Printed on: April 02, 2013

Harper swats two for Nats


ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper homered in his first two at-bats, Stephen Strasburg retired 19 batters in a row at one stretch, and the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals opened the season with a 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins on Monday.

For Strasburg, this marked the start of what should be his first full season in the majors, with zero pitch or inning limits. The All-Star ace was dominant against a trade-depleted Marlins lineup that features Giancarlo Stanton and little else. The right-hander went seven innings, matching his career high, and allowed three hits.

Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Harper, a 20-year-old outfielder, hit solo shots over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field off Ricky Nolasco in the first and fourth innings.

New closer Rafael Soriano got the save.

Around the NL

DODGERS 4, GIANTS 0: At Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw launched his first career home run to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning, then finished off a four-hitter that led the Los Angeles Dodgers past the San Francisco Giants.

Kershaw became the first pitcher to throw a shutout and hit a home run in an opener since Bob Lemon for Cleveland in 1953, STATS said.

METS 11, PADRES 2: At New York, Jonathon Niese stepped nicely into his new role as No. 1 starter for the Mets, and Collin Cowgill capped a successful New York debut with a grand slam in a rout of the San Diego Padres.

CUBS 3, PIRATES 1: At Pittsburgh, Jeff Samardzija struck out nine in eight nearly flawless innings and the Chicago Cubs held on for a victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

BREWERS 5, ROCKIES 4, 10 innings: At Milwaukee, Jonathan Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give the Milwaukee Brewers a victory over Colorado, ruining the first game for new Rockies manager Walt Weiss.

BRAVES 7, PHILLIES 5: At Atlanta, Freddie Freeman drove in three runs with three hits, including the first of three Atlanta home runs, and the Braves beat Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Around the AL

TIGERS 4, TWINS 2: At Minneapolis, Justin Verlander won on opening day for the first time in six tries, pitching five shutout innings at frosty Target Field and sending the defending American League champion Detroit past Minnesota.

RED SOX 8, YANKEES 2: At New York, Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox got off to a quick start after a dreadful 2012 season, giving new manager John Farrell an opening day win over the depleted New York Yankees.

WHITE SOX 1, ROYALS 0: At Chicago, Chris Sale outpitched James Shields, Tyler Flowers homered and the Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City in their season opener.

Sale (1-0) showed the form that made him a 17-game winner and an All-Star in his first season as a starter. On a chilly day when the gametime temperature was 44, he allowed seven hits and struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings. Addison Reed worked the ninth for the save.

MARINERS 2, ATHLETICS 0: At Oakland, Calif., Felix Hernandez struck out eight on opening day in his first start since signing a $175 million, seven-year contract in February, and the Mariners beat the reigning AL West champion Oakland Athletics.

INTERLEAGUE

ANGELS 3, REDS 1, 13 innings: At Cincinnati, Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer early in the game and a bases-loaded single in the 13th inning, powering the Los Angeles Angels past the Cincinnati Reds in the majors' first interleague season opener.