2000 April

1stAutoZone Park opens in Memphis, replacing Tim McCarver Stadium as the home of the AAA Memphis Redbirds. It is owned and operated by the Memphis Redbirds Foundation, a non-profit corporation. At a cost of $80.5 million ($72 in bonds), the stadium is and will remain for the next decade, the most expensive minor-league stadium constructed.

3rd In Ken Griffey Jr.’s debut as a Red, the Reds and Brewers play to a 3-3 tie, called in the 6th inning because of rain. It is the first tie game on Opening Day in 35 years.

In their opener, the Rangers defeat the White Sox, 10-4, as OF Gabe Kapler becomes the first player to homer in his first 2 at bats as a Ranger. C Ivan Rodriguez also hits a pair of HRs for Texas before the largest regular-season crowd in the team’s history. Ranger starter Kenny Rogers ties Frank Viola for third place in consecutive home wins with the victory over Mike Sirotka. Rogers has won 19 consecutive home games and hasn’t lost on his own turf since June 28, 1997, a span of 1,012 days (through April 4). Ray Kremer of the Pittsburgh Pirates holds the record of 22 consecutive home wins set in 1926-27: Lefty Grove of Boston (1938-41) is 2nd with 20 straight home wins.

The Blue Jays defeat the Royals, 5-4, as SS Tony Batista and OF Shannon Stewart each homer twice.

The Braves beats the Rockies, 2-0, as Andres Galarraga homers in his first game back after missing the entire 1999 season following cancer surgery.

Steve Trachsel pitches 7 shutout innings and Fred McGriff has 3 hits, including a 5thinning grand slam off Brad Radke, and the Devil Rays spoil the Twins opener, 7-0.

The Dodgers defeat the Expos, 10-4, behind Eric Karros’ grand slam. OF Vladimir Guerrero hits a pair of homers for Montreal as a new major league record for opening day is set with 5 players having multiple HR games.

4th The Rockies defeat the Braves, 5-3. Atlanta SS Rafael Furcal goes 2-for-4 in his major league debut, becoming the first big league player born in the 1980s. It will come out later that Furcal shaved 2 years off his birth year, which was really 1978.

Ugueth Urbina strikes out the Dodgers in the top of the ninth on nine pitches tying the ML record. Since it comes in the ninth inning of a 10-4 Expos loss before a small crowd, nobody seems to notice this particular feat.

At the Opener in Pittsburgh, Houston’s Richard Hidalgo drives in all 5 runs, 4 on a grand slam, to lead the Astros to a 5–2 win. Shane Reynolds is the winning pitcher. John Vader Wal has a 2-run pinch HR for the Bucs in the 7th, his 14th career pinch HR.

5th Lennie Harris belts a 1stinning grand slam, off Paul Byrd, as the Diamondbacks bite the Phillies, 11-3, with Mike Morgan picking up the save. Arizona is Morgan’s 12th major league team, an ML record. (though Bobo Newsom switched teams more often). He also becomes the 25th player, and 9th pitcher, to appear in 4 decades. Earlier today, Jesse Orosco of the Cardinals became the 24th player, and 8th pitcher, to do so. (See also Elmer Valo, September 30, 1939).

The Reds sign Ron Villone, released 3 days ago by the Indians.

6th The Pirates defeat the Astros, 10-1, as OF Brian Giles goes 5-5, including 2 homers and a triple. Pittsburgh P Francisco Cordova does not give up a hit to Houston until one man is out in the 8th inning.

In St. Louis, Fernando Tatis hits a 3-run homer and drives in 4 runs, while J.D. Drew contributes two homers, one a grand slam, as the Cardinals paste the Cubs, 13-3. Garrett Stephenson is the winner.

The Royals defeat the Blue Jays, 9-3, as rookie P Chad Durbin allows just 1 hit in 6 innings in his first big league start, and second big league appearance. The Royals score all 9 of their runs in the 6th inning.

