1988 April

1st Each player needing a change of scenery, the Mets trade C John Gibbons to the Dodgers for Australian Craig Shipley.  Los Angeles had sent Shipley to Albuquerque, despite his hitting 11-for-18 in spring training and being named the top rookie.  When Shipley requested a trade, the Dodgers obliged. Gibbons will not make it out of the minors but will reappear in the Bigs as manager of Toronto.

4th  Toronto’s George Bell, the defending AL MVP, hits 3 home runs as the Blue Jays beat Kansas City 5–3 on Opening Day in  Kansas City. Bell will go 5-for-5 in Toronto’s 2nd game of the season.

      The Mets set an Opening Day record with 6 home runs in a 10–6 win over the Expos. Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds each connect twice for New York, with Strawberry’s 2nd blast believed to be the longest ever hit at Olympic Stadium (estimated at 525 feet).

      Texas knuckler Charlie Hough beats the Indians, 4–3, in the Rangers home opener. It is his 13th straight win over the Tribe, dating back to April 6, 1984, Hough allows 3 solo HRs, and gets an inning of relief from Mitch Williams. O’Brien has a pair of HRs, including the game winner in the 8th off Codiroti, in relief of Candiotti.

5th  Before 55,802 at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees score 6 runs off Frank Viola in 5 innings to top the Twins, 8–0. Rick Rhoden allows 3 hits in 9 innings for the win. Roberto Kelly and Willie Randolph each have three hits, while Jim Pagliarulo and Rickey Henderson belt homers.

7th  Reds rookie Chris Sabo ties a ML record with 11 assists at 3B in Cincinnati’s 8–1 win over St. Louis.

8th  Dave Martinez has 4 hits, including a grand slam, to lead the Cubs to their third win in a row, 6-4, over the host Expos. Jamie Moyer wins his first of the year, pitching into the 7th.

      At Riverfront, Houston scores 5 runs in the top of the 16th to beat the Reds, 8-3.

10th  At Riverfront, Houston scores 5 runs in the 7th and again in the 9th to swamp the Reds, 12-3. Glenn Davis belts a 3-run homer in the 7th and Kevin Bass clouts a grand slam in the 9th.

11th  In a wild one in Canada, the Blue Jays outslug the Yankees to win, 17-9, amassing 20 hits. David Wells wins with 4 innings of relief.  Kelly Gruber has a double and 2 homers to drive in 5 runs, while Rick Leach has 2 doubles, 2 singles and 2 RBIs.  Rickey Henderson does his best for the Yankees collecting 5 hits, 4 stolen bases and 4 runs.

12th  After leading his club to an 0-6 start, Orioles manager Cal Ripken, Sr. is fired and replaced by Frank Robinson. Ripken was 68-101 since taking over for Earl Weaver last season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, this is the quickest hook of a manager in a season in this century. The Tigers will match it in 2002.

      Rangers pitcher Bobby Witt ties the AL record by committing 4 balks in a 4–1 loss to the Tigers.

      Devon White hits a grand slam and drives in 5 runs as the Angels belt the visiting White Sox, 16-6. Jack Howell has 4 hits, including a homer, to drive in 3, and Chile Davis has 3 hits, including a HR, to also bring home 3. .

      John Kruk’s 5th inning grand slam is the difference as the Padres down the Dodgers, 5-3.

13th  Oakland’s Rick Honeycutt becomes the 2nd pitcher in as many days to tie the AL’s 28-year-old balk record by committing 4 balks in 4 innings while saving a 12–7 win over Seattle. A ML-record 924 balks will be called this season after umpires are instructed to interpret the “complete stop” rule more strictly.

14th The AAA Buffalo Bisons open their new 19,500 seat Pilot Field, named after Pilot Air Freight which paid $1.02 million for the naming rights. The Stadium replaces War Memorial Stadium, nicknamed, the Rockpile, which has been given to Canisius College.  In this opener, Buffalo tops the Denver Zephyrs, 1–0, before 19,500. Buffalo’s attendance will jump from 495,000 to 1,147,651 this year, a new minor-league record.

15thDuring the Reds 4–2 10-inning victory over the Astros, Reds SS Dave Concepcion is ejected from the dugout for blowing kisses at umpire Dave Pallone. The two have had a running feud.

      Cleveland edges Baltimore, 3-2, with the win going to Yett, who has yet to lose (2-0). Scott McGregor takes the loss, his 10th straight at the hands of the Indians. Joe Carter’s homer in the 8th ties the game at 2-2 and McGregor puts the winning run on before exiting.

      In a California League/ game at Stockton, Fresno pitchers Robert Rowen and Atsushi Tagi combine to throw 11 hitless innings. Rowen pitched the first 6 2/3 innings. Fresno wins, 3–1.

17th  After 10 consecutive losses the Braves win their first game of the season 3–1 over the Dodgers. Zane Smith is the winner. Atlanta’s 0-10 start is the worst in NL history but not the worst in the major leagues this year.

