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Nationals finish off sweep of Mets
Flushing, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Zimmerman went 4-for-5 with a homer and two RBI as the Washington Nationals completed a season-opening three- game sweep of the New York Mets with an 8-2 win at Citi Field.
Adam LaRoche drove in three runs for the Nationals, who kept new manager Matt Williams' record perfect. Denard Span added two hits, drove in a run and scored once for Washington, which opened the season with three straight wins for a second straight year.
"I'm not concerned about myself," said Williams of his start as a manager. "I'm concerned about them (the players).
"I'm proud of the way we went about it," he added. "Fighting back is key for us."
Tanner Roark (1-0) started on the hill in place of a sick Jordan Zimmermann and picked up the win. The right-hander allowed just two runs on six hits in six innings. Roark struck out five and walked three, helping the Nationals defeat the Mets for an eighth straight time.
Zimmermann was scratched from the start because of flu-like symptoms. The Nationals have yet to announce when they expect him to take the hill again.
New Met Curtis Granderson broke out of an early slump, finishing 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. He had gone 0-for-9 with five strikeouts in the first two games.
Juan Lagares continued his hot start to the season for New York, which is off to its worst start to a season since beginning the 2005 campaign with five straight setbacks. The center fielder ended 1-for-3 with an RBI and is now batting .455 with two doubles, a homer, two RBI and four runs scored in three games.
New York starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. The right-hander threw 114 pitches, striking out six and walking two.
The Mets got to Roark in the first inning. Granderson doubled home Daniel Murphy with the first run and David Wright later scored on a Lagares sac fly.
That was all the offense the lackluster Mets lineup could muster, however, as Roark settled in and allowed just three hits the rest of the way. The right- hander pitched out of trouble in the fourth, getting Ruben Tejada to fly out to shallow right, striking out Wheeler and inducing a groundout by Eric Young to strand runners at first and second.
"He battled through it," said Williams of Roark's early woes. "He didn't have a good feel for his breaking ball and he battled through it. He got the feel in the second and got it going from there."
Zimmerman cut the Washington deficit in half with a solo homer in the second, then the Nats went ahead for good during a two-run fifth-inning. Span singled home the first run of the frame and later scored on a Jayson Werth base hit.
Washington added four runs in the seventh against the New York bullpen to put the game out of reach. LaRoche drove in the first two runs of the frame with a single, Zimmerman added an RBI single and LaRoche later scored on Ian Desmond's fielder's choice grounder to make it 7-2.
LaRoche's bases-loaded walk in the eighth made it a six-run game.
New York's bullpen has now allowed 11 earned runs, 15 hits and walked seven in 9 1/3 innings this season.
"It was tough," said Mets manager Terry Collins of the bullpen's performance. "We didn't pitch as well as we hoped to. The bullpen has to start throwing strikes. When you fall behind in the count, you're going to be in trouble in this league."
The Mets nearly went the final four innings without a hit. Granderson's two- out double in the fifth was New York's last hit before Ike Davis' two-out, pinch-hit single in the ninth.
Washington closer Rafael Soriano, working in a non-save situation, struck out a pair in the ninth in his first action of the season.
Washington pitchers struck out 39 batters in this series.
Prior to the game, the Mets placed outfielder Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list with quad tightness ... New York also activated Murphy off the paternity list before the game. He finished 1-for-3 ... Zimmerman's HR was his first of the season ... New York welcomes Cincinnati for a three-game weekend set starting Friday night ... Washington returns to D.C. for its home opener Friday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves ... Washington's Danny Espinosa had a pair of doubles in his first start of the season.
04/03 17:11:02 ET