NEW YORK (AP) — After almost 4 hours of baseball filled with twists and turns, Matt Williams has his first win as a major league manager.
Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and had a career-best four RBIs, twice rallying the Washington Nationals against the New York Mets' suspect bullpen for a 9-7 victory in their season opener Monday.
"I have a stomach ache right now," Williams said. "There was lots of stuff today. I feel right in the thick of it."
Denard Span hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth off closer Bobby Parnell, and Ian Desmond put the Nationals in front for the first time with a sacrifice fly in the 10th. Rendon connected two batters later against former Washington pitcher John Lannan, securing a win for Williams in his managerial debut.
"I'll probably sleep good tonight," Williams said. "That's what we want to have as our DNA — never give up, never give in."
Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 over six innings in his third straight opening-day start. But he fell behind early and was outpitched most of the day by Dillon Gee, given the starting assignment because of injuries to Matt Harvey and Jonathon Niese.
Several fill-ins came through for New York, in fact. Juan Lagares and Andrew Brown both homered after they were surprise additions to the lineup.
Nationals star Bryce Harper was shaken up in the second inning when he got kicked in the forehead by second baseman Eric Young Jr. while breaking up a double play. Harper stayed down for a minute or two and rubbed his head after Williams and a trainer rushed out to check on him. The young slugger stayed in the game, though, and later began Washington's comeback.
"I'm OK, but I've got a pretty bad headache right now. I was seeing stars there, but I've seen stars before," said Harper, who passed concussion tests during and after the game.
Aaron Barrett (1-0) struck out two in a perfect inning to win his major league debut, with family in the stands.
"It was such an amazing team win," he said. "It was awesome to be a part of it."
Jeurys Familia (0-1) took the loss, hurt by Travis d'Arnaud's passed ball. David Wright hit a two-run homer in the 10th.
Lagares put New York ahead 5-4 with a leadoff homer in the eighth against Tyler Clippard, but the Mets couldn't hold it. Parnell failed in his first save opportunity since neck surgery for an injury that sidelined him for the final two months last season.