NEW YORK – Max Scherzer was grinding on the mound and grunting with each pitch, forced to work particularly hard just to get through the first two innings.
But he also looked healthy all the while — a wonderful sign for the Washington Nationals.
Scherzer showed no effects of hamstring trouble, navigating heavy traffic early for his first win this season, and Trea Turner hit a record-breaking leadoff homer to help Washington beat the New York Mets 2-1 on Tuesday night.
“There were some big spots where the game really could have changed course there," Scherzer said. "I was able just to get some big strikeouts.”
Howie Kendrick had three hits and Victor Robles blooped an RBI single for the World Series champions, who took the first two in a four-game series between NL East rivals.
New York (7-11) dropped to 3-7 at home this season.
“It's been frustrating. We've lost a lot of close games,” Mets starter Rick Porcello said. “We just need something to get over the hump.”
Porcello (1-2) threw six solid innings but was outpitched by Scherzer (1-1) in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners and former Detroit teammates. When they opposed each other in Washington last week, Porcello won 3-1 and Scherzer exited after only one inning because of a sore hamstring that first popped up before his previous outing.