Story Courtesy Atlanta Braves
ATLANTA — The final Opening Day at Turner Field provided the stage for a couple of division rivals to reunite in thrilling fashion. After overcoming their bullpen’s rough eighth inning, the Nationals tied the game in the ninth and then saw Daniel Murphy cap his memorable debut with a 10th-inning go-ahead double that proved decisive in Monday afternoon’s 4-3 win over the Braves.
Playing in his first game with the Nationals, Murphy extended last year’s postseason power surge with a fourth-inning homer off Julio Teheran. The veteran second baseman then followed Gordon Beckham‘s throwing error in the 10th by delivering an opposite-field double that scored Ryan Zimmerman and preserved the effort submitted by Max Scherzer, who limited his damage over seven innings to solo home runs from Freddie Freeman and Adonis Garcia.
Murphy was reluctant to talk about himself after the game. He said it was a team victory.
“It was a great win,” Murphy said. “I think it started with Max going seven innings. It was really nice to be on this side of that, and Bryce Harper picks up where he left off last year.”
Long after Harper and Murphy blemished Teheran’s six-inning effort with solo homers, the Braves claimed a brief lead in the eighth inning, when they drew two walks — including the four-pitch, bases-loaded walk Shawn Kelley issued to Garcia to give Atlanta a 3-2 edge.
“Things just didn’t fall into place,” Freeman said. “This was the last Opening Day at Turner Field. Things are supposed to fall into place. It just didn’t happen. We played a great ballgame until the last couple of innings.”