1st The Blue Jays defeat the Rangers, 8-1, as the major league baseball season opens in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Former Ranger Esteban Loiza gets the victory, striking out 9 in 7 innings while Shannon Stewart and Tony Batista slug HRs for Toronto. Alex Rodriguez gets 2 hits in his Texas debut but makes a critical error.
2nd The Yankees defeat the Royals, 7-3, as Roger Clemens records 5 strikeouts and ties (or beats) Walter Johnson as the all-time leader in strikeouts in AL history with 3,509. According to TotalBaseball, Clemens has 3,509 but the Elias Sports Bureau has him with one fewer. The extra strikeout was first discovered in the early 1990s by John Schwartz and it came on September 12, 1907. The Rocket makes it moot in his next outing.
Gary Sheffield homers over the CF fence as the Dodgers beat Milwaukee, 1–0, to give new manager Jim Tracy his first win. Park is the winner, running his consecutive scoreless innings to 32 over 2 seasons.
David Wells pitches 6 strong innings and Magglio Ordonez hits a 3-run homer as the White Sox beat the Indians, 7–4 in the opener for both teams. Bartolo Colon gives up all 7 Chicago runs. The bright spot for the Tribe is Juan Gonzalez, who bangs 2 homers, the 1st Indian with 2 HRs on Opening Day since Duke Sims, in 1968. Gonzalez also became just the 4th player to twice hit 2 HRs on Opening Day (Eddie Mathews: 1954, 1958; Raul Mondesi: 1995, 1999; Joe Torre: 1965, 1966).
Vlad Guerrero has an RBI single in the 10th to give the Expos a 5–4 win over the Cubs. The Expos finish with INF Mike Mordecai behind the plate replacing Sandy Martinez, who injures his elbow trying to throw out Eric Young in the 10th. Starting C Mike Barrett is thumbed out of the game in the 8th. Rock Raines pinch hits for the Expos, thus becoming the 27th ML player to play in 4 decades.
The Giants Livan Hernandez beats the Padres, 3–2, with relief help from Robb Nen, who K’s the side in the 9th. Barry Bonds homers for the Giants. Tony Gwynn’s 8th inning RBI-single is his 3,110th hit, tying him with Dave Winfield for 17thon the all-time list. With his start today, Gwynn becomes the 5th player in NL history to spend 20+ years while playing his entire career with one team. The others are: Cap Anson; 1871-97 Cubs (5 years in the NA); Mel Ott: 1926-47 Giants; Stan Musial: 1941-44, 1946-63 Cardinals; Willie Stargell: 1962-82 Pirates.
The Reds sell lefty Ed Yarnell to the Orix Blue Wave (Japan) for $300,000. Yarnell, the 2000 IL pitcher of the year, came to the Reds in the Denny Neagle trade with the Yankees.
Former Yankees OF Darryl Strawberry is arrested at a Tampa hospital on a violation of a probation warrant. He has been missing for 4 days after leaving his drug treatment center on Thursday.
Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra has surgery for a split tendon in his right wrist. He will be out till late August and play in just 21 games.
3rd The Astros defeat the Brewers, 11-3, as Craig Biggio gets 5 hits for Houston, tying a ML record for an opener. Daryle Ward, filling in for the injured Moises Alou, adds a grand slam to back Scott Elarton. Jose Hernandez and Jeromy Burnitz hit solo HRs for the Brew.
Miguel Tejada hits a grand slam in the 3rdinning, off John Halama, to pace the Athletics to a 5-1 win over the Mariners. Barry Zito allows no runs in 7 innings for the win.
4th The Red Sox defeat the Orioles, 3-0, as Hideo Nomo hurls a no-hitter in his Boston debut. It is Nomo’s second career no-no, making him the 4th pitcher in history to hurl one in both the NL and AL. It is also the earliest no-hitter, by date, in history.
