NEW YORK (AP) — Tanner Roark recovered from a shaky first inning as an emergency starter in place of ailing Jordan Zimmermann, and the Washington Nationals rallied past the New York Mets 8-2 Thursday for an opening three-game sweep.

Ryan Zimmerman tied his career high with four hits, including three that led off innings. His second-inning home run started the Nationals' comeback from a 2-0 deficit.

Washington's leadoff batter reached in the first seven innings, and the Nationals rallied to win for the third time in the series. While Washington opened 3-0 for the second straight season, the Mets fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2005. They had not lost their first three home games since 1997.

Zimmermann, 19-9 last year, was fine Wednesday but developed a fever overnight and was throwing up. Roark, who had been scheduled to start Friday's home opener against Atlanta, was told in the morning he'd be on the mound.