Without Vin Scully calling the home opener for the Dodgers for the first time since 1977 due to a cold, the Dodgers went to work to try and give fans something else to cheer about while they were celebrating 50 years at Dodger Stadium.
That they did; reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw kicked off the home schedule in style, dominating the Pirates for seven innings, giving up four hits, one run, no walks, and striking out seven batters. Pittsburgh’s Kevin Correia had a solid outing of his own; six innings, four hits, two walks, three strikeouts, and one run allowed. After tying the score on a Matt Hague ground out in the top of the seventh, the birthday boy, Andre Ethier, hit a home run off of Jason Grilli with two-out. When he trotted back out to right field in the top of the ninth, Ethier was met by numerous adoring fans, who broke out in song to wish him a Happy Birthday. He said that having 56,000 people wish you a Happy Birthday all at one time is pretty cool…yea, I would think so too, Andre.
This match up featured two 3-0 teams, so something had to give. Matt Moore kept the Tigers’ bats quiet for 6.2 innings and Rick Porcello battled for 7 innings of his own, giving up seven hits, two walks, and two runs to the Rays. The Detroit bullpen was able to keep the Rays at bay, while Detroit’s lethal one-two punch of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder got things going in the bottom of the eighth. Cabrera doubled to lead off the inning, Fielder singled him in, then eventually scored on a Jhonny Peralta sacrifice fly. The win gives Jim Leyland and his Tiger team their first 4-0 start since the team went to the World Series in 2006.
Daniel Bard‘s first MLB start for Boston was spoiled by Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion. The Jays’ third baseman collected two hits, an RBI single and his first home run of the year, along with two stolen bases to help Kyle Drabek get his first win of 2012. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia continues to swing a hot bat with three more hits, but the rest of the Red Sox lineup was silent last night, leading to their fourth loss in five games to start the year.
It was a pitcher’s duel at the Ballpark in Arlington (you don’t hear that everyday); Neftali Feliz threw seven shutout innings of four-hit ball to earn his first win in the Texas rotation, and Blake Beavan ends up being on the wrong end of this battle. The sole run of the game came in the second inning; Michael Young reached on a fielder’s choice, eventually made his way around to third, just in time for David Murphy to single through the shortstop-third base hole, plating the veteran.
The Yanks and the O’s battled each other for 12 innings last night at Camden Yards, and it was a hard fought win for New York. Freddy Garcia threw five wild pitches and Wei-Yin Chen made his MLB debut Baltimore, but it was Raul Ibanez who stole the show in the 12th inning with a tie-breaking double. Both the Yankees (2-18) and the Orioles (0-8) struggled with runners in scoring position, but New York came out with their second straight victory after being swept by the Rays.
Oakland A’s- 0
In a rain shortened game, the limelight was stolen by California native and Royals pitcher, Danny Duffy, who went six innings of shut out ball against Oakland, giving up one hit, four walks, and striking out eight hitters. The Royals got on the board in the top of the 4th with a Mike Moustakas double and Humberto Quintero sacrifice fly. That would be all they would need to get their third win of the year, putting them back over .500.
Cleveland Indians Postponed
Not much went on in Cleveland today, mostly because there was no baseball played due to inclement weather. However, the Indians were busy, inking Carlos Santana to a five-year deal worth $21 million, which will take him through his arbitration years with the club.
Mike Leake of the Reds pitched pretty well by most standards, but it was unfortunate for Cincinnati because they were unable to crack the code that is Kyle Loshe, who threw six innings of one-run ball for his second win of the season. The Cardinal offense was powered by a pair of home runs; Carlos Beltran hit his third round-tripper of the year in the first inning, and after a Lance Berkman triple in the sixth, David Freese also hit his third homer of the season off of Leake, which was all the Cardinals would need for victory.
The Mets dropped their first game of the season last night, but the biggest news came off the field; David Wright fractured his pinkie finger Tuesday night on the base paths, forcing him to sit out for the immediate future. Without their third baseman in the lineup and a couple of regulars getting some rest, the offense became stagnant and the bullpen came back down to Earth. Jayson Werth ended his hitless streak with four knocks, Ryan Zimmerman had a solid game, and Ian Desmond got the Nats off to a good start with a lead off home run off Dillon Gee.
Tommy Hanson pitched five strong innings to record his first win of the season, but the show belonged to Chipper Jones last night, returning from the Disabled List after he was recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. The veteran third baseman helped the Braves get into the win column with some stellar defense in the beginning of the game, as well as singling and hitting a home run in the first two at-bats of his season.
Chicago Cubs- 4
Neither team pitched fantastic in this game, with a total of nine hurlers being used between both teams, but the Brewers touched up Pat Maholm for six runs and two home runs in his four innings of work. The two offensive stars of the night for the Brewers were Jonathan Lucroy, who went 2-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored, and Aramis Ramirez, who was able to drive in a run and score twice without registering a hit. Now that’s being productive.
The Dbacks are off to their best start in franchise history, thanks to Chris Young‘s two-run blast in the 11th inning. Trevor Cahill made his first start in an Arizona uniform; he only gave up one run in six innings of work, despite walking six batters. Paul Goldschmidt brought in the other two Diamondback runs with two hits of his own. With the Mets loss, Arizona is the only undefeated National League team left.