Another rocky outing for Henry Rodriguez (Nats win 5-2, sweep Mets)

FLUSHING, N.Y. - What was a comfortable 5-1 ballgame in the eighth inning quickly turned intense.

Henry Rodriguez found himself right in the middle of all the action.

The righty walked two batters leading off the eighth, and was immediately pulled by Davey Johnson.

Rodriguez threw 11 pitches, eight of which were balls. The struggling flame-thrower failed to record an out for the second straight outing.

The two walks forced Johnson to go into scramble mode, as he went to a total of four relievers in the eighth. Craig Stammen came on to relieve Rodriguez. He walked Scott Hairston to load the bases before getting Ruben Tejada to line out to center.

Sean Burnett retired Jordan Valdespin on an RBI groundout, and Drew Storen then came on to face David Wright, who represented the game-tying run. Storen got the red-hot third baseman to ground out to third to end the inning.

It probably never should have been that dramatic, and Johnson probably shouldn’t have needed to make three trips to the mound during that one inning. But that’s what happened.

Tyler Clippard is now on for the second straight day to try and close out the sweep.

Update: Clippard got the job done with a perfect ninth, and the Nationals leave the Big Apple with a nice three-game sweep.

They win by a 5-2 score today, with Strasburg notching his 11th win and Clippard getting his 18th save.

For now, the Nats are five games up on the Braves in the NL East and they lead the Mets by 11 1/2 games. Washington also moves to 19 games above-.500 for the first time this season.

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