Bryce Harper became the youngest Major League Baseball player to hit two home runs in his team’s first game of the season as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 2-0.
Harper, 20, hit solo home runs off of Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco in the first and fourth innings today at Nationals Park in Washington. It was the first of 12 games to finish today on baseball’s first full day of the season.
Harper’s two home runs accounted for Washington’s only scoring as another No. 1 draft pick, Stephen Strasburg, allowed three hits in seven innings and former New York Yankees closer Rafael Soriano recorded the save.
The top pick in 2010, Harper hit .270 with 22 home runs last year. He was the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 2012, and at 19 years old, became the youngest position player to participate in an All-Star game.
Don Money was 21 years old when he hit two home runs in the Philadelphia Phillies’ first game in 1969. Harper finished the game 2-for-4.
Strasburg, the No. 1 pick in 2009, struck out three in his first MLB game since being shut down last September and withheld from the team’s postseason roster to protect his arm as he recovered from 2010 elbow surgery.
Soriano, who saved 42 games for the Yankees last year in place of the injured Mariano Rivera, struck out two in a perfect ninth inning.