Nats rally from 9-0 hole, fall 11-9 to Mets in extras (updated)

Erick Fedde is still searching for consistency and the Nationals continue to seek an elusive victory.

Francisco Lindor led off the ninth inning with a moonshot two-run homer off Kyle Finnegan and the Mets, who blew a 9-0 lead and allowed the Nats to tie the game on Andrew Stevenson's two-run homer in the seventh, outlasted the Nats 11-9 in nine innings in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.

Lindor connected on a 97 mph Finnegan sinker, completing a four-RBI day with a decisive blast that sent the Nationals to their seventh straight defeat.

"That's why this one hurts," Finnegan said in a postgame Zoom session with reporters. "We came back. We battled. We were in there until the final blow."

Finnegan lamented what was supposed to be an up-and-in fastball that caught enough of the plate for Lindor to do some damage.

"I made a mistake and he capitalized on it," Finnegan said.

Heath Hembree got the final three outs, working around a wild pitch that advanced automatic runner Keibert Ruiz to third base to record his ninth save.

Fedde was touched for seven runs in three innings, and the right-hander actually lasted longer than Nats manager Davey Martinez, who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the second inning. Even though he was seated in the dugout two days after undergoing ankle surgery, Martinez voiced his displeasure about a disputed checked-swing call before hobbling back to the clubhouse on crutches after being given the heave-ho.

Down 7-0 after three innings, Fedde was finally pulled. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Fedde threw 80 pitches, 51 for strikes.

"He gave up a lot of groundball hits. ... For me, I think if some of the ground balls get in front of our infielders and it's a different day for us," said bench coach Tim Bogar, who managed the team after Martinez's ejection.

The resilient Nationals chipped away at a 9-0 deficit, scoring three times in the fourth and four times in the sixth, before Stevenson's blast forced extra innings. Alcides Escobar drove in three runs.

"I think anytime you can erase that big a deficit, ... that just shows the talent here," Stevenson said.

Thumbnail image for Soto-Slaps-Stevenson-Hands-White-Sidebar.jpgThe comeback was the largest for the Nats since July 5, 2018, when the Nats rallied from a 9-0 hole to beat the Marlins 14-12.

"Anytime you're down 9-0 and you get a chance to win a game, you gotta be proud of the guys," said Bogar.

Stevenson said the comeback shows the resiliency the Nats are building after their roster was torn down at the trade deadline.

"If things aren't going your way - obviously, 9-0, things aren't going your way - so if the game's not going your way, a few swings of the bat, a few good at-bats here and you just kind of build off that," he said. "We've got some good players here. I think we're gonna have a run here, hopefully soon."

Fedde quickly got into trouble in the first, when consecutive singles by Jonathan Villar, Brandon Nimmo and Lindor, followed by a Pete Alonso sacrifice fly, staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead.

Javier Báez made it 3-0 in the second, hammering a hanging 2-2 curveball over the wall in center for his 27th homer of the season. Then the Mets parlayed two errors by Escobar, a sacrifice bunt, RBI singles by Villar and Nimmo, and a Lindor sac fly into a 6-0 cushion.

Martinez made his early exit after unloading on first base umpire Ryan Willis for ruling Alonso checked his swing, giving him a base on balls. Fedde finally got out of the frame, but not before his pitch count reached 62 with a 42-pitch second.

Martinez was not made available to the media after the game.

The Mets went ahead 7-0 in the third on Patrick Mazeika's RBI single.

Michael Conforto crushed a two-run homer to right in the fourth off Wander Suero to make it 9-0.

The Nats finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth, loading the bases off Marcus Stroman on singles by Ruiz, Carter Kieboom and Luis García before Stevenson drew a walk to force in a run. Lane Thomas and Escobar followed with successive sacrifice flies as the Nats got within 9-3.

Stroman worked five innings, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Miguel Castro replaced Stroman and could get only one out in the sixth, as the Nats cut the deficit to 9-5 on a bases-loaded, two-run double by Escobar. Former Nat Brad Hand came in to face Juan Soto, who grounded an RBI single sharply to first. Alonso gloved the ball, but his lob to Hand was high and late, with Escobar also scoring as the ball glanced off Hand's glove.

Lugo allowed a one-out double by Kieboom and then Stevenson's two-out, two-run homer in the seventh, knotting the score at 9-9.

Neither team scored in the eighth, the Nats' Alberto Baldonado retiring the side in order and working around a wild pitch that advanced automatic runner Mazeika to third base. The Nats loaded the bases with one out, but Trevor May wiggled out of the jam.

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