1989 April

3rd  The Mets win their 11th consecutive home opener, 8–4, over St. Louis at Shea Stadium. New York has won on Opening Day in 18 of the last 20 seasons. Dwight Gooden is the winner, helped by a home run by Howard Johnson.

      Facing Dave Stewart, Ken Griffey, Jr. doubles in his first ML at bat, but the Athletics beat the Mariners, 3–2. Mark McGwire homers for the A’s.

      At Baltimore, President George H.W. Bush and his guest Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak watch the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 5-4, in 11 innings.  Roger Clemens strikes out 4 in 7 innings and surrenders a 3-run homer to Cal Ripken, Jr. Rookie Craig Worthington drives in the winning run in the 11th.  Bush tosses out the first ball but is not around for the last.

4th  Before 52,394 at Minneapolis, the Yankees spoil the Twins Opening Day game by winning, 4–2.  45-year-old Tommy John, pitching in his 26th season, allows the Twins two run in 7 innings of work, defeating Frank Viola.  Roberto Kelly is 4-for-4 for New York, including the game’s only homer.

      The Cubs open the season with a 5-4 win over the Phillies as Mitch Williams strikes out three straight batters with the bases full. Rick Sutcliffe picks up the win, the first Cubs pitcher to win back-to-back openers since Pete Alexander in 1925-26.

      Rangers DH Buddy Bell gets his 2,500th career hit, a single off Jack Morris in a 4–0 win over Detroit.

6th  In his first start of the season, Orel Hershiser gives up a run in the first inning of a 4–3 loss to the Reds to end his ML-record consecutive-scoreless-inning streak at 59.

      In the Royals 3–2 win over the Blue Jays, Kansas City batters combine for just 20 at bats. This is one shy of the ML record for fewest at bats, which Baltimore set on September 12, 1964, versus Kansas City. Toronto allows 8 walks, made 3 DPs, and KC has a sac and 2 sac flies.

7th  At Texas, Tony Fernandez hits a 2nd inning grand slam, off Bobby Witt, and Kelly Gruber adds a tie-breaking solo homer in the 8th as the Blue Jays win at Texas, 10-9.

      In Kansas City, the Red Sox edge the Royals, 9-8, as Kansas City’s 4-run rally in the 9th falls short.  A handful of fans wear Margo Adams masks in an effort the distract Wade Boggs, who is being sued by his former mistress. The masks were handed out at the main gate by a local radio station. Not one to chicken out, Boggs singles in his first at bat. He’ll have 7 hits in the three games in KC, raising his average to .429.

8th  One-handed pitcher Jim Abbott makes his ML debut but lasts only 423innings in California’s 7–0 loss to Seattle. Abbott, who bypassed the minors completely after starring at the University of Michigan, will finish the season 12-12 with a 3.92 ERA, the most ML wins in a first pro season since the Browns Ernie Wingard won 13 in his first pro season, in 1924.

      Ivan Calderon’s 5th inning grand slam, off Rick Honeycutt, is the difference as the White Sox trim the A’s, 7-4, in Oakland.

9th  Rickey Henderson steals his 800th career base in New York’s 4–3 loss to the Indians.

      At Riverfront, Rick Reuschel (2-0) goes 6 innings and Matt Williams hits a grand slam as the Giants down the Reds, 8-1.

10th  Dave Stieb pitches a one-hitter against the Yankees, giving him 3 one-hitters in his last 4 starts (dating back to last September). Jamie Quirk’s 5th-inning single is the only hit off Stieb in the 8–0 Blue Jays’ victory. Jesse Barfield has 4 hits, including a 3-run homer.

      Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his first ML home run, off Eric King, in Seattle’s 6–5 win over the White Sox. He and his father, a reserve outfielder on the Reds, are the first father-and-son duo to play in the major leagues at the same time.

      San Diego’s Bruce Hurst pitches a one-hitter and collects his first ML hit in a 5–2 win over the Braves. Lonnie Smith’s 2-run HR in the 3rd is the only hit.

      Eddie Murray hits his first NL home run, a grand slam in the top of the 9th inning, that leads the Dodgers to a 7–4 win over the Giants. It is Murray’s 15th career grand slam and it comes off Mike LaCoss.

11th  At Washington’s RFK Stadium, the Soviet national baseball team loses to George Washington University, 20–1. Soviet 1B Nugzar Pophadze stuns the crowd with a long HR in the left-field stands, one of 2 Russian hits. Two days earlier, the Russians were beaten 21–1 by a team from Annapolis.

      Allan Anderson and two relievers hold the Tigers scoreless as the Twins beat up on Detroit, 14-0.  Kirby Puckett has a double and homer and Carmelo Castillo, batting for Kent Hrbek, hits a grand slam in the 8-run 8th. 

