Lind lifts Nats in a pinch on Opening Day

Lind lifts Nats in a pinch on Opening Day

WASHINGTON -- Adam Lind was not sure what to do. He had launched a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the seventh -- the go-ahead blow for the Nationals in Monday afternoon's 4-2 victory against the Marlins on Opening Day -- and the sold-out crowd of 42,744 at Nationals Park was erupting with glee.

The fans wanted a curtain call. The only problem was, Lind had never done one.

So he solicited the help of Daniel Murphy, and eventually came out from the dugout as the fans showered him with more applause to cap off a perfect Nationals debut for Lind.

"I don't even know what happened," Lind said. "You know, you wish you could hold onto it for a lifetime, but it goes by and you don't even realize what happened."

Lind hammered a fastball from Marlins right-hander David Phelps into center field, the ball leaving Lind's bat at 110.1 mph and traveling 415 feet, as measured by Statcast™. It was Lind's sixth career pinch-hit home run and a way to make an impression on his new team.

Statcast: Lind's two-run HR

"People that have played with me before know that home runs kind of get me going a little bit," Lind said. "In that situation, Opening Day, you can't really beat it."

The Nationals signed Lind near the start of Spring Training, as pitchers and catchers began reporting to camp, to help improve their already strong bench from last season. They are hoping that Lind can continue to be valuable in situations such as this one, as the left-handed power bat that Clint Robinson occupied on their bench the last two seasons. Lind is not used to being a pinch-hitter in his career and has acknowledged the role will take some adjustments during the course of the season, but he gave the Nationals exactly what they needed on Monday.

"You could tell in the spring he was really starting to swing the bat well and get comfortable," catcher Matt Wieters said. "He's the guy you want up there in that pinch-hit situation. He can feed off this for the rest of the season and draw back to this experience."

Next time, Lind will know exactly what to do.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.