Mets 3, Nationals 2

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NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Mets got a big break from an umpire to start the season and Billy Wagner made sure they didn’t waste it.

Tom Glavine outpitched Livan Hernandez in a matchup of World Series MVPs, newcomer Xavier Nady went 4-for-4 and David Wright homered to help New York edge the Washington Nationals 3-2 Monday.

Alfonso Soriano certainly looked competent in his reluctant debut as a major league outfielder – and he was the player thrown out at the plate when Tim Tschida missed a key call in the eighth inning.

With the Nationals trailing by one, Soriano singled leading off and – with none out – was curiously waved around third by coach Tony Beasley on Ryan Zimmerman’s double into the left-field corner.

Jose Reyes’ accurate relay throw to the plate beat a diving Soriano, but replays showed catcher Paul Lo Duca juggled and dropped the ball after applying the tag.

Tschida, who had properly rotated down from first base, didn’t see it, perhaps blocked by Lo Duca’s back from his position in front of the plate.

Surprisingly, the Nationals never argued the call.

Aaron Heilman escaped the inning without any damage. Wagner, the All-Star closer who signed a $43 million, four-year contract with New York in the offseason to nail down tight games just like this one, worked the ninth for a save in his Mets debut.

He also got some help in the form of ill-advised baserunning by the Nationals when Jose Vidro was easily thrown out at second by Carlos Beltran to end the game on a single to center.

Playing very deep in left, especially against left-handed sluggers, Soriano caught four fly balls without a problem. He did mistakenly break back and circle Nady’s sixth-inning blooper, letting it drop in front of him for a single.

AP-ES-04-03-06 1617EDT

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