WASHINGTON — Rookie Bryce Harper hit a winning single with two outs in the 12th inning to give the Nationals a 7-6 victory over the Mets on Tuesday night.
Scott Hairston hit a solo homer in the top half to give New York a 6-5 lead before Washington rallied.
Michael Morse led off with his second double of the game, and Ian Desmond followed with another double for his third RBI.
Elvin Ramirez walked two batters to load the bases, and Xavier Nady's fielder's choice left the bases loaded with two outs for Harper, who lined an 0-and-2 pitch to leftfield. The ball fell just in front of a diving Vinny Rottino.
The Nationals are alone atop the National League East, a game ahead of Miami and 1½ in front of the Mets.
Both managers emptied their bullpens as the game wore on. Ross Detwiler came on in the 11th and was the Nationals' eighth pitcher. Ramirez, the Mets' sixth, was making his second major-league appearance.
In the 10th, both teams took advantage of miscues to score. Hairston led off with a single and later scored on a wild pitch by Henry Rodriguez, his ninth in 21 innings this season, to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
The Nationals tied it in the bottom half thanks to two errors by shortstop Jordany Valdespin and a wild pitch by Bobby Parnell.
Ryan Zimmerman reached on one of Valdespin's errors, later took third on the wild pitch and scored on another error when Desmond's grounder bounced off Valdespin's glove. The Nationals loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, but Rick Ankiel struck out swinging.
The Mets fell behind 3-0 after five innings and started their comeback with solo home runs by David Wright and Valdespin in the sixth. Andres Torres hit a two-run double in the eighth to give New York a 4-3 lead.
Desmond tied it at 4 with an RBI single in the eighth.
Lost in the back-and-forth was the strong effort from Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann, who has pitched at least six innings in each of his 11 starts this season. Zimmermann held the Mets scoreless through five before giving up the homers.