WASHINGTON – The banged-up Washington Nationals have been relying on their bench players to help keep them atop the NL East.
Danny Espinosa and Michael Taylor were the latest fill-ins to come through.
Taylor had a tying two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning, Espinosa followed with an RBI double and the Nationals rallied from three runs down to beat the New York Mets 4-3 on Wednesday.
"We trust everybody that's on this team," Espinosa said. "There wasn't any panic there. [We] root for the next guy and keep on grinding."
Already minus four everyday players and righthander Stephen Strasburg, Washington lost third baseman Yunel Escobar to an apparent left hand or wrist injury during his at-bat in the second inning. X-rays were negative, but Escobar will have further tests.
Espinosa, who has been subbing for injured second baseman Anthony Rendon, moved to third base and Dan Uggla took over at second.
Taylor has been filling in for injured center fielder Denard Span. Taylor was 1-for-21 on the homestand until he singled home Ian Desmond in the fourth to pull Washington to 3-1.
The Mets had scored three times in the top of the inning on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' two-run double and Kevin Plawecki's run-scoring hit off Jordan Zimmermann.
"We lose two to these guys, it's a whole different clubhouse right now," Zimmermann said. "They got their big three [Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard] going against us. For us to win two out of three was definitely big."
After a wild pitch from Bobby Parnell put runners on second and third in the eighth, Taylor hit a fastball to left to tie it.
"I'm looking for a [fastball] and trying to be as patient as possible," Taylor said.
Taylor then stole second base before Espinosa's game-winning hit.
Mets manager Terry Collins blamed himself for the defeat.
"That's on me," Collins said. "I could've let [closer] Jeurys [Familia] get looser. You can always send the catcher out and do some other things. [Bobby's] just been pitching so good, I had all the confidence in the world he'd get out of it."