(Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals seemed to live up to the hype in
their first game of the season on Monday. Now they focus on winning a series,
as they play the middle test of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins
at Nationals Park.
Bryce Harper homered in his first two at-bats and Stephen Strasburg scattered
three hits over seven scoreless innings to lead Washington to a 2-0 win on
"They're learning as they go, but they're awful good. It's fun watching them,"
said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
Strasburg (1-0) needed only 80 pitches to complete his outing, while 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
won't have it any easier on Wednesday against lefty Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez fell two-thirds of an inning shy of the 200-inning plateau, but
finished with a 2.89 ERA and led the majors with 21 wins. He also recorded a
career-best 207 strikeouts.
Miami will counter with righty Kevin Slowey, who was limited by injury to 49
innings in the minors last season. Ideally Slowey would have been the team's
fifth starter, but injuries to Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez elevated
"To have two starters (out) makes it tough," Marlins manager Mike Redmond
said. "Thats why we had to do what we had to do."
Oddly enough Redmond was behind the plate for Slowey's big league debut in
2007 with the Minnesota Twins.
The Marlins and Nationals split 18 head-to-head games last year.
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