      Kelly Gruber has a double and a pair of homers to drive in 5 runs to lead his Blue Jays to a 17-9 win over the Yankees. Rick Leach adds 4 hits while Rickey Henderson has 5 hits and 4 steals for the Yankees.

12th  In his 2nd start for Texas, Nolan Ryan no-hits the Brewers for 7 innings before Terry Francona singles. Ryan also sets a club record with 15 strikeouts on the way to an 8–1 win.

      It takes 15 innings, but the Orioles beat the Royals, 5–4, ending a 15-game losing streak to KC. Kansas City scores 3 runs in the 9th to tie, but reliever Mark Williamson then retires 14 straight batters.

14th  Al Leiter wins his first of the year for the Yankees as he goes 8 innings in beating the Twins, 8-5. He strikes out 10 and throws 163 pitches in the cold April air. Steve Balboni helps with a 5th inning grand slam. Leiter’s reward will be a trade to the Blue Jays in two weeks.  He’ll start just two more games for New York and one in Toronto before a sore arm shuts him down.  1993 will be the first ML season that Leiter will pitch more than 60 innings.

      Harold Reynolds has 3 hits and 3 RBIs and Jeffery Leonard adds a grand slam as the Mariners whip the Angels, 9-5, at the SkyDome.

15th  At Three Rivers, Glenn Wilson hits a 2-run homer in the 1stinning, off Randy Johnson, as the Pirates jump to a 5-0 lead after 2 innings. They hold on for a 6-4 win over Montreal.  Johnson has now given up 5 homeruns in his career, 3 to Wilson.

16th  Kelly Gruber becomes the first Blue Jay to hit for the cycle as Toronto beats Kansas City, 15–8. Gruber scores 4 runs and drives in 6 to back David Wells relief effort. George Bell, Fred McGriff and Pat Borders each add a pair of doubles and Jesse Barfield chips in a 3-run homer as the Jays total 10 extra base hits.

      At Yankee Stadium, Gary Gaetti hits a pair of homers off Yanks starter Tommy John as the Twins beat the Yanks, 9-4. Gaetti has 6 RBIs.

17th  Kent Tekulve pitches 2 shutout innings in the Reds 3–2, 10-inning win over the Dodgers to pass Hoyt Wilhelm as the major leagues’ all-time leader in relief appearances with 1,019.

      At Arlington, Bill Spiers ties the bow on an 8-1 Brewers victory with a 9th inning grand slam off Brad Arnsberg. Bill Wegman goes 7+ innings for the win.

19th  Mets SS Kevin Elster plays his 73rd consecutive errorless game in a 4–2 win over the Phillies, breaking Ed Brinkman’s ML record for shortstops.

23rd  Nolan Ryan is 2 outs from a no-hitter when Nelson Liriano triples and Ryan settles for a 4–1 one-hitter over the Blue Jays. It is Ryan’s 10th career one-hitter, and the 4th that breaks up a no-hitter in the last inning. He’ll have one more.

      Dale Murphy has 4 hits, including a 2-run homer, to drive in 6 runs as the Braves defeat the visiting Padres, 9-4.

26th  The Brewers pound the Twins, 12-0, behind a 4-hitter by Chris Bosio (4-0). B.J. Surhoff helps with a 7th inning grand slam.

27th  Ozzie Guillen drives in the go-ahead run in the 16th with a triple, his 4th hit of the game, as the White Sox beat the host Red Sox, 3-1.  Donn Pall throws 4 shutout innings for his first career win.

      At Three Rivers Stadium, Carmelo Martinez bangs an 8th inning grand slam as the Padres beat the Pirates, 8-1.

28th  Nelson Liriano breaks up a no-hitter in the 9th inning for the 2nd time in 6 days, ending Kirk McCaskill’s bid with a pinch-hit double. The Angels McCaskill settles for a 9–0 one-hitter over Toronto.

      Nick Esasky pounds a 1st inning homerun as Boston jumps to a 5-0 lead in Arlington. Texas rebounds to tie and the game is suspended at 6-6 at the end of the 10th. It will be completed tomorrow with Texas winning 7-6 in 12 innings on Julio Franco’s walkoff homer.

29th  In a rain-delayed, rain-shortened game at the Vet, the Phillies swamp the Reds, 8-0, in 5 innings. Mike Maddux picks up the win and Chris James hits a grand slam off Danny Jackson in the 4th.

30th  The Yankees trade 23-year-old lefthander Al Leiter to the Blue Jays for OF Jesse Barfield. Leiter will return to the Yankees again in 16 years.