7th 41,583 fans, including George W. Bush, are on hand for the opener at brand-new Enron Field. Enron president Kenneth Lay throws out the first ball. Led by Randy Wolf’s 7 strong innings, the Phillies top the Astros, 4–1. Octavio Dotel gives up 2 runs before leaving in the 7th with the loss.  Scott Rolen and Ron Gant homer for the Phillies, while Richard Hidalgo goes deep for the Astros.

The Orioles defeat the Tigers, 14-10. The two teams combine to hit 5 HRs in the 5th inning, tying the major league mark.

The Indians defeat the Devil Rays, 14-5, in Tampa Bay’s home opener, scoring 9 runs in the 2nd inning. Omar Visquel hits a grand slam in the frame. Wade Boggs’ uniform #12 is retired by the Devil Rays prior to the game. It is the only number to be issued only once by the Rays.

A total of 57 home runs are hit in the 15 games played, for a new major league record. The previous mark of 55 was set in 17 games last August 13. There were 36 homers hit in the AL, smashing the previous mark for a single league.

Berley W. Visgar is sentenced to 90 days in jail, and fined $1,000, for jumping outfielder Bill Spiers in a game played last September 24.

A boy who was struck in the head with a baseball before a Florida Marlins game in 1997 is awarded $1.05 million by a state court jury. Andrew Klein has permanent brain damage since the injury during batting practice as he took part in a pregame `”Bullpen Buddies” program with 100 other youngsters at Pro Player Stadium. A line drive hit by Ray Lankford came into the stands and struck Andrew in the left temple.

The Reds obtain P Manny Aybar from the Rockies for P Gabe White.

8th Toronto’s David Wells allows 9 hits in shutting out the Rangers, 4–0. Kenny Rogers loses at home ending his 19-game home winning streak, the third longest in ML history. The streak dates to June 28, 1997 when Rogers was with the Yankees. Since then he’s pitched for Oakland and the Mets.

The Dodgers score 4 runs in the 9th and 1 in the 10th to defeat the Mets, 6-5. Dodger Pitcher Kevin Brown breaks the pinkie on his throwing hand during the game and will be out 3-to-4 weeks.

Andres Gallaraga’s grand slam is the difference for Atlanta as they beat the Giants, 7-5. Greg Maddux (2-0) goes 7 innings and hits his second career triple.

The Cardinals announce plans for a new $370 million ballpark, possibly to open in time for the 2004 season.

9th The Twins defeat the Royals, 13-7. In the process they become the first teams in history to each hit back-to-back-to-back HRs in the same game. Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones, and Matt LeCroy hit consecutive blasts for Minnesota in the 6th inning, followed by 3 in a row by Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye, and Mike Sweeney of Kansas City an inning later.

In Oakland, the A’s overpower the White Sox, 14-2, with the help of the Giambi brothers. Jason Giambi belts a grand slam and drives in 5 runs while Jeremy has a triple and 2 RBI.

10th The Rockies beat the Reds, 7-5, despite Ken Griffey Jr.’s 400th career HR. Griffey is the youngest in history to reach that milestone.

11th The Dodgers edge the Giants, 6-5, in the first game played at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. SS Kevin Elster leads the Dodger attack with 3 HRs.

The Tigers sink the Mariners, 5-2, in the first game played at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Houston scores 6 in the 3rdand the Cards come back with 7 in the 7thas St. Louis beats the Astros, 10-3. Thomas Howard’s pinch grand slam in the 7this the big blow.

In Denver, Dmitri Young has 4 hits, including a homer, and Ken Griffey Jr. hits a grand slam and drives in 5 to pace the Reds to a 10-3 win over the Rockies.

The Red Sox defeat the Twins, 13-4, scoring 8 runs in the 2nd inning.

12thRichard Hidalgo has 3 hits, including 2 doubles and a HR to lead the Astros to a 7-5 win over the Cardinals. The game is tied, 5-5 in the bottom of the 7th, before Hidalgo gives the Astros the lead with a 2-RBI double. Jim Edmonds ties Chick Hafey’s club record by reaching base safely 12 consecutive times. Hafey set the record in 1929.

