Ex-Red Sox Chris Carter, Jason Bay Send Mets Past Nationals 8-6

NEW YORK — Pinch-hitter Chris Carter, just called up from the minors, delivered a tiebreaking double in his first at-bat for the Mets and New York scored six runs in the eighth inning to rally past the Washington Nationals 8-6 on Tuesday night.

Jason Bay and David Wright led the charge, lifting New York out of its recent offensive doldrums with three hits apiece. Four relievers combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings as the Mets climbed out of a 6-1 hole following a poor start by Jonathon Niese.

Raul Valdes (1-0) worked the eighth for his first major league win and Francisco Rodriguez got three quick outs for his fifth save.

Rookie first baseman Ike Davis turned in a spectacular catch on a game-ending foulout, tumbling into the New York dugout to make a dangerous grab for the second time in five days.

Jeff Francoeur drove in two runs and Hisanori Takahashi provided another stellar effort in long relief, tossing two shutout innings to keep the Mets in it.

New York was down by four when Bay opened the eighth with a single off Brian Bruney. Wright followed with his second double and Davis hit an RBI grounder that shortstop Ian Desmond threw away for an error.

Tyler Clippard (6-1) struck out Francoeur, but Rod Barajas hit a two-run double high off the left-field fence that barely missed being a tying homer.

Alex Cora dropped down a perfect bunt single and the Mets were in business, trailing 6-5 with runners at the corners and one out. Angel Pagan tied it with a single and Carter yanked a line drive down the right-field line, pumping his first as he pulled into second base.

Acquired from Boston last season as a player to be named in the trade that sent reliever Billy Wagner to the Red Sox, Carter had a strong spring for the Mets but did not make the opening-day roster.

He was called up from Triple-A Buffalo, where he was hitting .336 with six homers and 22 RBIs, when New York designated reserve outfielder Frank Catalanotto for assignment after Monday night's loss.

Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer and Ivan Rodriguez had a two-run single for the Nationals, who had won three straight.

Washington starter Scott Olsen shook off a line drive that hit him on the ankle in the second inning, then was lifted in the sixth with a five-run cushion. It was another solid outing by the left-hander, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his previous start against Atlanta.

Four batters into the game, Washington was up 3-0. Cristian Guzman drew a one-out walk before Ryan Zimmerman singled and Dunn lofted a 3-0 pitch into the front row of seats in the right-field corner.

Wright's low liner hit Olsen on the left ankle in the second and caromed away for an infield single. A hobbled Olsen was slow to get back to his feet, but he threw one warmup pitch and remained in the game.

The lefty then started a 1-6-3 double play on Davis' comebacker and yielded only one run in the inning, on Francoeur's two-out RBI single.

Francoeur also had a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Mets CF Carlos Beltran (knee surgery) has started limited baseball activities, such as swinging a bat and light jogging, at the team's complex in Florida. 1B Daniel Murphy (sprained right knee) is playing in extended spring training games and reliever Ryota Igarashi (left hamstring) is throwing bullpens, club spokesman Jay Horwitz said. … Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said LHP John Lannan (left elbow discomfort) will be limited to 100 pitches when he returns to the rotation Thursday night at Colorado.

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