WASHINGTON — Mark Canha and Starling Marte — two products of the Mets‘ quarter-billion dollar offseason spending spree — drove in runs to back five shutout innings from Tylor Megill, Jacob deGrom’s fill-in as the opening day starter, and New York won manager Buck Showalter’s debut 5-1 against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
The Mets became the first team to get scoreless outings from their starters on opening day in four consecutive seasons. Megill (1-0), a 6-foot-7 right-hander who reached the majors last June, allowed three hits and no walks while striking out six.
He entered the day with the least amount of time in the majors of any Mets opening day starting pitcher, but drew the assignment because deGrom, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, is injured.
Nationals starter Patrick Corbin (0-1), on the mound for Game 1 because 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is returning from surgery, gave up two runs in four-plus innings.
The game originally was scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m., but rain in the forecast prompted the teams to agree on Wednesday that they would push that back to 7:05 p.m. in the hopes the wet weather would clear. Took longer than that on a 50-degree day: The first pitch was thrown at 8:21 p.m.
The Mets made it 2-0 in the fifth, then 4-0 in the sixth with consecutive RBI singles by Canha and Jeff McNeil off reliever Austin Voth. That elicited some “Let’s go Mets!” chants from a crowd announced at 35,052.
Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo and Edwin Díaz each pitched a hitless inning in relief.
Juan Soto produced Washington’s run with his 99th career homer, a second-deck shot off Trevor May in the sixth.
Soto is one of the lone remnants from Washington’s title team of three years ago. General manager Mike Rizzo tore down the roster at the trade deadline last July in the midst of a second straight last-place NL East finish.
Division rival New York is going in the opposite direction, aggressively adding talent. Free agents included Canha ($26.5 million, two years), Marte ($78 million, four years) and Max Scherzer ($130 million, three years).
Showalter is with his fifth major league team as a skipper, including the Yankees from 1992-95 and, most recently, the Orioles from 2010-18.
THIS AND THAT
Mets 1B Pete Alonso got hit by a pitch from reliever Mason Thompson in the ninth and left the game. Earlier, catcher James McCann was hit twice – once by Corbin with the bases loaded and once by Andres Machado. … Alonso got thrown out at home while trying to score from first base on Eduardo Escobar’s double in the fourth. Alonso immediately put his hands to his ears to signal that he wanted a reply challenge. Showalter requested one but lost, a ruling announced to the crowd by an umpire under a new policy this season. … DH Nelson Cruz went 0 for 4 in his Nationals debut.
The Mets picked up RHP Adonis Medina from the Pirates in exchange for cash and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse. RHP Yennsy Díaz was designated for assignment.
Mets: DeGrom went on the 10-day IL with a stress reaction on his right shoulder blade. He is likely out at least until June. … OF Brandon Nimmo (stiff neck) sat out.
Nationals: Strasburg was put on the 10-day IL as he continues his return from thoracic outlet surgery. … RHP Will Harris, who had surgery to clean up scar tissue in his right pectoral muscle last week, went on the 60-day IL. … INF Ehire Adrianza (strained left calf) went on the 10-day IL.
Three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Scherzer will make his first Mets appearance Friday — and it’ll be his return to Nationals Park after pitching for Washington for 6 1/2 seasons. He’s been dealing with a right hamstring issue but declared himself “good to go.” Washington starts Josiah Gray, acquired in the trade that sent Scherzer to the Dodgers last July.