The Washington Nationals have jumped out to an early lead in their series opener against the Blue Jays, looking for their fourth straight win in interleague play against the AL East. Toronto starter Brandon Morrow left the game after throwing just nine pitches, grabbing his side after an offering to Bryce Harper in the top of the first. It first appeared to be a strained oblique.
Washinton took advantage of the Toronto misfortune, putting two runs on the board in the top of the first. Harper singled home Stephen Lombardozzi for the opening run and then advanced to third on an error by David Cooper. Michael Morse knocked him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. The second time through the lineup, it was Adam LaRoche who did the damage, ripping a two-run homer to right off Chad Beck. The Jays' reliever was chased in the fourth inning, and the Nats have a golden opportunity to start the series by overextending John Farrell's pen. The lead is at 4-1 in the top of the 5th.
It's not all good news so far, as Nationals left fielder Roger Bernadina left the game in the top of the fourth inning. Bernadina appeared to injure his right leg sliding headfirst into third base, as he went from first to third on a wild pitch. He had trouble leaving the field under his own power but eventually limped off slowly towards the dugout. Davey Johnson replaced Bernadina with Xavier Nady.
It's an unfortunate injury as Bernadina has had some success recently with the opportunities he's been given in a crowded outfield. He came through with the game-winning hit on Sunday afternoon in Boston, ripping a double down the right field line at Fenway that scored Bryce Harper.
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