Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Nationals 2

NEW YORK -- Move over Wilmer Flores and Yoenis Cespedes. Lucas Duda stole the show Saturday night at Citi Field.

Duda crushed a pair of solo homers, then delivered a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth to rally the New York Mets to a 3-2 win against the Washington Nationals.

In a game hyped as Cespedes' debut, the Mets (54-50) pulled within a game of Washington (54-48) for first place in the National League East. The Amazin's secured their first series win against the Nats in Queens since April 19-21, 2013.

A euphoric, sellout crowd announced at 42,996 buzzed throughout the game. It was the second largest crowd for a Mets game in the stadium's history. Only this year's Opening Day was larger.

Jeurys Familia, who had been 0-for-3 in save chances in the second half, converted his first save since the All-Star break.

Duda has eight homers in his past seven games (six starts). In fact, until his RBI double in the eighth against left-hander Matt Thornton staked the Mets to a 3-2 lead, his past eight hits had all been long balls -- a franchise record. The previous Mets record belonged to Bobby Bonilla and Ike Davis (homers on five straight hits), according to the Elias Sports Bureau research.

Duda's solo shots in the fourth and seventh innings against Joe Ross rallied the Mets from a 2-0 deficit. It marked Duda's fifth multi-homer game of the season and 11th of his career. Duda homered against Ross' brother Tyson Ross of the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. The last Mets player with as many multi-homer games in a season was Carlos Delgado in 2008 (seven).

Welcome! A day after being acquired from the Detroit Tigers for minor league right-handers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, Cespedes finished 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout. He grounded out in each of his first two at-bats, then struck out in the sixth against Ross. With the go-ahead run on second base and one out in the eighth, Cespedes was intentionally walked to get to Duda with first base open.

He battled: Jacob deGrom surrendered a broken-bat two-run single to Ian Desmond in the first inning. DeGrom then overcame a high early pitch count to keep the Nats off the scoreboard for the remainder of his six-inning outing. He allowed two runs on six hits and a walk and struck out seven in a 117-pitch effort. DeGrom departed with the Mets trailing 2-1 and received a no-decision.

What's next: Noah Syndergaard (5-5, 2.70 ERA) opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 3.36) at 8:08 p.m. ET on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. The Mets are aiming for their first three-game sweep of the Nats since May 25-27, 2009.