13th The Rockies defeat the Cardinals, 12-6, scoring 10 runs in the 2nd inning.

The Devil Rays purchase P Dwight Gooden from the Astros. Doc will go 2-3 in his hometown before the Rays release him at the end of May. He’ll sign with the Yankees.

Couldn’t have done it better myself.  In an 11-7 loss to the Dodgers, Barry Bonds hits a 1st-inning home run and then in the 7th, with the Dodgers ahead of the Giants 10-3, is pinch-hit for by Calvin Murray.  Murray hits his first ML homer, off Onan Masaoka.  It is the only time that a Giants pinch hitter for Bonds connects on a homer.

14th The Mets outlast the Pirates, 8-5, in 12 innings. Catcher Mike Piazza gets 5 hits for NY, including a double and 2 HRs.

At Qualcomm Stadium, Jeff Bagwell hits a grand slam, one of 3 Houston homers, as the Astros beat the Padres, 10-4.

At Fenway, Eric Chavez hits a grand slam in Oakland’s 6-run 1stinning as the A’s pummel the Red Sox, 13-6. Jason Giambi adds a 3-run homer and drives in 4 runs.

15th The Orioles defeat the Twins, 6-4, as Cal Ripken Jr. gets the 3,000th hit of his illustrious career. Ripken goes 3-for-5 in becoming the 24th player to reach the milestone, and the 7th to get 3,000 hits and 400 HRs.

Pedro Martinez (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 9 SO) paces the Red Sox to a 14–2 win over the A’s Tim Hudson. Carl Everett had 3 hits, including 2 doubles, and 4 RBI.Three sons of former major-league umpires work the game: Jerry (son of Shag) Crawford, Mike (son of Lou) DiMuro and Brian (son of Tom) Gorman.

16th The Mariners rout the Blue Jays, 19-7, as SS Alex Rodriguez strokes 3 HRs, drives in 7 runs, and scores 5 runs. One of the homers is a grand slam in the 8th, off Pedro Borbon, who served up a slam yesterday to Edgar Martinez.

The Padres defeat the Astros, 13-3, as OF Al Martin sets a team record by scoring 5 runs in the contest.

The Indians defeat the Rangers, 2-1, behind Chuck Finley. Finley, the only pitcher in history to fan 4 batters in an inning on 2 occasions, performs the feat for a record 3rd time, fanning 4 Texas batters in the 3rd inning.

The Cardinals and Rockies split a doubleheader, with St. Louis winning the 1st game, 9-3, and the Rockies taking the 2nd, 14-13. Colorado scores 8 runs in the 6th inning of the nightcap, while St. Louis 2B Fernando Vina strokes 5 hits for the Cards.

Texas Rangers OF Rusty Greer has surgery to remove bone chips from his right ankle. He will be out of action for six weeks.

17th Major league owners vote to approve the $96 million sale of the Kansas City Royals to team chairman, David Glass.

At the Skydome, the Blue Jays knock out the Angels with a 5-run 8thto win, 7-1. Raul Mondesi hits a solo homer, and Brad Fullmer connects for a grand slam.

18th The Angels defeat the Blue Jays, 16-10, as second baseman Adam Kennedy drives home 8 runs for Anaheim. Kennedy hits a grand slam and a bases-loaded triple, the first time a player has done that since Luis Olmo in 1945. The last American Leaguer to do it was Harry Heilmann in 1928. Craig Grebeck, Raul Mondesi, and Carlos Delgado hit back-to-back-to-back homers for the Jays in the 6th inning.

Robin Ventura hits a grand slam in the 4thinning to give the Mets a 9-2 lead, and the hang on to defeat the Brewers, 10-7.

The White Sox outslug the Mariners, 18-11, scoring 11 runs in the 4th inning.

