationals Park. Lannan threw 61 of his pitches for strikes in picking up just his 14th career victory in his three-season career, all of them with Washington. The Nationals entered the game with a team ERA of 5.61 - the worst in the majors - and the win was just their sixth in 32 games against National League (NL) East opponents. The Mets had won six of the last seven meeting between the two teams, including a 3-1 win in the series opener on Friday.

John Maine allowed seven runs and six hits, including the three home runs, in his shortest outing of the season. He failed to record an out in the fifth inning before leaving the game. "I had nothing today," Maine said. "It was a waste of a day." The Mets remained three games behind the first-placed Philadelphia in the East after the Phillies lost 3-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Andre Ethier hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2.

Ethier's second solo home run of the night completed a come-from-behind win for the Dodgers after Rafael Furcal's homer tied it in the ninth. It was another blown save for the Phillies closer Brad Lidge, his second in as many nights and sixth of the season after he was perfect in save opportunities last year. Furcal's shot barely cleared the fence and the glove of Philadelphia outfielder Jayson Werth.

The Dodgers had been leading from Ethier's first homer until Matt Stairs hit a two-run single in the seventh. The San Francisco Giants dropped to nine games behind the Dodgers in the West as they lost 5-4 to the Florida Marlins. On a rainy night in Miami, Andrew Miller struck out five and gave up two runs in five and two thirds innings for the Marlins, while stand-out short-stop Hanley Ramirez hit two doubles.

The Giants cut a three-run deficit to one in the ninth as they chased the Florida closer Matt Lindstrom from the game, but Leo Nunez came in to record the final out. The Milwaukee Brewers have opened up a two-game lead in the Central Division after tossing a second straight shut-out against the Atlanta Braves in a 3-0 win. Jeff Suppan's five and one third innings were not always pretty, but he was effective before four relievers completed the shut-out.

* Reuters