WASHINGTON (AP) — Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz homered as the Nationals sent Mets right-hander Tylor Megill to the earliest exit of his career, and Washington beat New York 8-3 on Wednesday night.
Soto hit a two-run homer in the Nationals’ five-run first inning and Cruz, who came in batting .170 with three homers, hit his 453rd career longball, a three-run blast to left-center in the second that traveled an estimated 436 feet.
Megill (4-2) walked the next batter and his night was over. He recorded four outs while allowing eight runs on eight hits with a walk and a hit batter, losing his second straight start as his ERA swelled from 2.43 to 4.41. The second-year pitcher’s previous shortest outing came Sept. 15, when he allowed six runs in three innings in a loss to St. Louis.
Staked to a big lead, Aaron Sanchez (2-2) pitched to contact, retiring the side on 11 pitches in the third inning, 10 in the fourth and six in the fifth. He didn’t strike out a batter until he fanned Francisco Lindor leading off the sixth. Pete Alonso then hit a comebacker that struck Sanchez in the heel of his glove hand, ending his longest start of the season.
Alonso hit a two-run homer in the first, his eighth this season, to give the Mets a 3-0 lead that quickly vanished.
NL East-leading New York lost by five or more runs for the third time this season and will have to win Thursday’s rubber game against its last-place rival to avoid dropping a series for the first time. The Mets have won eight series and split one.
Trevor Williams relieved Megill and worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings, followed by Stephen Nogosek, who tossed three hitless innings in his first appearance this season.
Washington relievers Austin Voth, Victor Arano and Paulo Espino kept the Mets off the board for 3 2/3…