      At Boston, the Red Sox run up a 12-0 lead after 4 innings and coast home to a 15-2 walloping of the Texas Rangers.  Mike Greenwell leads the way with 6 RBIs and Bruce Hurst scatters 4 hits for his second win.

18th  At the Metrodome, the Yankees unload 20 hits as the batter starter Bert Blyleven for 5 runs, Steve Carlton for 6 and Tippy Martinez for 7 as they roll over the Twins, 18-5. Charlie Hudson picks up the win in relief. Dave Winfield paces the offense with 4 runs batted in. Steve Carlton is charged with his ML-record 90thbalk before he leaves. He will make one final ML appearance before retiring.

19th  Jesse Barfield has a grand slam, off Bret Saberhagen,  in Toronto’s 7-run 3rd inning as the Jays beat the visiting Royals, 12-3.  Fred McGriff contributes a homer and 3 RBIs and Ernie Whitt has a triple and 3 RBIs.

20th  The Orioles set a ML record for consecutive losses at the start of a season, falling to 0-14 with an 8–6 loss to the Brewers. The 1904 Senators and 1920 Tigers each lost their first 13 games of the season. It’s not over yet for the O’s.

      Claudell Washington hits the 10,000th home run in Yankees history and Jack Clark hits his first AL home run in the top of the 10th inning to give New York a 7–6 win over Minnesota. The Yankees are the first ML club to hit 10,000 homers.

21stJohnny Ray drives in 6 runs to lead the Angels to an 11-6 win over the Mariners. Ray has 4 hits as does Bob Boone, who has 2 RBIs.

22ndCory Snyder in the 1st and Joe Carter in the 8thhit grand slams to power the Indians to a 11–6 win over the Twins. Twins P Bert Blyleven hits a ML record-tying 4 Cleveland batsmen before departing in the 5th inning.

      The Cardinals trade veteran 2B Tom Herr to the Twins for OF Tom Brunansky.

23rd Dave Stewart (5-0) goes the distance as the A’s defeat the White Sox, 3-2, in 10 innings. Lance Johnson reaches 1B in the 10th when he receives a ball 4 call when reliever John Davis goes to his mouth, Johnson scores the winner to start the A’s on a 14-game winning streak.

      At Candlestick, the Dodgers score 4 in the 7th and another 5 in the 9th in a comeback 10-3 win over the Giants.  Mike Marshall hits a grand slam in the 9th and Orel Hirshiser (4-0) is the winner.

      Joe Carter clubs a pair of 3-run homers–one off Steve Carlton and another off Joe Niekro–to pace Cleveland to a 10-2 win over the Twins. John Farrell (3-0) goes the distance for the win. Carlton is pounded for 9 runs in 5 innings in his first start for the Twins: Minnesota will release the future Hall of Famer on the 28th, ending his career.

24th  Tim Laudner belts a pair of 3-run homers, both of reliever Rich Yett, as the Twins whip the Indians, 13-7.

      The Padres Andy Hawkins fires a one-hitter in stopping the Astros, 3-0. Bill Doran’s leadoff single in the 7th is the lone Houston hit.

26th  Keith Hernandez hits 2 home runs (one is a grand slam) and drives in 7 runs to reach the 1,000 career RBI mark as the Mets pound the Braves, 13–4.

27th  Nolan Ryan no-hits the Phillies for 813innings before Mike Schmidt singles and Ryan ends up getting no decision in Houston’s eventual 3–2, 10-inning win.  Ryan will have 5 one-hitters with the lone hit coming in the 9th inning: This is the 3rd.

      At Los Angeles, veteran Don Sutton shuts out the Cubs, 4–0, beating Jamie Moyer. It is his last decision versus the Cubs and he closes out his career against Chicago at 18–20. Not bad, considering that his first 13 decisions against the Cubs were losses.

28th  The Orioles set an AL record with their 21st consecutive loss, 4–2, to the Twins, breaking the record shared by the 1906 Red Sox and the 1916 and 1943 A’s. Ripken suffers through an 0-for-29, not the streak he’s looking for. Mike Boddicker drops to 0–5. Only the ’61 Phils had a longer losing streak, 23.

29th  Baltimore pounds Chicago 9–0 for its first win of the season, ending its losing streak. Mark Williamson and Dave Schmidt combine on the shutout.

30th  Dave Winfield drives in his 28th and 29th runs of the season in New York’s 15–3 rout of Texas, tying the ML record for RBI in April. Don Mattingly scores 5 runs for New York and Mike Pagliarulo has a 3-run homer and a grand slam to drive home 7.

      During a 6–5 loss to the Mets at Riverfront Stadium, Pete Rose is ejected after he shoves ump Dave Pallone with his forearm during an argument. Pallone had accidentally jabbed Rose on the check with his finger. The play started when Pallone hesitated before making a safe call at 1B, ruling Esasky pulled his foot off the bag. During the resulting argument, Howard Johnson scored from 3B with what proved to be the winning run. After Rose is tossed, the fans answer by tossing debris onto the field during a 14-minute delay. Pallone left the field and the game continued with 3 umps.