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Following major shoulder surgery two years ago, it was a major accomplishment for Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to pitch in a major league game again.
In his first game as a National, Wang hit 89 to 93 mph with his fastball, but had difficulty missing bats in the first inning and the New York Mets were quick to take advantage.
New York scored four times in the first inning, and with a steady 6 2/3 innings from starter Dillon Gee, were able to hold off the Washington Nationals, 8-5, before 30,114 at Nationals Park.
Chien-Ming Wang is happy to talk to the media after his first start in a Nationals uniform
The Nationals have lost six straight games and are now seven games under .500. Washington has won just one game at home since July 7.
Wang allowed the first five Mets hitters to reach base, four of them on singles, and New York scored four runs to set the tone early and lead, 4-0.
He was able to settle down in the second and third frames, but then got into trouble again in the fourth. This time his defense did not help him out. The Mets scored two more times, thanks to base hits by Jason Bay, Ronny Paulino and the pitcher Gee. A fielding error by Danny Espinosa and a misplay from Jayson Werth added to the problems. Jose Reyes' sacrifice fly made it 6-0, Mets.
Wang completed four innings on 60 pitches, 39 for strikes. He allowed eight hits, six runs, four earned, with one walk, one wild pitch and two strikeouts. It was his first major league start since July 4, 2009.
The Nationals scored two runs in the fourth on hits by Ryan Zimmerman and Werth, sandwiched around a hit by pitch to Michael Morse and an error by Jose Reyes.
With the Mets up 8-3, the Nationals rallied in the eighth. After a Werth strikeout, the Nats pounded out five consecutive hits to cut the lead to 8-5. But with the bases loaded, Espinosa and Zimmerman struck out to end the threat.