WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The National League East favorites have to be pleased after game one of 162.
Adam Eaton provided the spark Monday the Washington Nationals envisioned when they acquired the center fielder last winter, and Eaton hopes to build on a stellar Opening Day performance when the Nationals host the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.
Washington paid a hefty price in trading several top prospects to the White Sox for Eaton, but the 28-year-old finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored in Monday’s 4-2 victory.
For openers, the Nationals got exactly what they hoped for from Eaton, newly promoted closer Blake Treinen (a perfect ninth inning for his second career save) and slugger Bryce Harper (his fifth career opening-day homer).
Miami will start Dan Straily in his Marlins’ debut, two days after newly acquired starter Edinson Volquez scatted four hits with six strikeouts in five shutout innings.
The Marlins finished fourth in the majors in batting average last season (.263) but were limited to six hits – two by Volquez.
Miami has elected to start the season with no left-handed pitchers in its bullpen, a strategy that backfired in the opener as left-handed hitters Harper and Adam Lind homered off right-hander David Phelps.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), MASN (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Dan Straily (2016: 14-8, 3.76 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Tanner Roark (2016: 16-10, 2.83)
Straily set a career high in victories last season but gave up a National League-worst 31 homers, 18 coming on the road away from the cozy confines of Cincinnati.
He settled in after a shaky first half, going 10-2 with a 3.10 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star break.
Straily, who went 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA in five spring training games, posted a 3.21 ERA but did not get a decision in two starts last season against the Nationals.
Moving back to the starting rotation after spending 2015 in the bullpen, Roark finished fourth in the NL in WAR for pitchers (5.5) and innings pitched (210), fifth in victories and 10th in the Cy Young voting.
He lost just three times in 13 decisions from June 1-Aug. 31 and limited opponents to a .232 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Roark saw plenty of Miami last season, going 2-4 in six starts against the Marlins with a 4.46 ERA.
- Miami finished 32-43 against NL East competition last season.
- Washington 3B Anthony Rendon, last season’s NL comeback player of the year, did not play in Monday’s opener as he recovers from a bruised left calf suffered March 27.
- Lind, one of just five newcomers to Washington’s 25-man roster, has belted 20 or more homers three of the past four seasons.
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