The Blue Jays outslug the Devil Rays, 11-8, as Carlos Delgado hits 3 HRs and drives home 4 runs for Toronto.
At Yankee Stadium, New York scores 4 runs in each of the first two innings to beat the Royals, 8-2. David Justice accounts for 4 runs with a grand slam.
The Indians double the White Sox, 8-4, before the first non-sellout in 6 years at Jacobs Field in Cleveland. It ends the longest consecutive game sellout streak in major league history at 455 games. To honor the streak and the fans, the Indians retire a jersey with the number 455 on it.
Todd Helton and Larry Walker each drive home 4 runs to back Denny Neagle’s 5 inning, 3-run effort. The Rockies beat the Cards, 13–9, scoring 10 earned runs off Benes in 2.2 innings. Jim Edmonds hits a pair of homers, both upper deck shots, a first at Coors.
An MRI on Cincinnati hurler Scott Williamson’s right elbow reveals a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He will undergo surgery and miss the 2001 season.
The Colorado Rockies send pitchers Mark Leiter and Mike DeJean, and IF Elvis Pena, to the Milwaukee Brewers for pitchers Juan Acevedo and Kane Davis, and IF Jose Flores.
5th Paul O’Neill hits a 1st inning HR, off Dan Reichert, for the only run in the Yankees’ 1-0 win over the Orioles. Mike Mussina (7.2 IP) is the winner. It is only the 2nd time in team history that the Yankees win a 1-0 game with a 1st inning HR. Previously, it was done in 1941, with the HR by Phil Rizzuto.
Tom Goodwin and Mark Grudzielanek homer to lead off the game for the Dodgers, and it is the margin of victory in the 7-5 win over Arizona.
6th The Phillies retire Jim Bunning’s uniform number before their home opener, a 3–2 loss to the Cubs. The game is delayed an hour, 51 minutes by rain. Cubs reliever Todd Von Poppel strikes out all 5 batters he faces while Jeff Fassero gets his 2nd save in 2 nights. Previously, his last save was June 30, 1993. Julio Zuleta hits the first Cub homer of the year.
A crowd of 42,024, including President George Bush is on hand for the first game ever played in Milwaukee’s Miller Park. After Bush tosses out the first ball, the Brewers come from behind on Richie Sexson’s 2-run HR in the 8th to defeat the Reds, 5-4. Reliever David Weathers takes the win.
At The Ballpark in Arlington, Ichiro Suzuki has 4 hits, including a 2-run homer in the 10th, to lead the Mariners to a 9-7 win over the Rangers. Rafael Palmeiro drives in 5 runs for Texas, 4 scoring on his 7thinning grand slam off Norm Charlton.
The Tigers score 8 runs in the 6th inning to take a 9–5, then hold on to defeat the White Sox, 10-9 in 10 innings. Tony Clark has 2 hits in the 6th, including a grand slam. Thomas, Durham, and Valentin hit solo HRs for the Sox.
Behind 5 shutout innings by Greg Maddux, the Braves whip the visiting Marlins, 7-5. Mike Lowell makes the score close with an 8thinning grand slam.
The Cardinals score 8 runs in the 5th inning of their 12-9 win over the Diamondbacks. St. Louis 2B Fernando Vina gets 5 hits, including a triple.
7th In the 10th against the Indians, the Orioles shift LF Delino DeShields behind 2B with 1 out and the bases loaded. RF Brady Anderson moves to shallow LF and CF Mora moves to right center. Jolbert Cabrera hits a fly near the LF line to Anderson who fires a strike to get the surprised runner Ellis Burks trying to score. The O’s score 2 in the top of the 11th to win, 4–2.
Sammy Sosa hits his first homer, a solo shot to right center, as the Cubs defeat the Phillies, 8-4.
8th The Pirates defeat the Astros, 9-3, as 3B Aramis Ramirez hits 3 HRs and drives home 6 runs.
