1st No joke. Enraged that P Hideki Irabu fails to cover 1B on a ground ball hit during an exhibition game, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner calls him a “fat pussy toad.” Steinbrenner will later apologize to Irabu.
2nd The Orioles obtain 1B–OF Jeff Conine from the Royals for minor league P Chris Fussell.
3rdDarryl Strawberry, coming off a winter of radiation treatment for colon cancer, is arrested for marijuana possession while soliciting sex from an undercover policewoman. Strawberry will be suspended for 140 days by MLB and sentenced to 22 months probation by a court in Tampa. He will return in time to qualify for the postseason, but his career is effectively over.
4th In the first season opener ever played outside of the United States or Canada, the Rockies defeat the Padres, 8–2, before an overflow crowd of 27,104 in Monterrey, Mexico. OF Dante Bichette has 4 hits, including a HR, and 4 RBIs for the winners. Local hero Vinny Castilla also has 4 hits for the Rockies, while Darryl Kile picks up the victory.
5th Juan Encarnacion homers on the first pitch of the game and P Brian Moehler takes a no–hitter into the 7th inning as the Tigers defeat the Rangers, 11–5. Texas P Mike Morgan sets a major league record by appearing in a game for his 11th team. And Detroit P Masao Kida becomes the first Tokyo–born player to appear in a big league game when he pitches the 8th inning in relief.
Albert Belle hits a 3–run homer in his Baltimore debut, and Cal Ripken Jr. has to leave the game with a back injury, as the Orioles defeat the Devil Rays, 10–7. Ripken will not play tomorrow, marking the first time in 17 years that he is forced to miss a game because of an injury. Prior to today’s game, Ripken’s father is honored with his #7 painted into the 3rd base coach’s box. A former Oriole manager and coach, Ripken Sr. died of lung cancer on March 25 at age 63. Following the game, Baltimore P Doug Johns is arrested on drunk driving and marijuana possession charges.
The Giants defeat the Reds, 11–8, on 3B Charlie Hayes’ go–ahead 3–run HR in the 8th inning. Hayes replaced starter Bill Mueller, who broke his toe after being hit by a Brett Tomko pitch as the second batter up in the game. SF OF Bobby Bonds sets an NL record by receiving his 290th career intentional walk in the 4th inning. The old record was held by Hank Aaron.
Dodgers OF Raul Mondesi hits a 2–outs, 3–run HR in the bottom of the 9th to tie the score, then hits a 2–out, 2–run homer in the last of the 11th to win the game as LA defeats Arizona, 8–6. Mondesi drives in a total of 6 runs as Davey Johnson wins his managerial debut with the Dodgers.
The Expos defeat the Pirates, 9–2, behind the pitching of Dustin Hermanson. Jason Phillips makes his major league debut in the 6th inning for Pittsburgh and sees his first pitch hit over the centerfield wall for a HR by C Chris Widger.
In the Opener at Anaheim, the Angels rally to beat the Indians, 6–5. Salmon and Anderson hit homers on consecutive pitches off Jaret Wright in the 4th. But newly acquired Mo Vaughn tumbles into the Cleveland dugout chasing a foul ball and severely sprains his ankle. Mo plays 5 innings before leaving but he’ll miss 15 days. The injury will linger causing him problems at the plate and, he says later, causing the ligament damage that will curtail his 2000 season.
6th The Braves defeat the Phillies, 11–3, behind Greg Maddux. Maddux hits a HR and 2–run single in Atlanta’s 8–run 4th inning, becoming the first pitcher since Todd Stottlemyre in 1996 to get 2 hits in the same inning.
The U.S. government garnishes Denny McLain’s pension in order to reimburse the pension fund that he was convicted of laundering money from. McLain was recently divorced and under the terms of the settlement, all of the assets went to his wife, including his pension, while McLain got all of the debts. But, a federal judge overruled that and ordered that all of McLain’s pension benefits be used to reimburse his victims.
8th The Expos defeat the Mets, 5–1, behind the pitching of Miguel Batista. Batista also dribbles a ball in front of the plate for his 1st major league hit after beginning his career 0–for–41 to tie Randy Tate’s big league record.
