The Nationals lost another game Sunday afternoon, losing 6-4 to the Atlanta Braves.
It was the sixth straight loss by the Braves, who have won seven straight and have now won the past four meetings in Washington.
The Nationals were unable to score, and the Braves led 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth.
“It was just a big game, a big one, and we’re all frustrated,” Bryce Harper said.
“We know what we have to do to get it done.
We know what’s on the line.”
The Nationals are just four games out of the wild card spot, but they’ve still been outscored by a combined 15 runs, with seven of those coming by one run.
The team’s only win came in last week’s season-opening win over the Giants.
The Braves are coming off their worst start since 2008.
They’re also 1-14 since moving to Atlanta, which is two games out from the second wild card.
Harper, who was batting .273 with two homers and 10 RBIs in the loss, had his first career game-ending RBI in the fourth inning.
“You can’t just play like you are going to win every single time, so you have to stay focused,” Harper said of playing in the last game.
“I felt like I played my best game of the season.
It felt good to finish the season out like I did.”
The Braves scored four runs in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 7-5.
Braves starter Kevin Paredes allowed six hits and four runs on eight hits and one walk over six innings.
“They were throwing it a little too much, too quick,” Paredis said.
Braves second baseman Daniel Robertson led off with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly.
“That’s one of my goals, is to get to the next inning, and I did that,” Robertson said.
The Giants had three runners on in the sixth inning when third baseman Mike Napoli singled in Harper, making it 6-3.
Napoli also singled in two runs in his first big league start, and shortstop Freddie Freeman tripled and scored to give the Braves a 7-3 lead in the top of the sixth.
The Mets scored two runs on a double by Yoenis Cespedes in the seventh, then Harper hit a sacrifice bunt to center field and Perez hit a single to left field to make it a 7.
The game was tied at 4-4 after the Braves’ Matt Kemp hit a two-run double to left to give him four RBIs.
The next three runs came on singles by Harper and Cespede.
“He’s one hell of a hitter,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Harper.
“A guy that can hit a home run with his bat, it’s just a question of if he can keep it up.”
The Mets rallied from two runs down in the bottom half of the seventh when Harper walked in a run on a two in the ninth, then scored on another two-out single by Perez.
Harper hit an RBI double in the eighth to make the score 9-5 and Perez scored on the next two runs to make things 9-4.
In the ninth inning, Harper struck out the side to end the game.
Atlanta reliever Brandon Finnegan, who came in for Ryan Zimmerman in the first inning, was relieved by Ryan Zimmerman.
The loss was the Mets’ first since a 4-3 loss at Philadelphia on Aug. 28.
“The first inning was the biggest of the day,” Braves third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said.
Injuries limited Zimmerman to just five at-bats.
Zimmerman had an infield single to center and a double to right field in the second and third innings.
Braves third base coach Bill Carig had called Zimmerman a “very, very good hitter” in his Monday press conference.
The third baseman, who has made just one start this season, has been batting .308 with a .382 on-base percentage in 16 games.
Zimmerman has three homers, five RBIs and 14 runs scored in 25 games.
He has played in the past five games for the Nationals.
Bryce Harper hit his first homer of the year and his third since he returned from a three-week absence to help the Nationals win for the fourth time in five games.
The first two came with the Nationals trailing 3-0 in the third inning.
In that game, Harper drove in a single and scored a run before pinch hitter Hunter Renfroe singled in a two run homer to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Harper also homered in the inning, his first since hitting a two off of Braves starter Jordan Zimmermann in the 11th inning.
Bryce Zimmerman has had his season cut short by an injury.
Harper had two homers in the Nationals’ 2-0 win over Milwaukee on Aug, 28.
He had two more homers in Sunday’s game against Atlanta, but the Braves had five runs in that contest. “If you