WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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.
Kershaw struck out seven, walked none and retired World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval on a grounder to end it.