Nats rookie burns Mets in rubber game

Washington Nationals' Cristian Guzman (15), left, and Adam Washington Nationals' Cristian Guzman (15), left, and Adam Dunn (44) right, are greeted by on-deck batter Adam Kennedy (20) after they scored on a second inning two-run single by pitcher Craig Stammen. (May 12, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

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Rookie Roger Bernadina hit a two-run home run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning to give the Nationals a 6-4 win over the Mets on Wednesday at Citi Field.

Bernadina was the star of a dreary, cold, rainy afternoon in Queens. Earlier, he hit his first major-league home run, a solo shot off Mike Pelfrey. And he made a diving catch in rightfield to save three runs when the Mets rallied to tie the game in the fifth inning.

Rodriguez (2-1) entered a 4-4 game in the ninth and gave up a one-out single to Cristian Guzman before Bernadina connected with two outs on a no-doubter into the Washington bullpen in right-centerfield.

The Nationals won the rubber match of the three-game series. Tyler Clippard, who took the loss in Tuesday's 8-6 Mets victory, improved to 7-1. Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 14th save.

After Pelfrey recorded his first five outs via strikeout, the Nationals took a 2-0 lead in the second on pitcher Craig Stammen's two-out, two-run single past a diving David Wright.

Pelfrey got one of the runs back in the second with an RBI single of his own, this one a live drive past a diving shortstop Guzman. Angel Pagan's sacrifice fly tied the game at 2.

Bernadina's first major-league home run in the fourth gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead. Stammen singled in another run in the inning for a two-run advantage.

The Mets tied it in the fifth. Pagan doubled and scored on a single by Alex Cora. Jose Reyes followed with a game-tying double to right.

The Mets loaded the bases with two outs when Jeff Francoeur sent a drive to right that Bernadina made a spectacular diving catch on going toward the rightfield line. The play saved three runs and kept the game even.

Pelfrey went 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Stammen was out after five innings. He allowed four runs and drove in three. His ERA is 5.84 and his batting average is .357.

The Mets open a four-game series at Florida on Thursday with Johan Santana facing Josh Johnson.

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