"It's nice to win a one-run game." -- Ryan Zimmerman, moments after his game-winning sacrifice fly.

Nationals celebrate 2-1 victory over New York Mets. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

THE RESULT:  Coming off a brutal month of June and a 1-5 road trip, the Washington Nationals really needed to get this 10-game home stand to a good start. 

In a tight, tense game, the Nats finally came through with runners in scoring position and beat the New York Mets 2-1 with a ninth inning rally that sent 20,167 home from Nationals Park with smiles on their faces.

The win raises the Nationals record to 35-45.

The Nats used a little "small ball" in the ninth to score the decisive run.  With one out, pinch-hitter Willie Harris coaxed a walk on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Pedro Feliciano (L, 2-4).  Nyjer Morgan then dragged a bunt past Feliciano which drew first baseman Ike Davis off the bag.  Davis fielded the bunt and threw to second baseman Alex Cora covering, but it was too late to catch the speedy Morgan.

Nyjer Morgan beats out bunt in ninth inning. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

Cristian Guzman followed with a hard-hit single to left, but Harris didn't get a great jump, concerned that the line drive might have held up to be caught.  But it fell in front of left fielder Jesus Feliciano and he made a strong throw to home, making third base coach Pat Listach's decision to hold Harris that much easier.

Now with the bases loaded and one out, Ryan Zimmerman came to the plate, but not before Mets manager Jerry Manuel called upon Ryota Igarshi -- not his closer Francisco Rodriguez.  Manuel also put on a bit of a strange defense, aligning five infielders in an extreme attempt at a force at home or double play.

Zimmerman looked at two balls from Igarashi, then lifted a fly ball deep enough to right field that Harris was able to slide across the plate before Jeff Francouer's throw got there.

"You don't want to get away from what you do," Zimmerman told the media. "If you try to pull the ball too much, you hit into a double play. You kind of take what they give you. Once I got 2-0, I was obviously in the driver's seat. I was just trying to drive the ball to right-center like I always do."

Zimmerman's heroics made a winner out of Matt Capps (W, 1-3), who pitched a scoreless ninth inning. 

Manager Jim Riggleman made special mention of Harris' effort in his post-game remarks.  "Regardless of what his numbers say across the board, [Harris] grinds out an at-bat for you," Riggleman said. "That was huge."

The excitement in the final frame should not overshadow the pitching duel between Livan Hernandez and Johan Santana.

Livan Hernandez delivers against the New York Mets.  (Photo by Ian Koski/Nats Daily News)

The crafty veterans traded turns pitching in and out of trouble all night.  Both went seven innings, and both allowed their share of baserunners, but both allowed just one earned run.  Hernandez did not walk a batter and struck out seven, while Santana gave out two free passes and whiffed seven.

THE GOOD:  Morgan went 2-for-5 and drove in the Nats first run with a solid single to left field, plating Ian Desmond from third.  Desmond went 2-for-4 himself, including a double that missed being a home run by a matter of inches. 

The blast hit off the wall in right center where there is a funky angle, and instead of bouncing back toward the field, it caromed away from the field toward the visitor's bullpen.  Manager Jim Riggleman thought it went out and asked for a video review.

"I saw fans standing there like they were ready to catch that ball and I just knew that ball was gone. ... I was shocked that ball stayed in; that's why I had them review it. I thought it had to hit back there on that concrete somewhere," he said of Desmond's drive.

THE BAD:  Michael Morse went 0-for-3 and left three runners on before being lifted for a defensive replacement late in the game.

THE UGLY:  The Nats won, but the hitting troubles continued, as they went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.  That's just not getting it done.

NEXT GAME:  Friday is game two of the four-game series.