WASHINGTON – Chien-Ming Wang's return to the big leagues was a short and unpleasant one.
Two years to the day after he had shoulder surgery, the right-hander finally started for the Washington Nationals on Friday night, and gave up six runs to the New York Mets before leaving after four innings.
He walked Jose Reyes to leadoff the game and the Mets followed with four consecutive singles, eventually scoring four times in the first inning.
When the damaged was finally done, Wang was charged with four earned run on eight hits in four innings in his first start July 4, 2009, when he was a member of the New York Yankees.
He threw 60 pitches, walked one and struck out two.
Wang has since been recovering from surgery to repair a torn capsule in his right shoulder. A two-time 19-game winner, his career record is 55-26 with a 4.16 ERA in 109 games.
Signed by the Nationals in February 2010, Wang made six rehab starts before being activated from the 60-day disabled list.
To make room, outfielder Roger Bernandina was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Bernandina was hitting .247 with five homers, 20 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 71 games this season. Though he leads the team with 15 runs in July, the Nationals' primary center fielder since Johnson was hired as manager was hitless over his last 20 at-bats. Johnson was optimistic that Bernandina would return soon and said sending down a position player was done in part to not overwork the Nationals' taxed bullpen.