The Giants defeat the Reds, 13-9, as OF Barry Bonds scores 5 runs for San Francisco.

19th The Astros top the Dodgers, 10-3, as LA starter Orel Hershiser ties a modern major league record by hitting four batters in only 1 1/3 innings of work. OF Richard Hidalgo is hit by 2 of Hershiser’s pitches, and is also plunked by reliever Matt Herges, to tie another ML mark. The 5 HPB also ties another 20th century mark by both pitchers and batters, done by Atlanta and Cincinnati on July 2, 1969.

Trot Nixon has 4 hits, including a grand slam in the 6th, off Jim Poole, as Boston homers 5 times to beat the host Tigers, 10-0. Brian Rose goes 6 innings to earn the win.

The A’s connect for 4 homers, including a grand slam by Miguel Tejada, to beat the Indians, 10-5. Robbie Alomar has a pair of homers for the Tribe.

20th The Reds defeat the Giants, 11-1, as Pokey Reese gets 5 hits, including a double. Ken Griffey Jr. hits a pair of HRs for Cincinnati.

The Marlins defeat the Pirates, 3-2 in 14 innings, with P Vic Darensbourg getting the win in relief. It is Darensbourg’s first major league win, ending the longest streak of winless appearances at the start of a career at 123. His career record in the majors before today was 0-8.

Pitcher Rick Ankiel homers and batterymate Eli Marrero clubs 2 homers, including a grand slam, as the Cardinals defrock the Padres, 14-1.

Sammy Sosa has a double and a grand slam to drive in 6 runs for the Cubs as they whip the host Expos, 10-6.

The Indians defeat the A’s, 9-5. John Jaha strikes out 5 times for Oakland to tie a major league mark, last done by Jim Thome on April 9.

Rick Ankiel pitches 5 shutout innings and contributes 3 hits as the Cardinals pound the Padres, 14-1. Batterymate Eli Marrero drives in 5 runs, 4 on a grand slam.

The Blue Jays come back to beat the Angels, 12-11. Anaheim, down 11-2, scores 8 runs in the 6th inning. Darrin Fletcher drives in 5 runs for the Jays, 4 on a grand slam.

21st The Twins defeat the Rangers, 10-5, as Ron Coomer slugs 2 HRs and drives home 7 runs for Minnesota.

At Cinergy Field, the Dodgers down the Reds, 9-2. Kevin Elster caps the LA scoring with a 9th inning grand slam.

The Angels down the Devil Rays, 9-6. Mo Vaughn and Tim Salmon hit back-to-back homers for Anaheim in the 4th inning, then repeat the feat in the 9th. Troy Glaus also homers in those same 2 innings, marking the first time in major league history that 3 players homer in the same inning twice in the same game. The 3 players with 2 HRs in the game ties another ML record.

22nd The White Sox defeat the Tigers, 14-6, in a game marked by two brawls and 11 ejections. Chicago OF Chris Singleton goes 5-for-5, including a double and HR, and drives home 5 runs for the White Sox.

The Rockies clip the Cardinals, 7-6. Mark McGwire and Fernando Tatis homer for St. Louis as the Cards set an NL mark for most HRs in the month of April (42).

23rd The Yankees score 7 runs in the 4th inning on their way to a  10-7 win over the Blue Jays. New York OF Bernie Williams and C Jorge Posada each hit HRs from both sides of the plate, marking the first time in major league history that a pair of teammates switch-hit homers in the same game. Jose Cruz hits a leadoff homer for Toronto for the second straight game. He had 2 homers yesterday.

The Dodgers beat the Reds, 11-3, scoring 8 runs in the 6th inning.

The Giants defeat the Diamondbacks, 12-7, scoring 8 runs in the 1st inning.

Placido Palenco hits a grand slam in the 2ndinning to pace the Cardinals to a 6-3 win over the Rockies.

25th Several players and coaches skip Tuesday’s games to join the work stoppage begun by Miami’s Cuban-American community to protest Elian Gonzalez’s removal from his relative’s Miami home. Gonzalez was reunited with his father in Cuba.