Philadelphia defeats Atlanta, 6–3, and the Phils tie an NL record by using 5 pitchers in the 8th inning. Only 1 runs scores in the frame as the Braves leave the bases loaded.
9th Pirates rookie Kris Benson beats the Cubs in his first ML start. He’s just the second #1 draft pick to win his first start; David Clyde was the other, in 1973.
Helped by a Chili Davis grand slam, off Beiker Graterol in the 3rd, the Yankees roll to a 12-3 win over the Tigers. Davis has 4 hits while Graterol, in his only ML appearance, allows 7 runs in 4 innings.
10th The Diamondbacks defeat the Braves, 8–3, as P Randy Johnson strikes out 15 batters, including 6 in a row, to set an Arizona record. SS Tony Batista strokes 5 hits for Arizona, including a HR, and brings home 4 runs. Batista’s streak will reach 7, then he’ll have 17 at bats without a hit.
At Three Rivers, Ed Sprague belts a grand slam in the Pirates’ 6-run 5thas the Bucs whip the Cubs, 9-3.
During a rundown play, Seattle rookie IF Carlos Guillen tears a ligament in his right knee in the Mariners 11–4 loss to Oakland. He will require surgery and be out for the season.
11th The Devil Rays defeat the Red Sox, 5–4, as P Scott Aldred picks up the win in relief. The victory ends Aldred’s major league record streak of 50 appearances without a win, loss or save.
Seattle defeats Oakland, 11–8, as the Mariners push across 8 runs in the 3rd inning.
New York deflates Detroit, 11–2, as the Yankees score 8 runs in the 3rd inning.
The Pirates defeat the Cubs, 9–6, despite 5 hits by Chicago OF Glenallen Hill. Hill strokes 3 singles, a double and a HR, and drives home a pair of runs in the losing effort.
The Dodgers–Rockies game in Los Angeles is postponed due to rain. It is the first rainout in LA since April 21, 1988—a string of 856 games—and just the 16th in club history.
12th Jay Bell hits a 3-run homer and Travis Lee has a grand slam and 5 RBIs for the Diamondbacks as they beat the visiting Dodgers, 12-6.
The Rangers recall P Jeff Zimmerman from Oklahoma City (AAA), making them the first team since the 1916 Chicago Cubs with three players whose last names begin with the letter “Z.” Zimmerman joins 3B Todd Zeile and C Gregg Zaun. The 1916 Cubs roster included IFs Rollie Zeider and Heine Zimmerman and OF Dutch Zwilling.
Joe McIlvaine, former Mets GM and currently an assistant to Minnesota GM Terry Ryan, is arrested for public nudity on a beach.
13th The Rangers defeat the Mariners, 15–6, as Texas C Ivan Rodriguez drives in 9 runs. All of Rodriguez’s RBIs come on a 3–run HR in the 1st inning, a 2–run single in the 2nd, and a grand slam in the 3rd. Mike Morgan picks up the win in relief. It is his 1st victory over the Mariners since August 4, 1979. The 19 years, 8 months and 9 days is the longest a pitcher has ever gone between victories against one team.
The Dodgers score 2 runs in the top of the 16th inning to take a 6–4 lead over the Diamondbacks, but Arizona comes back with 3 in the bottom half to eke out a 7–6 win. Second baseman Jay Bell has 4 hits, including a pair of HRs, for the winners.
The Cardinals top the Pirates, 4-2, as Mark McGwire hits a pair of solo homers and catcher Eli Marrero scores on a straight steal of home. He’ll steal 11 bases this year.
14th The Yankees defeat the Orioles, 14–7, as Chuck Knoblauch gets 5 hits, including his first HR of the year, for the winners.
The Indians score 9 runs in the 6th inning on their way to an 11–4 win over the Royals.
The Mets down the Marlins, 4–1, as NY reliever John Franco records the 400th save of his career. Only Lee Smith has notched more, with 478.
Kansas City overwhelms Seattle, 12-7, garnering 19 hits. Carlos Beltran (3 doubles) and Carlos Febles (2 doubles) each have 4, while Mike Sweeney drives in 4 runs with a grand slam. Five players connect for homers, including Alex Rodriguez, who hits his first of the year. A-Rod’s homer comes in his team’s 35th game; he will finish the season with 42 homers, the only player in history to hit his first homer in his team’s 30th game or later and finish with more than 40 homers (per David Vincent).
