The Washington Nationals pounded out 14 hits, including two home runs by Michael Morse, en route to a 9-3 win over the New York Mets in both team's Grapefruit League opener.

Bryce Harper, the Nats No. 1 overall pick in last summer's amateur draft, went 0-for-2, striking out twice, in his first action against big league players.

Morse, battling with several players for playing time in a now-crowded Nationals' outfield, went 3-for-5 with the two homers and four RBIs.  He also made a nice play on a sizzling grounder at third base late in the game as he tries to show off his flexibility defensively.

Ian Desmond, Roger Bernadina and Wilson Ramos all had two hits apiece for the Washington attack.

Chad Gaudin was the starting pitcher, and went three innings in his Nats debut.  He gave up two earned runs on five hits, striking out four.  Craig Stammen went two innings in relief and "earned" the win.  He allowed one earned run on three hits and a walk, striking out two.

Rule 5 selection Brian Broderick, Doug Slaten, Todd Coffey and Adam Carr all pitched scoreless innings of relief.

Nyjer Morgan and Jesus Flores both went hitless in three at bats.

The most anticipated appearance of the day was for 18-year old Harper.  He entered as a pinch-runner for designated hitter Matt Stairs in the fifth inning.  Stairs made his Major League debut 140 days before Harper was born.

Harper struck out on three pitches by Taylor Tankersley -- fouling the first pitch off and swinging at a pair of breaking balls -- and went down swinging on an 86 MPH fastball from Ryota Igarashi with the count 1-2.

Overall, it was a good start to the spring schedule.  It took until the twelfth game of the spring last year for the Nats to record a win, and several Nats competing for jobs had good days. Most of all though, it's just good to be reading box scores again.

The game will be rebroadcast at 9:30 pm on MLB Network tonight.