5th In his first appearance as a Met since 1977, Tom Seaver combines with Doug Sisk to shut out the Phillies 2–0 on 5 hits. It is Seaver’s 14th NL Opening Day assignment, tying Walter Johnson’s record with Washington.
At Seattle, the Mariners open with a 5–4 win over the Yankees. Gaylord Perry makes his 9th Opening Day start, but the win goes to reliever Bryan Clark. Richie Zisk, a Yankee Opening Day nemesis, hits a two-run homer in Seattle’s 4-run 3rd inning to chase Ron Guidry. New York chases Perry in the 6th with back-to back homers by Dave Winfield and Steve Kemp. Steve Henderson scores the winner in the 7th when he hits his 3rd single, steals second, takes 3rd on a grounder and scores on a sac fly.
In the opener at the Astrodome, the Dodgers spoil the party with a 16-7 win over the Astros. Ken Landreaux drives in 6 runs and Pedro Guerrero has a single, triple and HR to drive in 5. Neither of the two starters, Joe Niekro or Fernando Valenzuela, get a decision.
7th ML Baseball, ABC, and NBC agree to terms of a 6-year television package worth $1.2 billion. The 2 networks will continue to alternate coverage of the playoffs, World Series, and All-Star Game through the 1989 season, with each of the 26 clubs receiving $7 million per year in return. The last package gave each club $1.9 million per year.
9th Rod Carew’s 5th inning grand slam gives California a lead they will not relinquish as they beat the A’s, 10-2. Carew has 3 hits as does Fred Lynn, who drives in 3 runs. Luis Sanchez pitches 4 scoreless innings in relief of Ken Forsch (1-0).
George Vukovitch belts an 8th inning grand slam as the Indians score 6 in the frame to beat the Orioles, 8-4.
12th At the Pirates home opener, Cardinals reliever Bruce Sutter is on the mound in the 8th when, with Keith Hernandez playing deep behind 1B, Pirate baserunner Bill Madlock takes a long leadoff. With Madlock distracted by Hernandez, Sutter darts off the mound and makes an unassisted put out. Sutter and the Cards are winners, 4–3.
13th The Phillies score 5 runs in the 9th inning to beat the Mets, 10-9. The big blow is a game ending walkoff grand slam by Bo Diaz off Neil Allen with two outs. Pete Rose records his 700th double and scores his 2000th run while the bright spots for the Mets are their 17 hits, including 3 homers. Bob Bailor and Dave Kingman hit back-to-back HRs.
14th The Twins cancel their night game with the Angels because of a winter storm and the fact that the Angels can’t make their connections. Late this evening a chunk of ice will tear a 20 foot hole in the roof of the Metrodome, causing it to deflate.
15th Detroit P Milt Wilcox is one out away from a perfect game when pinch hitter Jerry Hairston singles, and Wilcox settles for a 4–0 one-hitter over White Sox ace LaMar Hoyt. This is only the 5th time in ML history a perfect bid has been stopped with one out to go: the last was Milt Pappas on September 2, 1972. Pappas finished with a no hitter.
The Astros avoid the worst start in modern ML history by beating the Expos 7–6 in 10 innings for their first win of the season in 10 games.
16th Montreal’s Charlie Lea pitches the ML’s 2nd one-hitter in as many days, shutting out the Astros 2–0. The only Houston hit is Terry Puhl’s pinch single with 2 out in the 8th inning.
Padres 1B Steve Garvey plays in his 1,118th consecutive game, breaking Billy Williams’ NL record. Garvey goes 2-for-4 in an 8–5 Padres loss at Los Angeles.
Against Oakland, the Twins tee off for 4 HRs in the 9th, the first three off Beard. Engle and Mitchell connect back to back, and Gaetti and Hatcher also homer.
17th Nolan Ryan fans 7 Expos in a 6–3 Houston win to become only the 2nd pitcher to record 3,500 career strikeouts.
20th George Brett belts 3 home runs, the last a 2-run shot in the top of the 9th inning, and drives in 7 runs to lead the Royals to an 8–7 win over Detroit.
21st At Shea Stadium, the Yanks top the Mets, 4-1, in the 19th exhibition game between the two teams starting in 1963. The series stands at 10 wins for the Yankees, 8 for the Mets, with one tie.
22nd Led by Brian Downing and Rod Carew the Angels down the Orioles, 6-5, in 11 innings. Downing has 4 hits and 3 RBI, while Carew collects 5 hits and scores 3 times.
Dale Murphy has not at bats but walks 5 times in the Braves, 5-4, win over the Mets. He scores a run.
27th In a 4–2 win over the Expos, Nolan Ryan strikes out Brad Mills to move a strikeout ahead of Walter Johnson and become baseball’s all-time leader at 3,509. Ryan will finish the season at 3,677, with Carlton leading at 3,709.
Fred Lynn and Darryl Sconiers hit grand slams to lead California to a 13–3 win over the Tigers. This is a first for the Angels club.
28th In Nashville, the New York Yankees play an exhibition game against their minor league affiliate the Nashville Sounds, and the Bombers take a four-run lead going into the bottom of the 9th. But the Sounds rally for 5 runs with two outs to win, 5–4, in front of 13,641 fans.
30th El Paso beats Beaumont 35–21 to break the Texas League’s 80-year-old record for total runs scored in a game. A 25-mph wind blowing out to right field at El Paso’s Dudley Field was a big help to hitters. The only starter on either team without a RBI was the winners’ SS Ernest Riles.