MLB Wrap: Nats beat Mets for sixth straight win

MLB Wrap: Nats beat Mets for sixth straight win
September 12, 2013, 11:45 pm
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The Nationals are 5 1/2 games back of the second NL wild-card spot after beating the Mets on Thursday. (AP)

NEW YORK -- As bad as his back felt Thursday, Davey Johnson was all smiles after what most likely was his final trip to New York as a big league manager.

His Nationals made it real easy for him to grin.

Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos homered off Aaron Harang in his Mets debut, and Washington beat New York 7-2 Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.

"A lot of fun, a lot of fun," Johnson said. "A lot of good things all around," (see full recap).

Locke bounces back in Pirates' win
PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Locke insists he didn't need a confidence boost after a late summer swoon. A return to basics and a little help from his teammates provided one anyway.

Flashing the form that made him a surprise All-Star in July, Locke allowed three hits over seven innings to earn his first victory in nearly two months as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Thursday night.

"Nothing's really changed with me mentally," Locke said. "I still try to go out and be aggressive. Tonight was an example of everything working out the way you'd like it to," (see full recap).

A's top Twins to extend AL West lead
MINNEAPOLIS -- With Josh Reddick back and hitting home runs, the Oakland Athletics are bringing some more muscle and a bigger lead into a crucial weekend series.

Reddick homered and had three RBIs, A.J. Griffin allowed just two hits in seven innings, and the A's beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 Thursday afternoon to increase their division lead to 3 1/2 games over idle Texas in the American League West. It is Oakland's largest lead over the Rangers since Aug. 3. The teams are to scheduled play a three-game series this weekend in the Lone Star State.

"We know it's an important series, but we're not going to sweat about it," Reddick said. "We know we can beat those guys," (see full recap).

Garcia leads Braves past Marlins
MIAMI -- The game had all the earmarks of low-stakes September baseball, with a small crowd and two spot starters in a matchup of first- and last-place teams.

Bring on Freddy Garcia.

The well-traveled 36-year-old right-hander earned his second NL victory since 2007, and his first since he joined the Atlanta Braves last month, pitching six innings to help beat Miami 6-1 Thursday.

"Freddy wore the MVP pants today," teammate Freddie Freeman said. "What he did was pretty awesome," (see full recap).

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