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Mets Fall in Extra Innings on Opening Day at Citi Field

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The New York Mets blew a ninth-inning lead and suffered a 9-7 extra-inning loss to the Washington Nationals on Opening Day at Citi Field Monday.

A double by the Nationals' Denard Span off the Mets' Bobby Parnell with two outs in the ninth drove in a run to tie the score at 5-5.

The Nationals added four runs in the top of the 10th, capped by a three-run home run by Anthony Rendon.

Mets captain David Wright hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th to cut the lead to 9-7, but newly acquired Curtis Granderson followed with a strikeout to end the game.

"Not a good day, obviously," Wright said. "Started out great, and any time you get to Stephen Strasburg like that, get four off of him and get him out of there after six or whatever it was, you need to capitalize on that, and we didn't do that."

Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee was solid until he faltered in the seventh inning, and the Nationals were able to tie it at 4 after Gee was pulled.

"I thought I did a really good job of keeping it in check, and I got on a nice roll there," Gee said. "Like I said, I felt pretty good today. I just, a couple guys here and there that I didn't get it done, and they crept back in the game."

The game began with Mayor Bill de Blasio throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

The festivities started much earlier for some Mets fans, who braved the morning's poor weather to carry out tailgating traditions.

"This is about our 20th that we've come and enjoyed ourselves. And it's a tradition for us and come out and have a good time, and we love it. We'll support 'em. It's going to be a long, rough run, but you know," said one Mets fan.

"We are diehard fans. We come here, we miss days of work to come and support the team, and we want to see the ownership have the same enthusiasm that all of us here have," said another Mets fan.

Many were cautiously optimistic before the game started, but by the end, some were frustrated and worried that this could be another losing season.

"This is what I expect all season. A lot of late-inning gut-wrenching losses," said one fan.

The Mets honored Ralph Kiner during a pregame ceremony.

The beloved Mets announcer and Baseball Hall of Famer passed away last month at the age of 91.

The Amazin's are coming off a 2013 campaign that saw them go 74-88, with a third-place finish in the National League East.

This season, they've added a few new faces, including two former Yankees.

After four seasons in the Bronx, Granderson signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the Mets.

In addition, pitcher Bartolo Colon agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract to play in Flushing. Colon spent the 2011 season with the Yankees.

The Yankees open their season Tuesday in Houston.

Meantime, this season will see a major expansion of instant replay throughout baseball.

Instant replay was first introduced to the game in 2008, but only for close calls on home runs.

Now, managers will get NFL-style challenges to fight an umpire's call.

Managers will get at least one challenge per game.

If he wins the challenge, he'll get a second one.

If he loses, he won't get any more.

After the seventh inning, an umpiring crew chief can request a review on his own if the manager has used up his challenges.

All reviews will be done by current umpires at a replay center in Manhattan.

"I think it's good because there are a lot of plays that get missed sometimes," said one baseball fan.

"Instant replay will help the game get the right calls. So it's going to slow it down a little bit, but it'll help it a little bit," said another baseball fan.

"I think you need it with all the controversial calls that go on it's really a shame so see a bad play, or a big game or a big moment in a game be turned around by something easily reviewable," noted a third baseball fan.

Plays that can be challenged include home runs, ground-rule doubles, fan interference, trap plays in the outfield, and touching a base.

Balls and strikes cannot be challenged along with check swings, foul tips, and obstruction and interference rulings. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP