Taijuan Walker pitched through some apparent discomfort to toss seven scoreless innings and the New York Mets won another series with a 4-1 victory over the host Washington Nationals on Thursday afternoon.
Mark Canha had three hits — including a homer — and three RBIs for the Mets, who are unbeaten in 10 series this season with nine wins and a four-game split with the Atlanta Braves last week. They took two of three from the Nationals.
New York is the first National League team — and the second one in the majors, after the crosstown Yankees — to reach 22 victories.
The Nationals have lost six of eight.
Walker (1-0) was stretching constantly on the mound following a two-run top of the first by the Mets and was also pictured wearing a wrap around his back between innings. But the right-hander pitched to contact in throwing just 85 pitches while allowing three hits and one walk with one strikeout.
It was the longest scoreless outing for Walker since he also blanked the Nationals on three hits over seven innings on April 25, 2021.
The Nationals ran their way out of their best scoring chance in the fourth, when Juan Soto doubled before he got caught in a rundown on Josh Bell’s grounder to third. Walker applied the tag on Soto and then threw into right field trying to get Bell as he advanced to second. But Starling Marte backed up the throw and fired to shortstop Francisco Lindor, who tagged Bell as he tried reaching third.
Seth Lugo struck out two in a perfect eighth and Edwin Diaz struck out two before giving up a two-out homer to Soto in the ninth.
The Mets provided Walker all the offense he’d need in the first, when Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil drew walks against Joan Adon (1-6) before Canha laced a two-out, two-run single.
Canha sparked the rally that chased Adon in the fourth, when the left fielder legged out an infield single, went to second when J.D. Davis was hit by a pitch, took third on a double-play grounder by Luis Guillorme and scored on Tomas Nido’s single.
Canha then greeted Steve Cishek with a leadoff homer in the ninth.
Adon allowed three runs on three hits and five walks while striking out two over 3 2/3 innings.
–Field Level Media