WASHINGTON - With their season potentially spiraling out of control, the Mets needed an explosive performance from someone, somewhere. Not surprisingly, their All-Star third baseman was the Wright man for the job.
David Wright smashed two home runs and drove in five runs, and R.A. Dickey earned his NL-leading 13th victory, as the Mets ended their season-worst losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
Entering the game with six straight losses, including five on their post All-Star break road trip, the Mets (47-45) turned an expected pitcher's duel between Dickey and fellow All-Star Gio Gonzalez into a one-sided affair. Five Mets had two hits, including Wright and Ike Davis, who smacked a second-inning home run.
The win moves New York within seven games of the NL East-leading Nationals (53-37).
During the first two games of the series, New York failed to score in 13 innings against Washington's starters. Versus Gonzalez, the Mets scored in each of the first four innings for a 9-1 lead.
"That's something that we struggled with, this series especially, scoring runs early," said Wright, who leads the majors with a .387 road batting average. "It's nice to be able to jump on a guy who could go onto win the Cy Young. They've had great pitching, so to be able to jump on them early and have R.A. coast a little bit, I think that was big for us."
After homering in his final at-bat in Wednesday's 4-3 loss, Wright, facing Gonzalez for the first time in his career, stroked a two-run blast in the first inning.
"I know [Gio has] shut us down in the past and I know he's shut pretty much everybody in the National League down this year," Wright said. "Anytime a true number one like that kind of allows you to score early, you got to take advantage of that."
After being intentionally walked during the Mets two-run third and with Nationals already dipping into their bullpen, Wright mashed a three-run bomb against reliever Craig Stammen for his first multi-homer game and 16th of the season.
"David, it's incredible the run he's had this season so far," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's really something."
In his shortest start of the season, Gonzalez (12-5) surrendered six runs on six hits, including two home runs with three walks over 3 1/3 innings. The left-hander has received a decision in 17 straight starts, the last two being losses.
"Well, it was one of those days he didn't have too much, didn't have much command," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "A lot of things weren't going for him. Just one of those days. One out of a hundred. He's been outstanding."
Dickey (13-1), who entered the day tied with Gonzalez and two others for the Major League lead in wins, scattered 10 hits over 7 1/3 innings, surrendering four runs -- three earned. Other than Ryan Zimmerman's solo home run in the first, the knuckleballer avoided damage over the first five frames. Dickey, who allowed five earned runs in three of his previous four starts, struck out five before the crowd of 36,389.
"Gio's a good pitcher so going into the game you think 'I might get two or three [runs of support], but I'm not going to get anymore than that,'" said Dickey, who said the immediate cushion allowed him to throw more fastballs than usual. "As a pitcher, you know that you're going to have to be on point, so to get an early lead in the first was nice."
Against Dickey and three relievers, Washington batted around in the eighth, scoring two. Pitching to Bryce Harper with the bases loaded, two outs and a 9-4 lead, Josh Edgin induced the 19-year-old rookie into a soft fly ball out to right.
Michael Morse had a double and two RBIs for the Nationals. Roger Bernadina's RBI infield single in the ninth came against Bobby Parnell, the Mets fifth and final pitcher.
Davis' 14th homer of the season led off the second, and his two-out single in the third plated Andres Torres for a 4-1 lead. Hoping to flip the script, Johnson removed Gonzalez with one out and one on in the fourth. Stammen promptly gave up a run-scoring single and a walk before serving up Wright's second home run.
When it comes to the Mets slugger, Johnson and the Nationals received the message being delivered throughout the National League.
"Nobody matches up that good against David Wright right now," Johnson said.
NOTES: Before the game, Washington activated RHP Drew Storen from the disabled list, recalled C Sandy Leon from Double-A Harrisburg, designated OF Rick Ankiel for assignment and placed C Jhonatan Solano (oblique) on the disabled list. ... The Nationals leader with 43 saves last season, Storen pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his first appearance this season following elbow surgery. Leon entered the game as defensive replacement and later singled in the seventh for his first Major League hit. ... Throwing errors by Dickey and Wright snapped the Mets season-high 11-game errorless streak. ... New York returns home Friday with Johan Santana opening a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Washington hosts second-place Atlanta for a four-games-in-three-days series.
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