NL East Wrap: Reds get to Strasburg early, beat Nationals

NL East Wrap: Reds get to Strasburg early, beat Nationals
April 7, 2013, 8:00 pm
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The Phillies blew a 4-0 lead for the second time in three days Sunday afternoon, and a ninth-inning rally wasn't enough in a 9-8 loss to the Royals (see Instant Replay).

In the defeat, Cole Hamels had one of the worst outings of his career, giving up a grand slam for the first time in his career and allowing eight runs and nine hits overall.

As the Phillies dropped to 2-4 on the season, here's a look at what else went on around the division on the first Sunday of the 2013 regular season:

Strasburg hit early, suffers first loss
CINCINNATI -- Johnny Cueto ordered three runs. His Cincinnati teammates dutifully delivered.

The Reds pitcher came off the mound after the sixth inning of his start Sunday against the Washington Nationals with the score tied, 3-all.

"I said, `I want three runs here. Do it for me,'" Cueto said.

Todd Frazier confirmed Cueto's order.

"I was screaming with him," the Cincinnati third baseman said. "He was saying it in Spanish, but we understood."

Boy, did they. The Reds scored three runs off Washington ace Stephen Strasburg on their way to a 6-3 win in what started out as a highly anticipated matchup of young aces. (See full recap.)

Bravos complete sweep
ATLANTA -- For the first four innings, Tim Hudson wondered if Jeff Samardzija would be too tough to beat.

Luckily for Hudson, the hard-throwing Samardzija began having control problems, and the Atlanta Braves took advantage of the situation.

"You know you're not going to get much against a pitcher like Samardzija," Hudson said. "He was throwing some cheese in there."

Hudson pitched six-plus strong innings and added an RBI and Ramiro Pena hit a two-run single to help the Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Sunday.

The three-game sweep ended a 5-1 homestand for Atlanta, which got a solo homer from Dan Uggla in the eighth off Hisanori Takahashi. (See full recap.)

Mets walk-off Marlins
NEW YORK -- Once they got 20-year-old Jose Fernandez out of the game, the New York Mets breathed a sigh of relief and went to work.

Marlon Byrd grounded a two-run single just inside third base in the bottom of the ninth inning and New York rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

Daniel Murphy homered and Anthony Recker had a run-scoring double for the Mets, who spoiled an impressive major league debut by the Marlins' prized pitching prospect.

"He's going to be a good one," Byrd predicted, saying Fernandez reminded him of Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. "He's one of those guys if he's on, it really doesn't matter if you've seen him or not. He's going to be electric." (See full recap.)

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