5th In the cold, windy ML Opener in Cincinnati, the Giants beat the Reds, 4–1. Juan Marichal is the winner over Don Gullett. Despite the weather, 51,579 are on hand.
The New York Yankees trade SS Frank Baker to the Orioles for INF Tom Matchick.
6th At Fenway Park, the first ball is thrown out by Ed Folger, a Red Sox farm hand who had his legs amputated last September following a farm accident. Then Yankee Ron Blomberg, facing Boston’s Luis Tiant, becomes the first official DH in the ML. Blomberg walks with the bases loaded and winds up 1-for-3 in the 15–5 loss to the Red Sox. Sox DH Orlando Cepeda goes 0-for-6, but Carlton Fisk strokes two homers, one a grand slam, in the 20-hit Boston assault. Doug Griffith has 4 hits for Boston, which overcomes a 3–0 by scoring 8 runs to chase Stottlemyre by the 3rd inning. The Yanks have 8 hits off Tiant, five by the Alou brothers—Matty and Felipe.
At Three Rivers Stadium, 51,695 fans watch as the jersey of the late Roberto Clemente is retired. The Pirates then beat St. Louis, 7–5, with a 9th inning rally.
At Shea, Tom Seaver tops Steve Carlton as the Mets shut out the Phillies, 3-0. Cleon Jones accounts for all the runs with a pair of homers off Carlton. For the Phillies, the shutout snaps their ML-record streak of 62 consecutive openers without being shut out.
At Baltimore, Dave McNally fires a three-hitter as the Orioles roll over the Brewers, 10–0. Don Baylor has three doubles, a homer, and 4 RBIs, while Brooks Robinson bangs two homers for 4 RBIs.
7th Cleveland sets day-game and opening-game records as 74,420 fans watch the Indians beat the Tigers, 2–1. Gaylord Perry is the winner over Mickey Lolich as Chris Chambliss and Mickey Stanley match homers.
10th Kansas City opens its new park, Royals Stadium, with a 12–1 rout of the Rangers. The game is attended by 39,464 fans braving 39-degree weather.
12th Giant Willie McCovey belts 2 HRs in the 4th inning of a 9–3 win over the Astros. McCovey’s feat is the first time in 24 years in the NL.
Jim Lonborg doesn’t finish the 1st, giving up 5 runs in a 5-3 Phillie loss to the Expos. Light-hitting Jorge Roque hits a grand slam, his second and last ML homer.
Dave McNally and the Orioles edge the Tigers, 1–0, in 10 innings. A throwing error by starter Mickey Lolich allows the only run.
Ken Henderson breaks a 2-2 tie with an 8th inning grand slam as the White Sox beat the A’s, 6-2.
15th Brewer rookie Gorman Thomas hits his first ML homer, off Jim Palmer, to tie the O’s in 9th, and Milwaukee wins, 3–2, it in the 11th on Pedro Garcia’s game-winner, The Orioles split for the day by taking the nightcap, 5–4, netting the go-ahead runs in the 8th on 4 singles. Earl Weaver and Bobby Grich aren’t around to see the finish as both are tossed.
In the first of 2 in San Francisco, Cesar Geronimo has 4 singles and a double to lead the Reds to an 11–0 pasting of the Giants. The Reds pin the loss on Juan Marichal. Cincy completes the sweep in game 2, winning 7–3.
16th At Fenway, Boston’s Reggie Smith homers from both sides of the plate during a 9–7 loss to Detroit.
17th Relief hurler Eddie Fisher, trying to become “another Wilbur Wood,” beats the Rangers 10–5 in his first complete game in 10 years. It is only the 6th CG of his long career.
Earl Williams hits his first AL homer, a three-run shot off Sparky Lyle, to lead the Orioles to a 4–3 win over the Yankees.
The Twins score 8 runs in the 7th inning to beat the Angels, 10-5. Danny Walton, pinch-hitting for Tony Oliva, hits a grand slam.
The Phils Dick Ruthven, signed from Fresno State, makes his ML debut without ever playing in the minors. He starts against Montreal, but doesn’t finish, taking the loss in a 9–6 decision to Dick Selma.
In a matchup of aces, the Cubs Fergie Jenkins bests Tom Seaver, 1-0, allowing 2 Mets hits. The Cubs will beat Jon Matlack tomorrow, 1-0, as three pitchers combine on the shutout. The Mets won’t lose consecutive 1-0 games to the same opponent until May 2015.
18th In a 3-2 California win over the Twins, Nolan Ryan fans 14 batters to top Bert Blyleven.
19th Al Kaline, 38, steals home on a double steal with Willie Horton as the Tigers defeat Boston 11–7.
22nd Ron Lolich hits a 2-out walk off grand slam off reliever Sonny Siebert to give the Indians an 8-7 win over the Red Sox in game 1. The Sox come back to win game 2, 5-2. Lolich is the first rookie to hit a walkoff grand slam in April. He will tally just 4 homers.
26th At Royals Stadium, Dave May pops a 9th inning grand slam to power the Brewers to a 7-3 win over the Royals.
27th In 50-degree Detroit weather, Royals rookie Steve Busby no-hits the Tigers, 3–0. It is the first Royals no-hitter, and the first in Tiger Stadium since Virgil Trucks’s in 1952. Busby is the first no-hit game pitcher not to bat. The losing pitcher is Jim Perry, who was the loser in the AL’s last no-hitter, in 1970 when he was with the Twins.
At Busch, Lou Brock’s triple and single are the only hits off Jim Barr as the Giants beat the Cards, 5-0. Tito Fuentes has a triple and 3 RBIs and Bobby Bonds triples.
28th Bobby Bonds hits a leadoff homer off Reggie Cleveland for the game’s only score, as the Giants beat the Cardinals, 1–0. Jim Willoughby throws his lone career shutout for the victory.
30th There are no games scheduled today. Except for All-Star games and labor strikes, this won’t occur again until June 29, 1998.