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National League Game Capsules

3:52 PM, Apr 1, 2013   |    comments
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Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Bryce Harper homered twice and Stephen Strasburg tossed seven scoreless frames as the Washington Nationals began their NL East title defense with a 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins. Harper became the first reigning NL rookie of the year to hit a home run on Opening Day of the following season since Ryan Howard did so for the Phillies in 2006. He recorded the third multi-homer game in his brief career and second against the Marlins, after a similar effort last Aug. 29, and became the third defending ROY with two homers in the first game of a season -- joining Raul Mondesi (1995, Dodgers) and Carlton Fisk (1973, Boston). Strasburg (1-0) ended up allowing three hits and fanned three, needing only 80 pitches to complete his outing. Tyler Clippard tossed a scoreless eighth and Rafael Soriano followed suit in the ninth to record his first save for the Nats. Ricky Nolasco (0-1) worked six innings in the loss, yielding only two runs and three hits while striking out five and issuing two walks for the Marlins, who are looking to recover from a last-place finish and 69-93 record in 2012.

Final Score: New York 11, San Diego 2

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Jon Niese allowed just two runs over 6 2/3 innings and helped his own cause with a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored, as the New York Mets opened their 2013 campaign with an 11-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday at Citi Field. Niese (1-0) scattered four hits and walked two with four strikeouts, while Collin Cowgill clubbed a grand slam and scored twice for the Mets, who have won 34 of their last 44 Opening Day games and own the best winning percentage (.654) on Opening Day in major league history. Marlon Byrd finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored, while John Buck and Ruben Tejada each added two hits, an RBI and two runs scored for New York, which finished 74-88 last season. Yonder Alonso stroked a solo home run and Carlos Quentin knocked in the other run for the Padres, who struggled to a 76-86 mark a year ago and missed the playoffs for a sixth straight season. San Diego starter Edinson Volquez (0-1) was tagged for six runs on six hits and three walks over three-plus innings in defeat.

Final Score: Chicago 3, Pittsburgh 1

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Anthony Rizzo slugged a two-run homer and Jeff Samardzija tossed eight scoreless innings as the Chicago Cubs silenced Pittsburgh, 3-1, in the 2013 opener for both clubs from PNC Park. Samardzija (1-0) struck out nine and walked one while serving up only two hits, while Kyuji Fujikawa recorded the final out of the contest to earn his first career save. Carlos Marmol was sent in to lock up the game in the ninth, but recorded only one out and allowed an RBI single to Pedro Alvarez and walked Gaby Sanchez before leaving with two on and one out. James Russell came on and retired Neil Walker on a fly to right and Fujikawa induced a game-ending fly out from Russell Martin. Welington Castillo added two hits, drove in the other run and scored twice for the Cubs, who are looking to reverse a 61-101 finish last season.

Final Score: Milwaukee 5, Colorado 4 (10 innings)

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Jonathan Lucroy hit a game-winning sacrifice fly to center field in the 10th inning as Milwaukee edged the Colorado Rockies, 5-4, on Monday at Miller Park in both teams' season opener. Lucroy finished 0-for-4, but his bases-loaded sac fly in the 10th proved to be the difference-maker for the Brewers, who snapped a four-game losing streak on Opening Day. Aramis Ramirez went 2-for-4 and hit a two-out, two-run double in eighth inning to put Milwaukee ahead 4-3 and Rickie Weeks added two hits and two runs scored in the victory. Norichika Aoki added a solo homer. Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run homer and Carlos Gonzalez added a solo shot for the Rockies, who looked to kick off the Walt Weiss era in promising fashion after leading 3-1 in the eighth with two outs before the Brewers rallied. Dexter Fowler hit a clutch game-tying solo homer in the ninth inning with two outs, though the Rockies couldn't secure the victory. Colorado finished a mere 64-98 last season, good for the worst winning percentage in franchise history. Weiss replaced Jim Tracy.

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