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Chirinos homers as Mets maintain playoff hopes, top Nats 3-2

Robinson Chirinos homered and drove in three runs, and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Thursday night to keep their flickering postseason hopes alive.

The Mets (26-31) moved within 2 1/2 games of Miami (28-28) for second place in the NL East and within 2 1/2 games of San Francisco (28-28) for the NL’s second wild card spot.

Lefthander David Peterson (6-2) closed his rookie season with his longest outing, going seven innings and allowing four hits and one run while striking out four. Justin Wilson worked the eighth, and Edwin Diaz gave up a two-out, RBI single to Yadiel Hernandez in the ninth but escaped further trouble for his sixth save.

New York Mets' Wilson Ramos (40), Edwin Diaz (39), Robinson Cano (24), Robinson Chirinos, far right, and others celebrate after a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. The Mets won 3-2. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Chirinos, acquired from Texas on Aug. 31, began the day hitting .149 with no homers and four RBIs in 67 at-bats between his two stops this season. But he belted a two-run homer off Washington starter Patrick Corbin (2-7) in the fifth, then legged out a two-out, RBI infield single an inning later to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Corbin threw a season-high 113 pitches over seven innings, yielding 10 hits and three runs while striking out three. Corbin was 0-5 with a 5.64 ERA in five September starts for the Nationals, who were eliminated from the playoffs Wednesday.

Josh Harrison’s RBI single in the fourth accounted for Washington’s first run.

New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) and catcher Robinson Chirinos, left, celebrate after a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. The Mets won 3-2. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: New York placed OF Michael Conforto (left hamstring tightness) on the injured list, ending his regular season. Conforto was hitting a career-high .322 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs. He entered Thursday sixth in the National League in on-base percentage (.412), tied for eighth in runs (40) and ninth in batting average. … INF Luis Guillorme was recalled to take Conforto’s roster spot.

Nationals: 3B Carter Kieboom said he does not anticipate requiring surgery for his bruised left wrist. Kieboom was injured when he was hit by a pitch Monday and was placed on the injured list the next day.

New York Mets' Robinson Chirinos, right, slides safely into first against Washington Nationals starting pitcher Patrick Corbin (46) during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. The Mets won 3-2. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

WELCOME REMINDER

Despite his team’s elimination from postseason contention, Washington manager Dave Martinez intends to point out to his players what they’ve accomplished in the recent past.

“I’ll remind them that other than not making the playoffs this year, we did win the World Series in 2019," Martinez said. "That means a lot. That doesn’t go away. Let’s come back in 2021 and do it again.”

New York Mets' Dominic Smith (2) gestures toward the dugout as he kneels at second with a double next to Washington Nationals third baseman Josh Harrison (5) during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Then he pointed to a massive ring on his right hand. “I have this to remind me, too, by the way,” Martinez said.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Rick Porcello (1-6, 5.46 ERA) has struggled in his first season with New York, but his only victory came at Washington on Aug. 5 when he allowed one run in seven innings.

New York Mets' Robinson Chirinos celebrates his two-run home run during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (4-4, 3.67) would finish with a winning record for the 11th consecutive season --- tying Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw for the longest active such streak --- if he beats the Mets in his final start of 2020.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Washington Nationals' Kurt Suzuki runs toward home to score on a single by Josh Harrison during the fourth inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Mets, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson winds up during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Patrick Corbin throws during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Mets, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)