WASHINGTON — A night after a brutal loss, the Mets got back to doing what they have since the All-Star break: Winning another series.
Justin Wilson and the bullpen held on this time, the rookie Pete Alonso hit his major league-leading 45th home run and the Mets rebounded to stop the Nationals, 8-4, on Wednesday afternoon.
A day after three Mets relievers were tagged for seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in an 11-10 loss to the Nationals, three pitchers combined to close with three and a third scoreless innings.
“That was a tough loss last night,” Manager Mickey Callaway said. “They bounced back well. They came out swinging the bats. We did the job on the mound. That was a good win.”
After Wilson issued a two-out walk to Kurt Suzuki — whose three-run homer won the game Tuesday night — Victor Robles followed with an easy grounder to Amed Rosario. The shortstop tagged second base for the last out, then zipped a relay to first, as if to make sure the Mets really nailed it down.
The Nationals’ lead atop the National League wild-card race was cut to three games over the idle Chicago Cubs. The Mets trail the Cubs by four-and-a-half games.
Wilson Ramos went 0 for 4, ending a 26-game hitting streak that tied for the second longest in Mets history. The slow-footed catcher was barely thrown out by second baseman Howie Kendrick on a grounder in the ninth.
“I went as hard as I can to get that single,” Ramos said. “That was a great play by Kendrick. I’m excited and proud of what I did.”
The Mets have won 12 of 16 series since the All-Star break and went 4-2 on their road trip, taking two of three from both Philadelphia and Washington.
“This was a really awesome road trip for us,” said Alonso, who connected for the second straight day and broke a tie with Mike Trout of the Angels and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger for the big league homer lead. “Taking two series on the road against really tough, in-division teams, it says a lot about this club. We’re going to keep on pushing forward.”
Robinson Cano hit a two-run shot in his first game in a month after being sidelined by a torn left hamstring. Juan Lagares also homered for the Mets, who took a 7-1 lead in the sixth.
Zack Wheeler earned his first victory since Aug. 6. He needed 101 pitches to complete five innings, but allowed just one run.
The Nationals scored three off reliever Jeurys Familia in the sixth to close within 7-4, with Anthony Rendon hitting a two-run double. Luis Avilan, who was part of the ninth-inning collapse the previous night, finished the sixth, Seth Lugo pitched two scoreless innings and Wilson handled the ninth.