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Canha's sacrifice fly after rain delay lifts Mets to win over Nationals

Pete Alonso New York Mets Pete Alonso - The Canadian Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Canha had a sacrifice fly immediately after a 97-minute rain delay in the bottom of the eighth inning, lifting the New York Mets to a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

After the game, the Mets announced they traded closer David Robertson — who was warming up before the rain delay — to the Miami Marlins in exchange for a pair of rookie-ball prospects.

The Mets, who began the season with a $353 million payroll, are 48-54 and seven games behind the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds for the last two wild-card spots.

“It’s a tough blow, but it’s the nature of the business,” said Canha, who like Robertson is an impending free agent. “I think we were all expecting it at some point. Not surprising. Still hurts, though.”

The Mets, who had four warning track outs against Nationals starter Josiah Gray, tied the score by stringing together three straight one-out singles — the last an RBI hit into right field by Daniel Vogelbach — against Mason Thompson (3-4). DJ Stewart was then plunked by a pitch to load the bases and Thompson was removed for Kyle Finnegan moments before umpires motioned the teams off the field.

After play resumed, Canha hit Finnegan’s fifth pitch to deep right field and Pete Alonso beat the throw home.

“I was watching Mark during the rain delay — he was down the runway, we have a little place to stay loose in the cage,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Spent the whole time in there. Not many people I’d rather have up in that situation.”

David Peterson (3-7) allowed three hits in two innings before Brooks Raley notched his second save with a hitless ninth.

Neither Gray nor Mets starter Kodai Senga factored into the decisions following strong six-inning outings. Gray gave up two hits and struck out four while Senga allowed one run on two hits with five strikeouts.

Keibert Ruiz had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning for the Nationals, who left the bases loaded against Senga in the sixth and stranded eight runners overall. Lane Thomas hit into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners against Peterson in the seventh.

“We get guys on third base with less than two outs, in games like this, those runs are important,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We’ve got to have better at-bats. Any way you can to get the ball in the outfield, we’ve got to do a better job of that.”


Torrential rains accompanied by heavy winds arrived moments after the teams exited the field at 9:45 p.m. EDT. The tarp came loose along the first base line and the Mets’ grounds crew worked frantically in the downpour to secure it.


Three Mets batters were hit by pitches, increasing their league-leading total to 72. New York set a major league record by being hit by 112 pitches last season.


SNY’s cameras captured Ruiz changing undershirts during the top of the sixth inning. The first pitch temperature was 90 degrees.


Nationals: RHP Tanner Rainey (Tommy John surgery) and RHP Carl Edwards Jr. (right shoulder) are scheduled to throw simulated games Friday. ... RHP Thaddeus Ward (right shoulder) is throwing from 105 feet and is slated for a bullpen session Friday.

Mets: RF Starling Marte (migraines) is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list but isn’t expected to be activated anytime soon. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is progressing well and indicated a timetable for Marte could become clearer once his partner gives birth to the couple’s child. ... RHP Sam Coonrod (right lat), who has been out all season, is expected to pitch next for Triple-A Syracuse after four scoreless appearances with Single-A St. Lucie. ... OF Tim Locastro (back) is hitting in the cage and is scheduled to hit outside this weekend.


LHP MacKenzie Gore (6-7, 4.37 ERA) will start for the Nationals against RHP Max Scherzer (8-4, 4.20 ERA) in the second game of the four-game set on Friday night.