The Red Sox defeat the Devil Rays, 3-0. Boston’s Pedro Martinez hurls 8 innings of 3-hit shutout ball, and strikes out 16 batters.
In the Yankees 16–5 win over Toronto, Yankee PH Scott Seabol becomes the lowest-drafted player (88th round in 1996: 1,718thpick) to ever appear in ML. Al Cowens, picked on the 75th round in 1969, was the previous player. This distinction will last just 11 days before Travis Phelps—the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ selection in the 89th round, also in 1996—makes his debut on April 19. Seabol will get one at bat this year, then come back again in 2005. Clemens is the winner as batterymate Jorge Posada belts his first grand slam, one of 20 Yankee hits. He’ll hit two more grand slams this year.
9th Sean Casey’s 4 hits and 5 RBIs to lead the Reds over the Pirates, 8-2, in the first game ever at PNC Park. The occasion is marred by the death of Willie Stargell just a few hours before game time. Pops died after an extended illness and the Bucs pay tribute with a 90 second visual presentation.
The Cardinals sell 1B-OF John Mabry to the Marlins.
Chicago rookie Rocky Biddle survive 5 rocky innings—2 run and 10 hits—to get the 9–2 win over the Indians. In the 6th Tribe reliever Steve Woodard stops a Frank Thomas line drive with his pitching elbow and leaves the game on a stretcher. He’ll be out of action for a month and when he comes back he’ll ask to be traded.
11th The Braves defeat the Mets, 2-0, as Greg Maddux (7 innings), Mike Remlinger (1 inning), and John Rocker (1 inning) combine on a one-hitter. Todd Zeile’s 2nd single is the only NY hit and Maddux retires the last 17 batters he faces. Maddux has more wins against the Mets (27–16) than he has against any other team.
The Pirates try and catch lightning in a bottle by signing P Ramon Martinez to a one-year contract. Ramon will get hammered in a few appearances and retire for good next month.
12th The Braves defeat the Astros, 12-4, as SS Jose Hernandez hits 2 HRs and drives home 7 runs. One of the homeruns is a grand slam.
Despite pinch homers from Dellucci and Colbrunn, the Diamondbacks fall to Dodgers at Bank One Park, 5-4.
In Toronto, the game between the Royals and Blue Jays is postponed when pieces from the SkyDome roof start falling on the field during batting practice. One large piece of metal dangles for an hour before crashing down.
13th Texas scores 4 in the 1stagainst Oakland and 2 runs in each of the next 4 innings to roll over Oakland, 13-1. Rusty Greer and Randy Velarde lead off the game with back-to-back homers. Alex Rodriguez and Andres Galarraga also homer.
At Camden Yards, the Rays Albie Lopez and the Orioles Pat Hentgen each fire three-hitters as Tampa Bay edges Baltimore, 2-0. For the Rays, this is the only complete game a Tampa Bay pitcher will throw this year, tying a ML record.
14th A major league record is set as 11 one-run games are played, breaking the mark of 10 set in 1967. With a 1–0 win over the Mets, the Reds set the modern day NL record with their 175th consecutive game without being shut out, breaking the mark of 174, set by the 1992-93 Phillies. Chris Reitsma and Danny Graves combine to beat Al Leiter.
15th The Rockies defeat the Diamondbacks, 10-7, as Todd Hollandsworth hits 3 HRs and drives home 7 runs. Hollandsworth is the ninth major-leaguer to hit three homers in a game with the last being a game-ender. Jack Clark, with the Red Sox in 1991, was the last to do it.
The Braves Odalis Perez (7 IP) allows just 4 singles in sinking the Phillies, 3–0. Perez is making his 1st start after missing the entire 2000 season because of Tommy John surgery. Brian Jordan and Andruw Jones homer for the Braves.
Eric Milton strikes out 10, including the first 4 hitters on called 3rd strikes, in 7 innings. The surprising Twins edge the visiting White Sox, 4–3, to complete a 3-game sweep. Corey Koskie is 4-for-4 for the Twins.
