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Hernandez helps Mets beat Nationals 6-2

Courtesy of the Associated Press | 7/21/2009, 12:11 p.m.

Nats Still Winless after All-Star Break
Livan Hernandez threw seven solid innings and Jeff Francoeur hit his first homer with the Mets, leading New York to a 6-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

Francoeur finished with three hits and two RBIs for injury-riddled New York, which scored five times in the first two innings. The Mets have scored six runs or more just six times in 25 games since All-Star center fielder Carlos Beltran went on the disabled list on June 22.
Hernandez (6-5) allowed two runs and five hits to end a four-game losing streak and earn his first win since June 7 at Washington. The right-hander also improved to 8-1 with a 2.74 ERA against the Nationals in his career.

Washington has lost six straight to lower its major league-worst record to 26-66 and is 0-5 since Jim Riggleman became interim manager a week ago.

The Mets pushed across two runs in the first and three in the second against J.D. Martin (0-1), who was making his major league debut. Daniel Murphy had an RBI single and Francoeur doubled in a run in the first. Angel Pagan and Luis Castillo had two-out RBI singles in the second, and Murphy followed with a run-scoring double.

Josh Bard hit a two-run double in the fourth for the Nationals but that was it against Hernandez, who is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA against Washington this season. Pedro Feliciano and Sean Green combined to work the eighth before Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth.

The 26-year-old Martin, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday, allowed five runs and eight hits in four innings.

Francoeur led off the ninth with his sixth homer and first since he was acquired by New York in a trade with Atlanta on July 11.

NOTES:
New York general manager Omar Minaya said that Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon recently gave him and manager Jerry Manuel a vote of confidence. ... The Mets placed RHP Fernando Nieve on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right thigh. He's expected to miss at least six weeks. Nieve suffered the injury running the bases in Sunday's loss in Atlanta. OF Cory Sullivan was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.

... LHP Scott Olsen, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury, saw Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and Riggleman said there was damage to his labrum. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman was given the night off by Riggleman. ... OF Gary Sheffield, who's missed the last three games with cramping in his hamstring, may be ready to play on Tuesday, Manuel said.

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