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LaRoche leads Nationals over Mets

Sep 24, 2014 - 2:36 AM Washington, DC ( - Adam LaRoche hit a three-run homer and the Washington Nationals continued their dominance against the New York Mets this season, winning 4-2 in the opener of a three-game series.

LaRoche in particular has burned the Mets, as Washington improved to 14-3 in 2014 against their division rival. LaRoche has six of his 26 home runs and 18 RBI in 14 games against New York this season.

Tanner Roark (15-10) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits to win his third straight start.

The Nationals, who already locked up the NL East, are 10-2 in their last 12 games overall.

Mets starter Bartolo Colon (14-13) was charged with four runs on five hits in six innings of work.

"I really thought he was going to pitch well tonight. He certainly did until that point," said Mets manager Terry Collins, alluding to LaRoche's home run.

It was scoreless until the fifth, when Wilmer Flores led off with a double to right. After Curtis Granderson popped up to shortstop, Kirk Nieuwenhuis slugged a ground-rule double to put the Mets on the board.

The Nationals quickly erased their deficit. Kevin Frandsen reached on an infield single to start the bottom half when Colon failed to cover first base. Roark laid down a sacrifice bunt and Michael Taylor doubled to tie the score. Jayson Werth then drew a two-out walk to set up LaRoche's three-run blast to right.

"It feels good to contribute," said Taylor. "Just happy to have the opportunity to play."

Flores and Granderson had consecutive hits with one out in the seventh to chase Roark from the contest. Eric Campbell then walked against reliever Ross Detwiler and Ruben Tejada made it 4-2 with a sac fly to center.

Aaron Barrett then took the hill and walked Bobby Abreu to re-load the bases, and Washington made its third pitching change of the inning. The move paid off, as Jerry Blevins got Anthony Recker to pop up.

Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless eighth and Drew Storen fanned two in the ninth to pick up his 10th save.

Game Notes

Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud tripled for the second straight game ... The Nationals have outscored the Mets 88-45 this season ... Washington center fielder Denard Span left the game with an injury after making a diving catch in the third inning ... New York went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.