Speaking of 400s. In the Devil Rays 7–6, 11 inning loss to Toronto, Jose Canseco hits his 400th HR. He is the 28th player to reach that mark, but the first born outside the US.
Yankees OF Darryl Strawberry is arrested in Tampa on charges of soliciting a prostitute and possession of cocaine. Strawberry has been at the Yankees’ extended training camp while he works himself back into shape following colon cancer surgery last October 3.
15th At Oakland, Tim Salmon has a double, 2 homers, including a grand slam, as the Angels unleash an 18-hit attack to subdue the A’s, 12-1. Omar Oliveres (2-0) goes 7 innings for the win.
Roger Clemens is touched up for 11 hits and 7 runs in 3 innings, but ends up with a no decision as Baltimore wins, 9-7, over the Yankees. Albert Belle has a pair of homers off the Rocket, but the loss goes to Mariano Rivera who coughs up 2 runs in the 9th.
The Blue Jays sign free agent second baseman Pat Kelly.
Colorado manager Jim Leyland wins his 1,000th game as the Rockies beat San Diego, 6–4.
16th The Dodgers trade pitchers Dave Mlicki and Mel Rojas to the Tigers in exchange for minor league pitchers Rick Roberts, Robinson Checo and Apostol Garcia.
The Braves finally give up on wild–armed pitcher Mark Wohlers and ship him to the Reds in exchange for P John Hudek.
Todd Greene’s grand slam in the 7th, off Jamie Moyer, proves to be the difference as the Angels beat the Mariners, 9-5.
Bobby Abreu has a grand slam to pace the Phillies to a 17-3 gaffing of the Marlins. Curt Schilling (3-0) wins his third and has a triple and 3 runs scored.
17th Boston P Tom Gordon suffers an elbow injury and is forced to come out in the 9th inning of the Red Sox 8–5 win over Tampa Bay. Gordon, who is placed on the DL, had converted 46 consecutive save opportunities. He’ll spend 129 days on the DL.
Cleveland’s Charles Nagy beats the Twins, 5-1, in game 1 as Manny Ramirez drives in 4 runs with a triple and homer. Minnesota rebounds in game 2, though not without a struggle. Down 7–1, the Twins rally for 7 runs in the 8th inning to take the lead, then score 5 more in the 11th to defeat the Tribe, 13–8. OF Matt Lawton, who entered the game in the 8th inning as a PH, drives home 6 runs, including 4 on a grand slam.
18th The Braves stroke 24 hits in pounding the Rockies, 20–5. Atlanta scores 10 runs in the 9th inning on the way to setting an Atlanta record for runs scored in a game. Andruw Jones has 5 hits, including a HR and triple, and drives home 6 runs, while Eddie Perez collects 5 singles. The Braves attack features at least one hit from everyone in the lineup except WP Greg Maddux.
You want extra mustard with that? Roy Halladay and Peter Munro combine on a 3-hitter as Toronto shuts out the Orioles, 6-0. But the memorable star of the game is the machine the Blue Jays unveil to launch hot dogs into the stands. Unfortunately, the force of the blast causes the thousands of preloaded wieners to disintegrate in midair raining bits of wrappers, buns and mustard-covered hotdogs on fans.
19th The Rockies blow a pair of 4–run leads before bouncing back to score 3 runs in the last half of the 9th inning and pull out an 11–10 win over the Expos.
Baltimore’s Cal Ripken Jr. is placed on the disabled list for the first time in his 19–year career because of irritation in his lower back. Ripken’s record consecutive game streak ended last September at 2,632 games.
20th The Rockies–Expos game in Denver is canceled after 15 people are killed in a massacre at Columbine high school near Denver. Tomorrow’s game will also be canceled and the team will subsequently wear a sleeve patch in memory of tragedy.
Giants star Barry Bonds undergoes surgery on his right arm, which will cause him to be out of action for at least 10 weeks.
Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott agrees to sell her controlling interest in the Reds to a group headed by Carl H. Lindner, ending her 14–year tenure. The group will pay a total of $67 million.
The Nolan Ryan Museum opens in Alvin, Texas.
