John Lannan pitched 5 2-3 shutout innings in his first start since replacing Stephen Strasburg in Washington's starting rotation, and the Nationals lowered their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to six with a 2-0 win over the punchless New York Mets on Wednesday night.

Ryan Zimmerman homered in the fourth off rookie Matt Harvey (3-5) and Ian Desmond connected off Jon Rauch in the eighth, helping the Nationals complete a three-game sweep and close in on the capital's first postseason baseball berth since the original Washington Senators in 1933.

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