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New Washington National Daniel Murphy made his presence felt immediately, going 2 for 3 with a home run and game winning double in the tenth inning to lift the Nats to a 4-3 Opening Day win over division rival Atlanta Braves.
Bryce Harper also made his presence felt, immediately. Harper hit his first home run of the season in his first at bat in the first inning with a 385 foot bomb to deep right to give the Nationals an early 1-0 lead. It wouldn’t last long, as Freddy Freeman exchange homers with Harper in the bottom of the first inning to tie it up at 1-1.
The Nats and Braves then exchanged Home runs again in the fourth inning. Murphy hit his first hit and home runs as a Washington National to give the Nats a 2-1 lead, a solo shot to deep center. Adonis Garcia smacked a home run off Nats’ starter Max Scherzer int he bottom of the inning to tie the game at 2-2.
Scherzer pitched seven innings and scattered 3 hits and yielded 2 runs on 7 strikeouts. He left without a decisions. In his first start, Scherzer threw 104 pitches, 72 of which were for strikes. Felipe Rivero permitted a hit and walk and gave way to Shawn Kelly who then walked in Garcia in the 8th inning with the bases loaded to give the Braves a 3-2 lead.
Trailing 3-2 in the in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, Michael Taylor hit a shallow fly ball to center field, and third base coach Bob Henley sent Jayson Werth home, who slid into home plate, knocking the ball out of the mitt of Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski, to score the equalizer and send the opening game to extra-innings. Nats’ young reliever Bake Treinen (1-0) through 9 pitches in the bottom of the ninth, forcing a double play, and sending the Nats to the tenth inning. Treinen would pick up the win.
In the tenth inning, Murphy knocked his first double as a Nat down the third base line that scored Ryan Zimmerman for the go ahead, and eventual, game winning run. Murphy would finish the game 2-3 with a double, a home run, and 2 walks, getting on base four times in the opener. He scored twice and drove in two runs.
Jonathan Papelbon sat the Braves down 1-2-3 to pick up the save, including a strikeout.
NOTES: CF Ben Revere left the game in the fourth inning with what was believed to be an oblique strain. Michael Taylor took over for Revere. No word on the extent of the injury. Post game, Manager Dusty Baker labeled Revere as ‘day to day’.