First of a kind for D.C.

March 2, 2005, midnight | By Jonah Gold | 15 years, 6 months ago

Nationals win debut over Mets

After a journey that stretched from Montreal to Puerto Rico, from Portland to Las Vegas and then finally to Washington D.C., the Nationals were ready to play under their new name. Ironically, the Nationals honored the nation's capital with a victory today playing in their temporary home in Florida against a team from New York.

But even after this extensive travel, the team was able to win their first game for Washington D.C. since 1971, with a 5-3 victory over the newly revamped Mets. With a two-run homerun from right fielder Jose Guillen in the 4th inning, the team was led mostly by their new acquisitions, Cristian Guzman, Vinny Castilla and Guillen, who each had a hit in today's game.

The team had nine hits overall, two of them homeruns, with the second hit by Catcher Keith Osik. Guzman was credited with the first hit in Nationals history when he singled into center on a 1-0 pitch.

Both teams were silent for the first three innings and the score was left 0-0, but in the 4th, both teams scored two runs. The game continued to stay close in the 5th inning as each team scored one run, leaving the score 3-3. The Nationals finally took the lead in the 6th and added an insurance run in the 8th to seal the game.

The team was not without faults today. The Nationals committed two errors, one by center fielder Endy Chavez and the other by pitcher Mike Hickley. The error by Hickley was costly, leading to the two runs scored by the Mets in the 4th inning.

Overall though, this was a positive day for this struggling franchise. The opener was sold out, with over 7,500 fans in attendance, starkly contrasting the eroding support of Montreal. Some fans came from as far as the D.C. metropolitan area. Fans began arriving five hours before the game was scheduled to start.

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