The Cubs complete sweep of Pirates as Kerry Wood strikes out 10 in 5-1 win.
17th The Giants edge the Dodgers, 3-2, as Barry Bonds hits his 500th career HR.
The Diamondbacks beat up on the Cardinals, 17–4, collecting 15 runs in the first 4 innings off Dustin Hermanson and Chad Hutchinson. The last 2 runs come in the 9th off Bobby Bonilla, making his ML pitching debut. The most successful Card pitcher is Gene Stechschulte, who belts a 6th inning pinch homer on the first pitch of his first ML at bat (also his last at bat). He is the 15th pitcher to accomplish hitting a pinch HR, according to HR maven David Vincent. Also getting beat up is Umpire Larry Young who is struck in the forehead by a throw from Arizona’s Jay Bell and requires 14 stitches to close the gash. He’ll be out 2-3 weeks. Arizona is paced by Jay Bell’s 4 hits, including a HR, and WP Armando Reynoso.
Mike Burba wins his first of the year as Cleveland beats Baltimore, 8-1. Russell Branyan supplies the offense with a grand slam.
18th Mike Hampton pitches his second strong effort (8 IP, 4 hits) of the year with an 8–0 win over San Diego. Jeff Cirillo homers and Larry Walker homers in his 4th straight game.
After just 14 games, the Devil Rays fire manager Larry Rothschild and hire Hal McRae to take his place.
19thThe Yankees defeat the Blue Jays, 6-5, in 17 innings and almost 6 hours. Six relievers pitch 11 scoreless innings before Chuck Knoblauch walks and Jeter singles him to 2B. O’Neill’s 4th hit of the game finally ends it. Both teams total 14 pitchers, who throw 538 pitches (336 Ks) and strand 35 runners.
Boston downs Hal McRae’s Tampa Bay, 8-3, with the decision going to Pedro Martinez over Paul Wilson. In his ML debut, Travis Phelps pitches two scoreless innings for TB. Phelps was taken on the 89thround of the 1996 draft and is the lowest draft pick to make the majors. Scott Seabol (88thround in 1996) held the record for 11 days.
20th Toronto’s Carlos Delgado hits 3 HRs in a game for the 2nd time this season as Toronto defeats KC, 12-4. On two of the dingers, Delgado combines with Raul Mondesi to go back-to-back, the first time in a year that teammates have twice gone back-to-back in the same game. Mondesi’s homer in the 7this a grand slam.
At the Stadium, Tino Martinez hits a 1stinning grand slam, off Hideo Nomo, and the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 6-1. Pettitte is the winner.
Dodgers’ GM Kevin Malone resigns. The final straw that did in the controversial GM was a verbal altercation with a fan during a Dodger game. The team was 178-176 in his 2+ years as GM. Assistant GM Dave Wallace will serve on an interim basis.
A new musical, “The Curse of the Bambino,” opens in Boston. Written by David Kruh with music and lyrics by Stephen Bergman, the comedy is staged as a Greek tragedy complete with a Greek chorus composed of four fans.
At the Vet, a pinch grand slam by Kevin Jordan is the highlight of the Phillies 6-run 7thinning as they beat the Braves, 8-3. For Jordan, it is his last career homer.
Barry Larkin hits a grand slam off Al Leiter, who surrenders 8 runs as the Mets lose to the Reds, 9-5.
At Pittsburgh, Sammy Sosa belts a 2-out grand slam in the 9th to ice it for the Cubs in an 8-2 victory over the Pirates. Sosa collects 5 RBI. It is the first grand slam at the new PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
21stJohn Olerud hits a 3rdinning grand slam and Jamie Moyer (3-0) pitches 5 innings as Seattle whips Anaheim, 5-2.
At Kansas City, the Royals edge the Blue Jays, 5-4, in 13 innings. Joe Randa has 4 hits and 4 RBIs for KC, while Brad Fullmer’s 3rd-inning grand slam is all the scoring for the Jays.
