WASHINGTON — He will have to do it more than once to convince everyone he’s truly back, but Jeurys Familia took the first step Wednesday night.

The Mets reliever pitched for the first time since coming off the injured list for a sore right shoulder and delivered a perfect eighth inning in a 5-1 loss to the Nationals.

“I felt great out there,” Familia said through an interpreter. “It was good to jump-start my confidence again. … I think that’s what any athlete needs sometimes when you’re going through a rough start. They just need to take a breath and go back out there.”

Familia had posted a 6.28 ERA with 13 walks in 14 ¹/₃ innings through his first 14 outings of the season after rejoining the Mets on a three-year, $30 million deal. Wednesday’s 1-2-3 inning marked just his third of the year.

Entering with a 5-1 deficit, Familia was thrown into a low-leverage situation as the Mets try to build him back up. He recorded two groundouts against Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick then struck out Brian Dozier on a 96-mph fastball.

“Familia looked good,” Callaway said. “It’s good to see him back out there. I thought it was a good opportunity just to get his feet wet again and get him going.”

The last time he had pitched, Familia was asked to record a six-out save against the Reds on April 30. He got the first five before falling apart and giving up three hits, a walk and two runs in the ninth inning to blow the lead. The next day, he complained of a sore shoulder and landed on the injured list.

After getting a cortisone injection, Familia was shut down briefly before starting a throwing program and being activated Sunday.

“I’m just taking it easy right now, trying to regain the confidence and get into whatever situation I can get into,” Familia said. “I’m ready to go whenever Mickey wants me to go in.”

Callaway, who professed that Familia’s stuff had looked good even before he went on the IL, said his pitch selection was better Wednesday.

“I think what we’ve talked about usage-wise was good and in line with what he was doing last year when he was having success,” Callaway said. “More four-seamers to the lefties, he did a good job with that. Then he dropped a good splitter at the end of that at-bat to Soto and mixing his slider in. That’s going to be a big key for him, as well as throwing strikes.”



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