The Washington Nationals jumped on rookie Jared Shuster, who was making his MLB debut, for four runs in the first inning and held on for a 4-1 victory over the visiting Atlanta Braves on Sunday
Washington salvaged a win after the Braves took the first two games of the season-opening series, in a game that sped by in only two hours and 17 minutes
Dominic Smith had an RBI single and Lane Thomas went 2-for-4 with a run for Washington.
The lefty Shuster (0-1) opened the first inning by giving up three singles and three walks, walking in a pair of runs, and was in a 3-0 hole before retiring Ildemaro Vargas on a popup to shortstop for the first out. Luis Garcia added a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 Nationals lead before Shuster finally got out of the inning
Shuster's counterpart, 24-year-old left-hander MacKenzie Gore (1-0), was in control from the outset of his Nationals debut, striking out Braves sluggers Matt Olson and Austin Riley twice apiece and Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell Ozuna once
Gore, who was one of the prized prospects acquired by the Nationals in last year's blockbuster trade that sent Nationals star Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the San Diego Padres, lasted 5 1/3 innings with three hits and six strikeouts. He issued four walks but helped himself out by inducing a pair of inning-ending double plays
His only blemish came in the fourth inning. Gore walked Acuna and gave up a single to Ozzie Albies before Travis d'Arnaud singled to drive in Acuna to cut the Nationals' lead to 4-1
In the sixth, Gore walked Olson and Riley singled to right field. Gore yielded to reliever Hunter Harvey, who got Albies to knock into an inning-ending double play.
Erasmo Ramirez took over on the mound for the Nationals in the seventh and gave up a two-out double to Michael Harris II, but escaped trouble by getting Sean Murphy to fly out to right
Carl Edwards Jr. pitched a bit of a wobbly eighth for Washington, helped out by an acrobatic play by Nationals third baseman Jeimer Candelario to rob Orlando Arcia of an extra-base hit
Kyle Finnegan pitched a one-two-three ninth to earn the save for the Nationals
Shuster settled in and lasted 4 2/3 innings, with six hits, five walks and one strikeout.
--Field Level Media