In Arizona, the Diamondbacks use the long ball to subdue the Rockies, 10-5. Luis Gonzalez hits a 3-run homer, Rod Barajas hits a solo homer, and Reggie Sanders contributes a solo homer and a grand slam.
22ndColorado’s Pedro Astacio throws a brilliant game against the Snakes in Arizona, winning, 2–1. They hit him 2 times, and he hits them 4 times, tying a ML record for HBP in a game. The last to do so was Orel Hershiser on April 19, 2000. Pedro is lifted in the 9th after hitting his 4th batter and allowing a single. Larry Walker has a solo HR to back Astacio’s 50th career win with the Rocks, the first franchise pitcher to reach that level.
Eric Davis of the San Francisco Giants hits the third pinch-hit homer of his career, a 3-run shot off Milwaukee Brewer pitcher Jeff D’Amico in the fifth inning. His last pinch homer was in 1989, off Rich Gossage (then with the Giants). D’Amico follows the blast with 2 walks, then reliever Will Cunnane adds 2 more walks and a HBP, good for 2 runs. Shawn Estes wins, 6–4. Jamie Quirk went the longest between pinch dingers at 5,486 days, or approximately 15 years
24th The American League celebrates its 100th anniversary.
At Fenway, Carl Everett hits a grand slam and drives in 5 runs to pace the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the Twins.
25th Rickey Henderson’s 9th-inning walk from Philadelphia’s Jose Mesa is the 2,063rd of his career and breaks Babe Ruth’s all-time record. The Phillies defeat the Padres, 5-3.
26th Luis Gonzalez bangs 2 HRs in Arizona’s 13-6 win over Atlanta to tie the ML record for HRs in the month of April with 13 held by Ken Griffey, Jr. His first HR, off Greg Maddux, ties the NL record. Steve Finley also homers off Maddux, a 3-run shot, and adds a triple and single to drive in 5 runs. Damian Miller has 2 homers, including a back-to-back shots with Erubiel Drazo in the 8th. Robert Ellis (3–0) is the winner.
27th The Marlins beat the Astros, 9-8, as Eric Owens gets 5 hits, including a HR.
The Braves defeat the Diamondbacks, 9-0, as Chipper Jones has his first career 5-hit game, including a double and HR. John Burkett fires a 3-hitter to win easily.
At Fenway, Carl Everett hits his second grand slam in four days in the Red Sox’ 9-2 win over the Royals. Manny Ramirez adds a 3-run homer. The Sox stay tied with the Jays for top spot in the AL East.
The White Sox absorb two losses today, once to the Mariners. 8–3 and the second from a doctor. Frank Thomas is injured during the game and is out for the rest of the season. The hot Mariners win their 19th of the month behind Aaron Sele. Mike Cameron gets on base 5 times and steals 3 bases.
Kerry Wood strikes out 14 in the Cubs’ 7-3 win over San Francisco.
28th The Mariners defeat the White Sox, 8-5, for their 20th win this month, a new ML record for April. Kazuhiro Sasaki sets a new record for saves in April with his 13th.
Hot-hitting Albert Pujols ties the ML record for HRs in April by a rookie with 8 but his Cardinals fall to the Mets, 6-5 in 11 innings.
The Brewers double the Expos, 8-4, as Geoff Jenkins hits 3 HRs and drives in 6 runs.
29th The Brewers whitewash the Expos, 10-0, as Geoff Jenkins gets 4 hits, including 2 homers, and drives home 6 runs for the 2nd straight game. His 5 HRs in 2 games ties the ML mark.
Cubs starter Julian Tavarez apologizes to fans after making derogatory remarks toward San Francisco fans the previous day. He is later fined by the club.
30th PCL baseball returns to Portland as the transplanted Albuquerque Dukes, now the Beavers, open before 18,616. The season will be a success but the team will lose $800,000.