Daniel Murphy knocked in five runs and Johan Santana struck out 11 Wednesday night as the Mets topped the Nationals 7-4 at Citi Field.
The victory completed a sweep of the Nationals and put the Mets in first place in the N.L. East with a 1/2-game lead.
Murphy went 3-for-5 with a single, a double and a homer originally ruled a double. The sixth-inning shot to right appeared to hit the Subway sign and careen down onto the field. But the ball was initially ruled in-play and right-fielder Adam Dunn threw out Gary Sheffield at home. Mets’ skipper Jerry Manuel asked the umps to review it and they awarded Murphy the round-tripper.
Santana threw 120 pitches over six innings, giving up three earned runs on just three hits, but his 11 strikeouts came amid an uncharacteristic six walks.
He lost his no-hitter in the first inning when Nick Johnson hit a grounder just over second base that Ramon Martinez fielded nicely but threw the ball into the dirt. It could have been scored “E6,” but it instead advanced our NoNoHitters.com count to 7,528 New York Mets games without a no-hitter.
Sheffield got the Mets on the scoreboard in the first when he doubled home Luis Castillo and David Wright, and Murphy expanded the Mets lead to 3-0 in the third with an RBI single.
Santana lost the shutout when, after giving up a leadoff walk, Dunn rocketed a low fastball over the fence in right center to bring the Nationals within a run. Santana then loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks before walking in the tying run.
Murphy got the Mets a couple of insurance runs in the seventh with a doubled to left that scored Castillo and Angel Pagan.
Francisco Rodriguez gave up an unearned run in the ninth when Johnson singled home Cristian Guzman, who had reached base on a Murphy error.