21st The Braves defeat the Dodgers, 11–4, by scoring 7 runs in the 12th inning, 2 short of the NL record for the frame.
The Yankees defeat the Rangers, 4–2, as Roger Clemens ties an AL record with his 17th consecutive win over 2 seasons. Johnny Allen (1936–37) and Dave McNally (1968–69) previously accomplished the feat for the Indians and Orioles, respectively.
The Astros defeat the Cubs, 10–3, as 1B Jeff Bagwell clouts 3 HRs and drives home 6 runs. It is Bagwell’s 2nd career 3–homer game. The 4–baggers give Bagwell 225 for his career with the Astros, surpassing Jimmy Wynn as the team’s career leader.
A Florida woman is awarded $2.7 million by a jury for an injury she received during a Phillies–Marlins game on August 8, 1993. Linda Postlethwaite had her nose broken by an errant pitch from former Phillies hurler Mitch Williams during a game at Joe Robbie Stadium.
22nd Tampa Bay defeats Baltimore, 1–0, as pitchers Tony Saunders, Jim Mecir and Roberto Hernandez combine on a 1–hitter. SS Mike Bordick’s single with 2 outs in the 8th inning is the only hit Oriole hit.
Angels OF Jim Edmonds has surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder. He will be sidelined for about 4 months.
23rd The Cardinals defeat the Dodgers, 12–5, as 3B Fernando Tatis sets a major league record by hitting 2 grand slams in a single inning. His 2 homers came in St. Louis’ 11–run 3rd inning. He also sets a record with 8 RBIs in the inning, while LA pitcher Chan Ho Park becomes the first pitcher this century—and only the 2nd ever—to surrender 2 grand slams in a single frame. Bill Phillips of the Pirates did so in 1890. Park became the 36th major-leaguer to serve up two slams to the same player in his career.
At Fenway, ex-Red Sox hitter Wil Cordero hits a 2-run HR, off Jim Corsi, in the 6th to give the Indians a 7–6 win over Boston. His hit follows the second bench clearing brawl of the game. Rheal Cormier plunks Jim Thome and Corsi relieves. The first brawl comes in the 5th after Jarret Wright allows a homer, walk and single, then hits Darren Lewis with a pitch. Both are tossed. Lofton, leading off, and Fryman homer for Cleveland. The AL will suspend Indians P Jaret Wright (5 games) and 1B Jim Thome (3 days), and Red Sox OF Darren Lewis (3 days) and P Rheal Cormier (3 games) for participating in the brawls. All will appeal.
The Brewers sink the Pirates, 9–1, as P Steve Woodard hurls the complete game victory. The win ends Milwaukee’s NL record streak of 113 games without a complete game. 3B Jeff Cirillo leads the Brewer attack with 3 hits, including a double and HR, and 4 RBIs.
At Qualcomm Stadium, Matt Williams has a grand slam and 5 ribbies and Steve Finley has a pair of solo homers in Arizona’s 10-6 win over the Padres.
The Indians trade P Jerry Spradlin to the Giants for OF Dan McKinley and a player to be named.
Royals P Hipolito Pichardo undergoes right elbow surgery which will keep him out the rest of the season.
Wichita State University P Ben Christensen hits Evansville leadoff hitter Anthony Molina with a warm-up pitch while Molina is about 30 feet from the plate. Molina receives 23 stitches to close a gash. Christensen explains that he thought Molina was trying to time his pitches, and says pitching coach Brent Kemnitz has instructed pitchers to brush back the on-deck hitter if he’s standing too close to the plate. The Missouri Valley Conference suspends Christensen, and Kenmitz, for the rest of the season. Molina will file assault charges against the pitcher, which will result in an out-of-court settlement in 2002.
24th In New York’s 2–0 loss to the Cubs, Mets’ leadoff man Rickey Henderson bats five times, going 2-for-4, and on each occasion he leads off the inning. The Mets strand 12 as Chicago reliever Terry Mulholland throws 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Sammy Sosa hits his 4th homer for Chicago.
25th Oakland scores 6 runs in the 2nd inning, but has a 6–2 lead erased when the Orioles come back to score 8 in the 7th. Down 10–6, the Athletics proceed to plate 2 in the 8th and 3 more in the 9th to defeat Baltimore, 11–10.
