Mets Drop Home Opener as Nationals Overcome Bullpen

Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and drove in a career-high four runs, twice rallying the Washington Nationals against the Mets' suspect bullpen for a 9-7 opening-day victory Monday.

Denard Span hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth off closer Bobby Parnell, and Ian Desmond put the Nationals in front for the first time with a sacrifice fly in the 10th. Rendon connected two batters later against former Washington pitcher John Lannan, securing a win for Matt Williams in his first game as a major league manager.

Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 over six innings in his third straight opening-day start. But he fell behind early and was outpitched most of the day by starter Dillon Gee, given the assignment because of injuries to Matt Harvey and Jonathon Niese.

Several fill-ins came through for the Mets, in fact. Juan Lagares and Andrew Brown both homered after they were surprise additions to the lineup.

Nationals star Bryce Harper was shaken up in the second inning when he got kicked in the forehead by second baseman Eric Young Jr. while breaking up a double play. Harper stayed down for a minute or two and rubbed his head after Williams and a trainer rushed out to check on him. But the young slugger stayed in the game and later helped Washington begin its comeback.

Aaron Barrett (1-0) struck out two in a perfect inning to win his major league debut.

Jeurys Familia (0-1) took the loss, hurt by catcher Travis d'Arnaud's passed ball. David Wright hit a two-run homer in the 10th.

Lagares put New York ahead 5-4 with a leadoff homer in the eighth against Tyler Clippard, but the Mets couldn't hold it. Parnell failed in his first save opportunity since neck surgery for an injury that sidelined him for the final two months last season.

After playing 20 extra-inning games last season, including a 20-inning loss to Miami, the Mets were right back at it. They entered with the best mark in the majors in season openers (34-18), but lost for only the third time in their last 23 season openers at home.

Umpires used instant replay to review a fairly close play at first base that ended the top of the 10th. The call was confirmed.

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