for this game

Nats 1B Johnson suffers leg injury in collision

Sep 23, 2006 - 8:49 PM FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- David Wright may have hit a pivotal three-run homer, but the day will be remembered for his short pop fly to right field that ended with Nick Johnson writhing in pain.

Wright hit his first home run in more than three weeks to cap a six-run fifth inning as the Mets rallied for a 12-6 victory over the Washington Nationals in a game marred by a frightening collision in the eighth inning involving Johnson.

The Mets, who clinched the National League East earlier this week, overcame a shaky outing by John Maine to win for just the third time in their last nine games.

Wright later hit a short pop fly to right field in the eighth in which Johnson, the first baseman, and right fielder Austin Kearns attempted to catch before the pair collided face to face as Wright raced to third with a triple.

Kearns got up almost immediately. Johnson, however, screamed in pain as he remained on the grass. A splint was put on Johnson's right leg and he was removed from the field on a golf cart.

Team officials would say only that Johnson suffered a "serious" leg injury.

"He's hurt real bad. There is not much else I can tell you," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "I know he's hurt, because Nick wouldn't have stayed down. It's unfortunate. It's nothing he could control."

"He didn't look too good," Kearns said. "It makes you sick to your stomach."

Johnson was taken to New York Hospital for further treatment.

Jose Reyes drove in three runs and Paul Lo Duca also homered for the Mets, who had scored no more than four runs in any of their last eight contests, but passed that total in the fifth inning alone.

Washington had built a 4-0 lead before Shawn Green doubled for just his sixth hit in 36 at-bats to lead off the fifth. Lastings Milledge delivered an RBI single before Chris Woodward doubled to put runners on second and third. One out later, Reyes and Endy Chavez delivered back-to-back RBI singles.

Wright, who had three of the Mets' 17 hits, then connected off Mike O'Connor (3-8) for his 25th home run of the season. Wright participated in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game, but has been in a power drought of late. The homer was his first since August 31 at Colorado and his first at Shea Stadium since July 9 against Florida.

"It's been a while, I'm glad I remembered how to touch all four bases," Wright said. "But what happened with Nick was unfortunate. You play the game hard like Nick does, and something like that can happen in a blink of the eye."

Wright's blast made an unlikely winner of Maine (6-5), who battled control problems and needed 110 pitches to get through five innings. Maine allowed four runs and three hits, walked five, hit two others with pitches and struck out seven.

Two of the walks were with the bases loaded. Washington did not have a hit until Ryan Zimmerman doubled with two outs in fourth. Zimmerman later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Brian Schneider.

"You could see that he (Maine) was trying to aim the ball," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Hopefully, he can look back from this start and grow from it."

The control troubles continued in the fifth when Maine hit a batter and walked two more, including Kearns to force in a run. Jose Vidro followed with a two-run single to increase Washington's lead to 4-0.

Royce Ring pitched the sixth, Guillermo Mota allowed a seventh-inning home run to Alfonso Soriano, Aaron Heilman worked the eighth and Billy Wagner yielded a run in the ninth.

O'Connor was charged with six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"I just threw too many fastballs up and they made me pay," O'Connor said.

The Mets added three runs in the seventh off Felix Rodriguez, highlighted by a two-run double by Reyes.

Lo Duca homered in a three-run eighth off Jason Bergmann.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!