The Expos obtain P Brad Rigby from the Royals in exchange for P Miguel Batista.

26th The Cardinals whitewash the Brewers, 7-0, as Rick Ankiel, Jim Edmonds, and Fernando Tatis all hit HRs. This gives St. Louis 50 homers for April, setting a new ML mark.

Jermaine Dye hit a pair of homers off Tampa Bay starter Ryan Rupe, the first being a grand slam, as Kansas City edges the Rays, 7-6. Mark Quinn’s 2-out single in the 9thdrives in the winning run.

Pat Meares has a grand slam as the host Pirates hold on to beat the Padres, 9-8.

Frank Thomas has a grand slam and 5 RBI to lead the White Sox to an 11-6 win over the Orioles. Three other Sox sock homers.

27th The Cubs defeat the Astros, 12-3, as they hit 4 HRs in the 1st inning of their game at Enron Field. Jose Lima serves up all 4 dingers to tie the ML record for an inning. Henry Rodriguez has two of the homers, one a grand slam, to drive in 6 runs.

The White Sox trip the Orioles, 13-4, as Chicago SS Jose Valentin hits for the cycle doing it in order. Valentin singles in the 1st inning, doubles in the 2nd, triples in the 3rd, and homers in the 7th.

John Vander Wal hits Pittsburgh’s second grand slam in two games, but that is all of the Pirates scoring as they lose to San Diego, 12-4. Ryan Klesko hits his second 9thinning homer in two days as the Padres plate 6 in the frame.

Major league baseball announces what is believed to be a record 16 suspensions for a total of 82 games to members of the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers for their parts in two brawls in last Saturday’s game between the teams. Managers Phil Garner and Jerry Manuel are suspended for 8 games apiece, Detroit coach Juan Samuel for 15 games, and Tigers 3B Dean Palmer for 8 games.

28th The Astros whitewash the Brewers, 7-0, behind Chris Holt’s 1-hitter. Ron Belliard’s single is the only Milwaukee hit.

29th The Giants finally win, beating the Expos, 2-1, for their 1st victory at Pacific Bell Park. They are the first team to lose 6 straight game to begin play in a newly constructed home park.

Gary Sheffield has three extra base hits, including 2 homers, in the first three innings as the Dodgers outslug the Marlins, 13-12.

Ben Grieve clubs a 10thinning grand slam, off Eddie Guardado, to lift the Athletics to a 6-2 win over the Twins.

Led by Edgardo Alfonzo and Todd Pratt, with 4 hits each, the Mets pepper the host Rockies for 23 hits in a 13-6 win.

30th The Diamondbacks defeat the Cubs, 6-0, as Randy Johnson becomes just the 3rd pitcher in modern history to win 6 games in April.

The Cardinals defeat the Phillies, 4-3, as Mark McGwire and Jim Edmonds hit HRs. St. Louis finishes the month with 55 homers, a new record for April. It also ties the NL mark for homers in any month.

Getting 2-run homers from Mark Quinn and Joe Randa, Kansas City beats Seattle, 6–3. After getting rocked in his last 2 outings, Jose Rosado (2–2) goes 5 2/3 innings before a 50-minute rain delay ends his day. He gets the win, but this is his last ML appearance as a torn shoulder cartilage, suffered on opening day, sidelines him.

Edgardo Alfonzo has 4 hits, including a homer, and drives in 4 runs as the New York Mets prevail in a 14-11 win at Coors Field. Tom Goodwin has a grand slam and 5 RBI for the Rockies.

Adam Piatt, the Texas League triple crown winner last year (the only other this century was Del Pratt, in 1927, at the age of 39) hits his first ML homer and adds a pair of triples in the A’s 8-2 victory over the Twins.  Ben Grieve is 4-for-4.

Going deep. Major league batters set a record for most homers in a month by hitting 931 in April. The total is 140 more than the number hit last season.