WASHINGTON — Adam Lind’s first swing as a member of the Nationals resulted in a pinch-hit, go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning, and Bryce Harper went deep on opening day for the fifth time in his young career, leading Washington past the Miami Marlins 4-2 on Monday.
Stephen Strasburg (1-0) earned the win, allowing two runs and six hits in seven innings, pitching out of the stretch the whole way. It was his return to action after missing last September and the playoffs with a right elbow injury.
Otherwise, it was a good showing by some of the reigning NL East champion’s new pieces.
Catcher Matt Wieters singled off a soft liner ahead of Lind’s drive into the first row in right-center off reliever David Phelps (0-1) that made it 3-2.
Center fielder Adam Eaton doubled, walked twice, stole a base and scored a run. Wieters and Lind were free-agent signings; Eaton came over from the Chicago White Sox in a much-debated trade.
Plus, Blake Treinen, a holdover but a closer for the first time, pitched the ninth for a save — only his second in the majors.
Treinen took on the 4-5-6 hitters for Miami, getting Giancarlo Stanton to pop out in foul territory, struck out Justin Bour swinging, then Marcell Ozuna looking.
The Nationals trailed 2-0 before Harper put them on the board in the sixth with a no-doubt solo shot off a 95 mph pitch from Phelps, who came in after Miami starter Edinson Volquez went five scoreless innings.
Harper, the 2015 NL MVP coming off a down year, added to his opening-day collection of homers: two in 2013, one each in 2015 and 2016.
Lind turned on a 2-0 fastball, then was coaxed out of the dugout for a curtain call by the loud sellout crowd of 42,744 on a cloudy afternoon.
REMEMBERING NO. 16
Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, wore a black lapel pin with the number “16,” the jersey worn by Jose Fernandez, the charismatic ace who died when his boat crashed late last season. “He’s gone, and that’s something that we all have to come to grips with and accept,” Hill said. “But his memory will always be a bond for this team and for me as well.”
Said manager Don Mattingly: “I actually thought about him this morning, just that you miss this guy.”
Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon was out of the lineup after fouling a ball off his calf during spring training. Manager Dusty Baker said it was his decision for Rendon to sit, noting that the player wanted to start. “He could’ve played if I’d had wanted to push him,” Baker said, “but I decided not to.”
After an off-day Tuesday, Washington sends RHP Tanner Roark to the mound against Miami newcomer Dan Straily for Game 2 on Wednesday. Roark’s final spring training tuneup was rained out, but he threw a bullpen session of about 85 pitches to try to stay on track for the beginning of the season.
Jose Fernandez, the ace right-hander for the Miami Marlins who escaped Cuba to become one of baseball’s brightest stars, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. Fernandez was 24.
Authorities said Fernandez was one of three people killed in a crash off Miami Beach.
Chief Petty Officer Nyxolyno Cangemi told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted an overturned boat at 3:30 a.m. on a jetty near Government Cut. The bodies were discovered a short time later.
In the statement, the Marlins say they are “devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
“Hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion,” Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price said on Twitter early Sunday.
Because the boat was on a jetty, the Coast Guard notified Miami-Dade police, which turned the investigation over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a “severe impact” with a jetty, said FWC’s Lorenzo Veloz. The overturned boat remained in the water Sunday morning, its engine partially submerged as its nose pointed skyward, as debris from the crash was scattered over some of the large jagged rocks.
The Marlins’ game Sunday at home against the Atlanta Braves has been canceled. The Braves, along with several other teams, quickly shared their condolences with the Marlins.
Major League Baseball released a statement saying it was “stunned and devastated.”
“He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life.”
Fernandez’s death immediately brought memories of past baseball tragedies, such as the deaths of Thurman Munson and Roberto Clemente — stars who died in plane crashes in the 1970s.
Cleveland teammates Steve Olin and Tim Crews were killed in a boating accident in 1993, and the game also reeled from the sudden deaths of major leaguers Darryl Kile, Lyman Bostock and Cory Lidle in recent years.
“Jose was a remarkable young man and a tremendously gifted athlete, who, at just 24, established himself as one of the game’s biggest and brightest stars,” said Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jose’s family, friends, teammates, Miami Marlins organization and legions of fans in the United States and Latin America.”
The Miami Dolphins said they would have a moment of silence before their game in nearby Miami Gardens on Sunday afternoon to remember Fernandez.
City of Miami Fire-Rescue workers were seen carrying bodies, draped and on stretchers, at the Coast Guard station after sunrise Sunday. The names of the other two individuals are being withheld pending notification of relatives, the Coast Guard said.
Fernandez was a two-time All-Star who went 38-17 in his four seasons with the Marlins, winning the NL’s Rookie of the Year award in 2013. The native of Santa Clara, Cuba became a U.S. citizen last year and was enormously popular in Miami.
He tried to defect from Cuba at least three times — landing in jail after one of those unsuccessful tries — before eventually getting to the U.S. and going to high school in Tampa, Florida. The Marlins drafted him in 2011 and Fernandez was in the majors two years later.
“I’m still in shock,” former Marlins player Gaby Sanchez said on Twitter. “The world has lost a remarkable person. You will be missed and my heart goes out to the Fernandez family.”