A youthful Marlins squad kept their emotions under control on Monday afternoon in jammed-packed Nationals Park. But they were unable to keep Bryce Harper in check. Harper belted two solo home runs off Ricky Nolasco, and that was all Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals needed to edge the Marlins, 2-0, in front of 45,274. The largest regular-season crowd in Nationals history witnessed Harper's impressive performance, along with Strasburg throwing seven shutout innings, scattering three hits. Celebrating their 21st season opener, the Marlins fell to 10-11 on Opening Day. Nolasco was impressive over six innings, striking out five, while allowing two hits. But both were homers. Harper is the first defending Rookie of the Year Award winner to belt two homers on Opening Day the following season since Ryan Howard of the Phillies on April 3, 2006, and he became the youngest player to hit two homers on Opening Day. The distinction of the Marlins' first hit of the season went to Juan Pierre, who singled to center on Strasburg's second pitch. For the Marlins, Pierre was their only baserunner through six innings. And the veteran was stranded at third in the first, in which Miami's only scoring chance was erased by a terrific defensive play by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who made a diving stop on Placido Polanco's sharp grounder. But the first run allowed came in the bottom of the first when Harper connected on a home run, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, dating back to last September. Strasburg settled after Pierre's leadoff single, retiring 19 straight, before Giancarlo Stanton's double with one out in the seventh.
Harper, Strasburg lead the charge for Nats over Marlins
MLB.com | Apr 1