Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Lucas Duda hit a two-run single in the sixth inning and the New York Mets beat Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals by a 3-1 margin on Monday.
Scherzer's debut with the Nationals got off to a great start. The 2013 American League Cy Young award winner retired 17 in a row after walking Curtis Granderson to open the game.
But Granderson walked again with two outs in the sixth. David Wright then lifted a high pop to shallow right field. Shortstop Ian Desmond called off second baseman Dan Uggla, but the ball hit off Desmond's glove. Granderson advanced to third while Wright took second on the error. One batter later, Duda hit a two-run single to right-center field for a 2-1 Mets lead.
"We're lucky we caught a break right there," Duda said.
The Mets scored another run in the seventh. With one out, Juan Lagares reached on Desmond's throwing error and scored on a triple to center by catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
Scherzer (0-1), who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nats in the offseason, was charged with three unearned runs on four hits over 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked two.
The 30-year-old Scherzer, a former first-round draft pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006, made his return to the National League after five seasons with the Detroit Tigers. After winning 21 games in 2013, Scherzer went 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA and a career-high 252 strikeouts last season.
"I believe in the guys that are here. They can get the job done. That's why we're here," Scherzer said. "We're here to win and it's frustrating any time you don't."
Bartolo Colon (1-0) gave up one run on three hits over six innings for the Mets, who went 79-83 last year. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one.
At 41 years and 317 days old, Colon became the oldest Opening Day pitcher in Mets team history and the oldest to get the call for the league since Jamie Moyer (43 years, 136 days) and Randy Johnson (42 years, 205 days) back in 2006.
Four Mets relievers followed Colon, with 37-year-old Buddy Carlyle getting two outs for his first career save.
Bryce Harper hit a solo homer in the fourth inning for the Nationals, who won the NL East last year before falling to the Giants in the Division Series. It was Harper's third-career Opening Day home run.
Washington went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded four.
The Nats will have to overcome some early-season injuries, with outfielders Jayson Werth and Denard Span and third baseman Anthony Rendon on the disabled list.
The Mets were 1-for-5 with RISP and stranded seven ... Reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom will make his first start of 2015 when the Mets and Nats, following an off-day, reconvene at Nationals Park on Wednesday. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will get the start for Washington.