In the eighth inning of Monday night's tense 3-2 win over the New York Mets, Washington Nationals right fielder Roger Bernadina could not get a sacrifice bunt down, eventually striking out, and leaving even more questions about his fitness for the major leagues.

Tuesday night, reliever Tyler Clippard could only manage one out from five batters as he coughed up a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning.

What a difference a couple of days make.

Bernadina hit two home runs (first of his career), including a two-run shot in the top of the ninth, and made an impressive diving catch with the game tied and the bases loaded in the fifth inning to lead the Nats over their division rival 6-4, before 33,024 at soggy Citifield in Queens, New York.

And Clippard, the goggled herky-jerky reliever, threw a perfect eighth inning to get the win, his seventh of the season, before handing things over to Matt Capps for his league-leading 14th save of the year.

The slightly built Bernadina crushed the second shot, clearing the bullpen in right center field, off Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez.  He finished 3-for-5 on the day with three RBIs.

The crazy thing is that despite his three hits, Bernadina still left six runners on base in the two at bats he made outs.

As important as his home runs were, the catch was probably the biggest play of the game.

Starter Craig Stammen worked himself into a jam in the fifth, giving up two runs on an a pair of doubles wrapped around a single.  The Nats righty then proceeded to load the bases on a fielder's choice and two walks, which brought up right fielder Jeff Francoeur.

Stammen got the count to 2-2 before Francoeur laced a sinking liner toward the right field line.  Bernadina tracked it down and laid out for it in the wet outfield grass, robbing Francoeur of what surely would have been a bases-clearing extra-base hit.

Stammen had a tough go of it today in the murky glom that was Citifield.  Game time tempature was 48 degrees, and a misty rain fell thoughout the game, making it difficult to get any feel for breaking balls. 

Stammen finished five innings, and escaped allowing four earned runs on six hits and four walks, striking out just two. 

The Nats starter was actually more efficient at the plate.  He went 2-for-2 with three RBIs, plating all the Nats runs on the day that Bernadina did not.  It was the first time a pitcher for the franchise drove in three since Guillermo Mota did the trick June 9, 1999 for the Expos.

The Nats now make their way to Colorado with yet another series win under their belts.  The win raises their season record to 19-15, once again securing sole possession of second place in the division.

John Lannan (1-1) makes his return to the rotation after missing a start due to inflammation in his elbow against rookie Jhoulys Chacin (1-0) for the Rockies.  Game time is 8:40 EDT.

NATS NOTES:  Jason Marquis, signed to a two-year, $15 million contract as a free agent this off-season, is scheduled for surgery on Friday to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow, according to several sources.  He had a rehab start at Class-A Potomac Tuesday night, but told reporters today at Citifield that his elbow "locked up" on him and doctors agreed that the surgery was necessary.

Cristian Guzman and Adam Dunn both had two hits today.

Ryan Zimmerman committed his third error of the season, misplaying a grounder in the wet infield late in the game.  It did not lead to a score.

Sean Burnett and Tyler Walker threw a one-hit scoreless inning each.

All of Washington's six runs were driven in with two outs in the inning.