New York Mets third baseman David Wright field a ground ball during the first inning of an opening day baseball game against the San Diego Padres Monday, April 1, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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 yesterday.
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.
Dodgers 4, Giants 0
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 Los Angeles past San Francisco.
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 LLC said.
Kershaw struck out seven, walked none and retired World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval on a grounder to end it.
Mets 11, Padres 2
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 San Diego.
Handed the opening day assignment in place of injured Johan Santana, Niese enjoyed a big afternoon with both his arm and bat. He breezed into the seventh inning against a Padres lineup missing slugger Chase Headley (broken thumb) and catcher Yasmani Grandal, suspended for the first 50 games after testing positive for testosterone.
Cubs 3, Pirates 1
Pittsburgh — Jeff Samardzija struck out nine in eight nearly flawless innings and Chicago held on for a victory over Pittsburgh.
The right-hander allowed just two hits and walked one as the Chicago won on opening day for the first time since 2009. Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer and Wellington Castillo added an RBI double for the Cubs.
Kyuji Fujikawa got a save in his major league debut after closer Carlos Marmol struggled.
Brewers 5, Rockies 4 (10)
Milwaukee — Jonathan Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give Milwaukee a victory over Colorado, ruining the first game for new Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
Rickie Weeks sparked the winning rally when he stole second after he was hit by a pitch with one out. Adam Ottavino then issued an intentional walk to Ryan Braun and lost Aramis Ramirez to another walk before Lucroy ended the game with a fly ball to center field.
Braves 7, Phillies 5
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 Philadelphia.
Dan Uggla and Justin Upton, making his Braves debut, also homered for Atlanta, which led National League teams with 49 in spring training.
Hamels (0-1) struggled in his first opening day start. He gave up five runs on seven hits, including the three homers, with five strikeouts and one walk in five innings. The three homers allowed matched his high from last season.
The Braves brought out some of their past stars for pregame ceremonies. Dale Murphy was the honorary captain, newly retired Chipper Jones threw out the first pitch — firing a strike to Brian McCann — and Phil Niekro was handed a microphone and yelled “Play ball!”