NEW YORK (AP) Stalking off the mound, Gio Gonzalez slammed the ball hard into Matt Williams' hand without a word.
Back in the dugout, Gonzalez had a little more to say to the Washington manager. The pitcher covered his mouth with a towel for a brief - and lively - chat with Williams.
''He was upset, and I understand it,'' Williams said after the Nationals lost to the New York Mets 4-3 Friday night.
Gonzalez was pulled with two outs and no one on base in the seventh inning when Williams wanted a reliever to face Juan Lagares. In the fifth, Lagares hit a tiebreaking double that helped end the Nationals' 12-game winning streak at Citi Field.
''We tried our best to diffuse it,'' Gonzalez said. ''It's not bigger than it is.''
''There's two sides of that story, too,'' he said.
Williams said he realized his lefty wanted to stay in the game. Asked whether he spoke to Gonzalez about showing such emotion, Williams said: ''That's part of the game, and that was our discussion.''
The Mets' losing streak at Citi Field versus Washington dated to last season, and was their longest in team history against a visiting club.
''Well, it is really nice, and we have played them good. They are just really tough,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
''There has been a lot of nights where we have had them late in the game and then they come back, do some big damage against us,'' he said.
Washington almost did it again in the ninth inning. Denard Span led off with a single against Jenrry Mejia, and Asdrubal Cabrera flied out to the wall. After Span stole his 30th base, Mejia struck out Anthony Rendon, walked Adam LaRoche and then fanned Ian Desmond for his 26th save in 28 chances.
Rendon got three hits, including his 20th homer - which came after a replay reversal. Washington has outhomered the Mets 32-6 over their last 13 meetings in New York.
Dillon Gee (7-7) and a trio of Mets relievers ended the drought, aided when Lagares drove in Eric Young Jr. for a 4-3 lead.
Travis d'Arnaud put New York ahead with a bases-loaded double in the first off Gonzalez (8-10). Three runs scored on the hit, with Lucas Duda kicking the ball out of catcher Wilson Ramos' glove for an error.
In his last eight games, d'Arnaud has five doubles and seven RBIs.
LaRoche and Ramos hit RBI singles in the third, and Rendon hit a solo homer in the fifth that made it 3-all.
Gee gave up nine hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings. Carlos Torres threw a double-play ball to end the sixth and worked the seventh, Jeurys Familia pitched the eighth and Mejia closed.
Lagares also singled, was hit by a pitch and stole a base.
Mets rookie second baseman Dilson Herrera boxed around several grounders. But he also went back for a tricky catch on Cabrera's soft liner with the bases loaded to end the second.
A day after Bartolo Colon was ejected for hitting two Washington batters with pitches following home runs and a Mets batter got nicked, Williams predicted there wouldn't be any carry-over from the ''shenanigans.''
There were a couple of early HBPs, but no hostility. Lagares was plunked by Washington for the third straight series, and Span was hit by Gee on a pitch that bounced.
Nationals: RF Jayson Werth didn't start, a day after he was hit above the left elbow by a pitch from Colon. Williams said Werth wasn't out because of the plunking, rather it was a day of rest for ''dead legs.''
Mets: 2B Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup, a day after he was hit in the left wrist by a pitch from Nationals reliever Matt Thornton. Collins said the wrist was swollen, but that Murphy said he thought he'd miss only one day.
Nationals: RHP Doug Fister (13-6, 2.53 ERA) starts Saturday night. He beat Atlanta in his most recent outing, ending a four-start winless string.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (10-9, 3.38) gets the ball Saturday night. He won at Washington on Aug. 5 and is 2-4 against the Nationals overall.
Collins challenged after Desmond was ruled safe at first in the fifth inning, beating out a double-play relay. The review upheld the call. Desmond promptly stole second but overslid the bag and appeared to get tagged before he returned to the bag. With the Mets out of challenges, though, Desmond was safe again.