Harper homers again, Nats silence Braves 8-1
Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer and the quick-scoring Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 8-1 on Monday night for the first 4-0 start to a season in their Washington history.
ATLANTA (AP) - Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer and the quick-scoring Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 8-1 on Monday night for the first 4-0 start to a season in their Washington history.
Harper's second-inning shot off Sean Newcomb (0-1) to center field gave the Nationals a 5-0 lead. He also drew four walks and scored three runs.
For the fourth straight game as the road team, the Nationals scored in the first inning to give their starting pitcher a lead before his first pitch.
This time, the beneficiary was Tanner Roark (1-0), who allowed one run in seven innings. Roark gave up four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Howie Kendrick's double to right field drove in Harper, who walked, in Washington's two-run first inning.
Newcomb's troubles continued in the second.
After Newcomb gave up singles to Pedro Severino and Anthony Rendon, Harper walked to the plate as stadium organist Matthew Kaminski played the somber "Imperial March." Braves fans chimed in with boos.
Harper crushed a first-pitch fastball. The homer landed in the decorative rocks behind the 400-foot marker on the center-field wall. He has three homers - including two in Sunday's 6-5 win at Cincinnati - and seven RBIs.
Newcomb allowed six runs, five earned, on five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game, pitched three scoreless innings in relief to strengthen his bid for a spot in the rotation.
Freddie Freeman's single drove in Ender Inciarte, who singled and stole second, in the fourth.
Nationals pinch-hitter Brian Goodwin had a two-run single off Jose Ramirez in the ninth.
Nationals: C Matt Wieters was placed on the 10-day DL with a mild left oblique strain to address what is believed to be a short-term injury "rather than it becomes a big issue," according to manager Dave Martinez. Martinez plans to "mix and match" backups Miguel Montero and Severino, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse before the game. ... 2B Daniel Murphy, on the DL following right knee surgery, was cleared for the first time to run in the outfield before the game.
Braves: The addition of C Carlos Perez allows manager Brian Snitker to be cautious with C Kurt Suzuki, still recovering from a bruised right hand. With Tyler Flowers (left oblique strain) expected to miss a few weeks, Perez will play behind Chris Stewart, who made his second straight start. ... LHP Luiz Gohara (left ankle sprain) threw two innings in a simulated game and had no problems with the ankle, according to Snitker.