The A’s Tony Phillips celebrates his 40th birthday by hitting a game-winning home run to beat the Baltimore Orioles, 11–10. Phillips becomes just the fifth major-leaguer to crank one out on his 40th or later birthday: the last 2 were Darrell Evans and Wade Boggs, in 1988. The big-leaguer who hit the most birthday blasts over his career was Al Simmons with five.
27th The Padres defeat the Mets, 6–2, despite Met OF Rickey Henderson’s 1,300th career SB.
The Orioles defeat the Royals, 8–4, as Baltimore LF B.J. Surhoff strokes 5 hits, including 2 doubles and a homer, and drives in 3 runs.
28th The Mets defeat the Padres, 4–3, on a 9th inning HR by C Mike Piazza. It is the 1st time that SD has lost a game it was leading after 8 innings since July 24, 1996. They were 181–0 in games in which they led after 8 in that time.
The Angels defeat the Blue Jays, 12–10, after blowing a 10–0 lead. Mo Vaughn’s 2nd 2–run homer of the game, in the 8th inning, is the deciding blow. Green has a pair of homers for Toronto, as 7 balls leave the park.
The Rockies defeat the Cardinals, 9–7, as OF Larry Walker hits 3 HRs and a single, and drives home 8 runs for Colorado. The 8 ribbies ties a team record.
In the middle of their series with Seattle, the Tigers trade OF Brian Hunter to the Mariners in exchange for a pair of players to be named. Hunter was on the winning side in the first 2 games with Detroit, and Seattle will win the next 2 to split the series.
The Phillies got 3 consecutive HRs from Scott Rolen, Rico Brogna and Ron Gant in the bottom of the 1st off Bret Tomko, the 1st time the Phillies have 3 consecutive HRs since July 26, 1987. But the Reds, down 7–1 after 4 innings, score 4 runs in the 9th to win, 12–8.
Marlins P Archie Corbin ties the major league record with 4 strikeouts in the 7th inning against the Cubs. Tyler Houston, who was his 2nd K victim, reaches 1st on a wild pitch. Wilson Alvarez, on July 21, 1997, is the last to strike out 4 in an inning. But the Cubs win, 6–1 behind Steve Trachsel (1–2) and Mark Grace’s 4 hits. Grace will finish the 1990s with 1,754 hits, the ML leader for the decade.
29th Down 6–1, the Mariners score 11 runs in the 5th inning and 6 more in the 6th on the way to a 22–6 pasting of Detroit. Ken Griffey Jr. hits 2 HRs and drives in 6 in the inning. Tiger P Mel Rojas is pounded for 8 hits and 11 earned runs in 1 and 2/3 innings of relief. It is the first time in 40 years that Detroit has given up 11 runs in a frame. By not committing an error in the contest, Mariner 1B David Segui becomes baseball’s all–time leader in fielding percentage among first basemen (1,000 games minimum), moving slightly ahead of Steve Garvey.
It is a day for one-sided scoring as the Angels also win by 16 runs, winning 17–1 over Toronto. Blue Jay rookie starter Roy Halladay enters the game with no earned runs in 20 innings, but the Angels score 7 in the 1st to end that. Andy Sheets has 5 RBI in the game.
The Devil Rays defeat the White Sox, 4–1. Tampa Bay 1B Fred McGriff homers in the contest at Comiskey Park, tying the record held by Ellis Burks and Gary Gaetti for hitting HRs in 33 different major league parks.
Phillies P Jeff Brantley goes on the DL, facing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He will be out the rest of the season.
30th The Braves defeat the Reds, 3–0, on John Smoltz’s one–hitter. C Ed Taubensee’s 5th–inning single is Cincinnati’s only safety.
In a slugfest featuring 9 homeruns, Seattle emerges with a 11-9 victory over Toronto. Carlos Delgado has a pair for the Jays, while Ken Griffey, Jr. has 5 RBIs, 4 on a grand slam in the 8th to put Seattle ahead. It is the 2nd game in a row that he has hit grand slams to tie a ML record.
The Royals defeat the Yankees, 13–6, as 2,500 KC fans protest the wide disparity in baseball payrolls by turning their backs during Yankee at bats, and walking out early.