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LaRoche powers Nationals past Mets

June 06, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Edwin Jackson pitched seven effective innings, Adam LaRoche hit a three-run homer and the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Jackson (2-3) allowed three runs, two earned, and three hits to earn his first win since April 14 against Cincinnati. The right-hander was 0-3 with a 3.33 ERA in his previous eight starts.

Sean Burnett pitched a perfect eighth and Tyler Clippard worked the ninth for his fifth save in six chances, completing a three-hitter.

Lucas Duda drove in a run and walked twice for New York, which has lost three straight. David Wright, Ike Davis and Kirk Nieuwenhuis had the Mets’ only hits.

LaRoche got the first-place Nationals off to a fast start, belting his ninth homer in the first inning against Jeremy Hefner (1-3). Bryce Harper reached on an error by second baseman Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman walked before LaRoche hit a drive into the right-field bullpen.

LaRoche also drove in the Nationals’ final run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

The Mets got on the board in the third. Omar Quintanilla reached on a leadoff walk, advanced on Hefner’s sacrifice and scored on Nieuwenhuis’ single.

Wright singled and scored on Duda’s groundout in the fourth and Quintanilla had a run-scoring bouncer in the seventh but that was it against Jackson, who struck out six and walked four.

Hefner allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in six innings.

Michael Morse also had an RBI single in the fifth for Washington.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Morse, who played his fourth game after returning from a strained back muscle, likely would DH when the team plays at Boston on Friday.

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