Harper escapes collision, LaRoche homers (Nationals win 9-7)

NEW YORK - Bryce Harper appeared to be injured when he collided with Mets second baseman Eric Young Jr. in the second inning of Monday’s opener, but the Nationals left fielder remained in the game.

Harper drew a leadoff walk and was erased at second on a fielder’s choice on Ian Desmond’s grounder to David Wright. But a sliding Harper’s head struck Young’s knee and shin on the relay and Harper down on the field for a couple of minutes. Harper was attended to by the Nationals training staff and then slowly walked off the field.

Adam LaRoche followed with a two-run homer to right-center field, landing above the Subway sign second deck to get the Nats within 3-2.

Harper stayed in the game and ran onto the field on defense to begin the bottom of the second.

With one out in the first, the Mets got back-to-back singles from Juan Lagares and David Wright. Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg managed to get Curtis Granderson out on a called third strike.

But the next batter, Andrew Brown, got a hold of a 2-2 fastball right down the middle and launched a line drive three-run shot just to the right of 370-foot marker above the left-center wall for an early 3-0 advantage.

Strasburg had to throw 25 pitches to get through the first.

Update II: After the Mets scored a single run in the second, Strasburg settled in. Through four innings, Strasburg has eight strikeouts and Mets lead 4-2.

Update III: Strasburg finished up six innings, allowing five hits, four runs, two walks and striking out 10, He allowede the three-run shot in the first but retired 10 straight to end his outing. Strasburg threw 102 pitches, 64 for strikes.

He’s now off the hook, as the Nats tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the seventh.

Anthony Rendon smacked a two-out RBI double that chased Gee in the top of the seventh, cutting the Mets lead 4-3. The Mets bullpen then allowed free passes to the next two batters on eight pitches, tying the game at 4-4 on a Span walk with the bases loaded. Ryan Zimmerman struck out with the bases loaded on a Jose Valverde 91 mph fastball on a 3-2 count to end the inning.

Update IV: Juan Lagares slammed a solo homer off of Tyler Clippard to lead off the bottom of the eighth and the Mets regained the lead 5-4.

Update V: Free baseball in New York. The Nationals tied the game at 5-5 in ninth on RBI double by Span off of Bobby Parnell. In his major league debut, Aaron Barrett sent the Mets down in order in the bottom of the inning to send the game into extra innings.

Update VI: Barrett is a winner in his major league debut, after Ian Desmond’s sac fly in the 10th inning scored Jayson Werth to break a 5-5 tie, and Anthony Rendon added a three-run homer. That was more than enough to offset David Wright’s two-run shot off Jerry Blevins in the bottom of the innning.

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