WASHINGTON (AP) — Trea Turner homered twice, including a game-ending solo shot in the ninth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-5 on Sunday for their first win of the season.
Turner earlier hit a three-run homer and also scored in the fifth to put Washington up 4-1. The Nationals let a 5-2 lead evaporate in the eighth before Turner ended it with a drive off Justin Wilson (0-1) that landed in the second row of the left-field seats.
Sean Doolittle (1-0) got the win despite allowing successive RBI singles in the New York eighth.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin gave up two runs, seven hits and two walks over six innings in his Washington debut. Corbin spent six seasons in Arizona before signing a $140 million, six-year deal with the Nationals, who hope he can fill out a rotation centered around stars Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
The starting rotation won’t matter if the bullpen can’t deliver. After giving up seven runs in two innings on Saturday, Washington relievers frittered away a three-run cushion in the eighth.
Tony Sipp allowed two hits, Trevor Rosenthal yielded a run-scoring single to Amed Rosario, and pinch-hitters Wilson Ramos and Juan Lagares hit two-out RBI singles off Doolittle to tie it.
That enabled Mets starter Zack Wheeler to avoid taking the loss. He gave up four runs in five innings.
The Mets were bidding to go 3-0 for the first time since 2012, when they won their first four games. The Nationals successfully avoided being swept in their opening series for the first time in a decade.
With the score 4-1 in the sixth, New York opened with successive singles to put runners on the corners. Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier subsequently snagged Rosario’s grounder up the middle and flipped a backhand relay to Turner to launch a 4-6-3 double play.
Bryce Harper returns to Washington on Tuesday with his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I know he’s coming in and it’s going to be exciting, for sure,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “Of course I’ll say hello to him, but then again, he plays on a different team now so I’m going try to win.”
Harper played seven years in Washington before signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia.
Mets: RHP Seth Lugo was unavailable after throwing 41 pitches Saturday. ... 3B-LF Jeff McNeil, a left-handed hitter, was rested against Corbin after getting four hits Saturday.
Nationals: Rosenthal pitched one day after returning from Tommy John surgery Saturday in his first appearance since August 2017. Martinez had no qualms about using Rosenthal again, saying: “He said he feels real, real good.” Rosenthal threw only one pitch Sunday.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz makes his 2019 debut Monday in the opener of a three-game series against the Marlins. Matz has won his last three starts in Miami.
Nationals: Scherzer (0-1, 2.35 ERA) faces the Phillies on Tuesday, giving him two starts in Washington’s first four games.