NEW YORK -- Right-hander Rafael Soriano, not even 20 minutes removed from completing his 29th save of the season, muttered expletives to himself as he hastily dressed in the visitors' locker room Wednesday night at Citi Field.
A few minutes later and a few feet to his right, left fielder Kevin Frandsen -- who produced the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning of the Nationals' 3-2 win over the New York Mets -- grimaced as he stood in front of his locker.
It was that kind of night for the Nationals, whose 65th win was one they'd like to forget as soon as possible. Washington (65-53) tied a season high with three errors before surviving one of Soriano's roughest ninth innings of the year.
"We're going to have games like this every once in a while," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "The fact that we were able to overcome it is key."
The Nationals fell behind 1-0 in the fourth, when Frandsen's drop of a routine two-out fly ball to left by Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud allowed first baseman Lucas Duda to score from first.
Frandsen redeemed himself in the seventh, hitting a sacrifice fly two batters after right fielder Bryce Harper tied the game with his own sac fly.
"You could dig yourself a hole, or you could be a man and step up when the team needs it," Frandsen said. "It was an unfortunate play. You just drop it. It's not being lazy or anything -- just dropped it. That stuff happens.
"And fortunately I had a chance to come up with a big at-bat and got the guy in."
The Mets loaded the bases in the top of the seventh thanks largely to two more errors by the Nationals -- a misplay by first baseman Adam LaRoche of a sharp grounder by Duda and an errant pickoff throw into right field by catcher Wilson Ramos -- as well as right-hander Jordan Zimmermann's plunking of center fielder Juan Lagares.
But right-hander Drew Storen preserved the lead by getting shortstop Wilmer Flores to ground to third baseman Anthony Rendon, who forced Duda at home. Storen then struck out pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
"It was awesome," Zimmermann said. "We needed a ground ball and he got the ground ball. And he ... got the next guy out."
Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera gave the Nationals a vital insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth. In the ninth, Soriano -- pitching for the first time since Saturday and for just the fifth time this month -- surrendered a leadoff homer to d'Arnaud and a single to left fielder Matt den Dekker.
After Lagares popped out attempting to bunt, Flores singled to center as den Dekker raced to third. Eric Young pinch-ran for Flores and immediately stole second.
Pinch hitter Eric Campbell grounded to shortstop Ian Desmond, who fired home to get a sliding den Dekker. The out was upheld during a review called by crew chief Brian Gorman, who wanted to ensure there was no violation of Rule 7.1.3. Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson grounded back to Soriano on the next pitch to end the game.
The three hits allowed tied a season high for Soriano.
"Just a little off," Williams said of Soriano. "Regular work is key for guys. But sometimes, in a closer's role, you don't get it."
The Nationals, who have beaten the Mets 10 straight times at Citi Field, maintained their five-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East.
"They gave us every opportunity to get back in the game," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "And in the ninth inning, we certainly had a lot of opportunities. So yeah, this is a tough one because they gave us a chance to beat them tonight."
Zimmermann (8-5) allowed an unearned run on five hits and no walks while striking out four over 6 1/3 innings.
D'Arnaud, den Dekker and third baseman David Wright all had two hits each for the Mets, who fell to 57-64. New York's lone error -- a throwing miscue by Lagares -- led to one of the Nationals' seventh-inning runs.
Colon (11-10) allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and one walk while striking out eight over seven innings.
NOTES: Nationals RF Jayson Werth (sprained right shoulder) received a cortisone shot Wednesday and is expected to miss at least the next two games while waiting for the shot to take effect. Werth, who last played on Sunday, underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed no structural damage. ... Nationals CF Denard Span didn't start Wednesday, one day after his streak of reaching base ended at 36 games. ... Mets RHP Matt Harvey (Tommy John surgery) threw 27 pitches off a bullpen mound Wednesday at the club's spring training complex in Florida. ... Nationals manager Matt Williams started at third base for the Cleveland Indians when Mets RHP Bartolo Colon made his major league debut on April 4, 1997.