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was an obvious choice after
NEW YORK -- After almost 4 hours of baseball filled with twists and turns, Matt Williams has his first win as a major league manager. Scott Niedermayer Jersey . 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. "Ill probably sleep good tonight," Williams said. "Thats 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 Washingtons comeback. "Im OK, but Ive got a pretty bad headache right now. I was seeing stars there, but Ive 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 dArnauds 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 couldnt 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. The Mets lost for only the third time in their last 23 season openers at home. They still own the best mark in the majors on opening day at 34-19. The temperature at first pitch was 44 degrees, with wind gusting to 25 mph, but it warmed up as the sun came out. Gee pitched in short sleeves and retired 15 in a row after Adam LaRoches long two-run homer in the second. Harper snapped the streak with a hard-hit infield single in the seventh. "We got a great performance today by Dillon. Unfortunately, we couldnt get him a win," Wright said. "Theres some things that we need to work on moving forward and that was pretty glaring in game one." Rendon, the new starter at second base, chased Gee with a two-out RBI double. Washington tied it 4-all when relievers Carlos Torres and Scott Rice issued consecutive four-pitch walks, forcing in a run. "That situation, I cant let that happen," Rice said. Brown, a surprise starter in left field because newcomer Chris Young sat out with a mild right quadriceps strain, hit a three-run shot to left-centre on a 94 mph fastball from Strasburg in the first inning. "They came out swinging, and I missed with some stuff that was off the plate," Strasburg said. Chris Youngs injury also opened a spot for Lagares, who started in centre. Eric Young, normally the left fielder, shifted to second base to fill in for Daniel Murphy, who was in Florida with his pregnant wife awaiting the birth of their first child. Eric Young had a sacrifice fly in the second. NOTES: Nationals C Wilson Ramos left in the seventh after being hit on the hand by foul ball. X-rays were negative and he will see a hand specialist Tuesday. Ramos was replaced by Jose Lobaton, who singled during the decisive rally. ... After an off day Tuesday, Chris Young and Murphy are both expected back in the lineup Wednesday night, when RHP Bartolo Colon makes his Mets debut against LHP Gio Gonzalez. ... Williams challenged a fairly close play at first base that ended the top of the 10th. Umpires confirmed Clint Fagans call with instant replay. Max Comtois Jersey . The Senators return from a lengthy layoff caused by Wednesdays attack on Parliament Hill to host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. Adam Henrique Jersey . Ellis had a season-high 37 points and two key assists late, Dirk Nowitzki led a fourth-quarter rally with 14 of his 35 points, and the Mavericks spoiled Howards best offensive night in Houston with a 123-120 victory over the Rockets on Wednesday night. . -- The Minnesota Vikings have signed Jerome Simpson, the former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver recently convicted on a felony drug charge.TORONTO - Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey said he often gets asked about Drake.I get texts: Do you know Drake? Have you met Drake? He sits there every night, he hears me cuss out the referees every night, Casey said, laughing. He knows all my cuss words.Part rapper, part Raptors mascot, Drake is the basketball teams global ambassador, and has his own courtside seat at the Air Canada Centre, about an arms length away from where Casey paces and hollers at the referees.The rapper-songwriter hosted his second annual Drake Night, on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre, as the Raptors played Brooklyn for the first time since the Nets ousted Toronto in the first round of last seasons playoffs.A sell-out crowd of 19,800 fans received keepsake Drake Night T-shirts. Drake announced the Raptors lineup pre-game before taking his usual courtside seat. He spent some time at the broadcast table doing guest commentary.Do I hear Dwane Casey use foul language? Drake was asked in a humorous pre-game scrum with reporters. He just always says high hands. Hes always screaming high hands. Honestly, I sit right beside him, and I cant understand a word that hes saying. I dont know how the players know what to do. It just all sounds like random words that come to his mind. Hell just be like, A-1 sauce!Drake said while the night was named for him, it was all about a Raptors team that is enjoying its best start in franchise history.Its really about this team just doing what theyve been doing all year, which is just being incredible, he said. I had some conversations with a couple of the guys and just really asked them to overdo it tonight for me.I hate to be redundant, but I just care so much about the city and the people in it and night after night, its amazing to see all these seats sold out, he added. George Parros Jersey. Sports is a huge part of my life, and its just great to see people from all walks of life, Toronto itself is such a mosaic of different people from different cultures and different walks of life and you look around the building and you see all these people just coming together for a great squad, a great game.Drake said he was given a choice of visiting teams for his night this season. Brooklyn was an obvious choice after the Nets dispatched the Raptors in Game 7 of the opening round of the playoffs last season.If theres anybody that I want to beat, its the Nets, Drake said. I think if we have a rivalry at all, I think this would probably would be it. Obviously, Ive got much love for New York and Brooklyn but in this particular arena at this particular moment, the one thing I want to do is knock out Brooklyn.Drake has come to know the Raptors players well, and attributes their success to their chemistry.Being part of an ensemble cast, it involves the meshing of all personalities. I can testify because I was on Degrassi where there were 12 kids trying to co-exist, and everybody wanted to be a star, he said. Once you have a common goal in mind as opposed to a personal goal, thats when things really start to click.They have a real family vibe going on. . . These guys love each other. They care about each other. It shows in our record. Im excited for this stretch, and Im excited for the stretch where we play the over-500 teams. I think thats going to be the real test.After Sundays game versus the visiting New York Knicks, the Raptors head west for a tough six-game road trip. ' ' '

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