NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth -- a half-inning after he entered in a double -switch -- to give the New York Mets the lead for good Thursday night in what turned out to be a wild 9-7 win over the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
The Mets (47-38) overcame an early 4-1 deficit to beat the Nationals (51-36) in the opener of a four-game series between the top two teams in the National League East.
Flores' homer was the only non-solo shot on a hot and humid night in which the clubs combined for eight homers, a Citi Field record. Travis d'Arnaud, Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera all homered for the Mets while Bryce Harper, Clint Robinson, Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy each went deep for the Nationals.
Hansel Robles (3-3) earned the win with 1 1/3 innings of one-hit relief. Jeurys Familia notched his 31st save with a hitless ninth.
Murphy, who signed with the Nationals in December after seven seasons with the Mets, continued to torment his former club by going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Harper, Ben Revere and relief pitcher Oliver Perez had two hits apiece.
Perez (2-2) took the loss.
Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon, making his 484th career start, allowed six runs on 10 hits and no walks while striking out two over 4 2/3 innings. Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito, making his second career start, gave up four runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out four over 3 2/3 innings.
Revere led the game off with a triple and scored on a one-out single by Murphy. The Mets tied the game in the third on an RBI single by Loney.
The floodgates opened in the fourth when the Nationals hit three solo homers -- by Harper, Robinson and Rendon -- to take a short-lived 4-1 lead. But Giolito didn't get out of the bottom of the fourth, when d'Arnaud and Reyes homered within a three-batter span and Cespedes laced a game-tying RBI double.
Colon was chased in the fifth when Oliver erez scored from third as Murphy barely beat out a potential inning-ending double-play grounder. Murphy was initially ruled out but the Nationals successfully challenged the call. Wilson Ramos delivered an RBI single two batters later to extend the lead to 6-4.
The Mets took their first lead in the bottom of the inning when Cabrera and Brandon Nimmo singled ahead of a one-out, three-run homer by Flores.
NOTES: Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said RHP Matt Harvey has symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. Alderson said Harvey would likely decide this weekend whether or not to have season-ending surgery or receive a nerve-blocking injection in hopes of pitching again soon. ... Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman (general soreness) was out of the starting lineup on Thursday. Manager Dusty Baker declined to specify which body part was sore but said Zimmerman is day-to-day. ... Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito was born July 14, 1994. Per research by Major League Baseball, the 43-year-old Mets RHP Bartolo Colon made a start for the Cleveland Indians' affiliate in the rookie-level Appalachian League the day before Giolito's birth.