2002 April

1st  The Mets beat the Pirates, 6–2, improving their record in openers to 26–15, the best record in the majors.

At Camden Yards, the Orioles rough up Yankee starter Roger Clemens for 8 runs in 4+ innings as they beat New York, 10-3. Tony Batista hits a grand slam off the Rocket.

In the opener at Boston, the Blue Jays take an 8–3 lead against Pedro Martinez and hold on for a 12–11 win. Darrin Fletcher, with 4 RBIs, hits a sac fly in the 9thfor the win.

A cow named Cinci Freedom, who jumped a six-foot fence to avoid slaughter and evaded capture for 10 days before being sent to a sanctuary by artist Peter Max and his wife Mary, is excused from scheduled participation in the Cincinnati Reds’ opening day parade, because she is too skittish. Following the parade, Aaron Boone’s 9thinning sac fly gives the Reds a 5–4 win over the Cubs.

2ndIn beating the Padres, 9–0, the Diamondbacks became the first defending World Champions to open the season with back-to-back shutouts since the 1919 Red Sox. The Red Sox shutouts were thrown by Carl Mays and Sad Sam Jones. The last team to start the year with consecutive shutouts was the 1994 Giants. Schilling is the winner today, following Randy Johnson’s 2–0 two–hitter yesterday over the Padres. The D’backs get all 9 runs off Brian Tolberg, who leaves after 2 2/3 innings. Damian Miller has a grand slam. Before the game the Diamondbacks receive their WS rings: Curt Schilling’s son, Gehrig, accepts for him.

Preston Wilson gives the Marlins a 6-1 lead over the Expos by belting a 7thinning grand slam, but Montreal plates 3 runs in the 8thand again in the 9thto win, 7-6.

The Giants whip the Dodgers, 9-2, behind 8 effective innings by Livan Hernandez.  San Francisco batters Kevin Brown for 7 runs in 4 innings—the most since 1999–as the Dodger ace is still suffering from the effects of an elbow injury suffered last July. He’ll miss three months of this season.

3rdIndians P Chuck Finley is scratched from his start, after his wife was arrested and charged with spousal abuse and battery yesterday. When the police arrived at his home, they noticed abrasions and scrapes on him. The team says Finley’s physically able to pitch, but wanted to stay with his daughters. Ryan Drese starts in his place and records his first ML win, 6–5 over the host Angels. Drese allows 3 runs in 5 2/3 innings as the Tribe takes the rubber game.

The visiting Marlins use a grand slam by Derrek Lee in the 1stinning, off Tony Armas,  and a 2-run homer by Gavin Floyd in the 9thto defeat the Expos, 6-5. Montreal makes in close with two 9thinning homers, including a 3-run shot by Vladimir Guerrero.

The Giants defeat the Dodgers, 12–0, as Barry Bonds hits a pair of HRs for the second day in a row. He becomes only the second player in history to begin a season with a pair of 2–HR games. Eddie Mathews was the other.

At Oakland, the A’s lose to Texas, 9–6, as the Rangers score 3 in the 8th. The loss snaps the A’s string of 20 straight wins at home stretching back to August 24. The A’s move past the 1974–75 Cincinnati Reds for most consecutive home wins over two seasons; The Reds mark was 17.

The Astros score 8 runs in the 4th inning on their way to a 15–2 rout of the Brewers. Daryle Ward’s 3–run HR, of Ruben Quevado, is the highlight of the big inning.

The Mets trade Gary Matthews Jr. to the Orioles for John Bale. New York had purchased Matthews, Jr. from the Pirates in December.

4thThe Rangers defeat the A’s, 7–5, snapping Oakland’s 20–game home winning streak. The last time the A’s lost at the Coliseum in the regular season was last August 24th against the Tigers.

The Devil Rays defeat the visiting Tigers, 9–2, for their 3rd straight victory. They become the 7th team in ML history to start a season 3–0 after losing 100 games the previous year. The Rays connect for 4 homers, including a pinch grand slam by Randy Winn off Matt Miller.

In a 3–2 Mets loss to Pittsburgh, LF Joe McEwing has a good first inning hitting a leadoff HR and making an unassisted DP. He catches Armando Rios’ soft liner and tags Jason Kendall running from 2B.

MLB announces that major league salaries for 2002 have cracked the $2 billion barrier.

5thThe Giants defeat the Padres, 3–1 in 10 innings on Barry Bonds’ 5th HR of the year. In doing so, Bonds ties the mark for most HRs in the 1st 4 games of the season set by Lou Brock in 1967.

Adam Ashby and Omar Daal combine to hold the Rockies to one hit, a single by Todd Zeile, in shutting out Colorado by a score of 9–0.

At Wrigley Field, the Pirates nip the Cubs, 2–1. David Williams pitches 6 innings for the Bucs, leaving after Sosa hits a homer that bounces back on the field. A new addition to Wrigley is a green tennis wind screen the Cubs erected on the fence lining the back of the bleachers in left field to block views from the rooftops on Sheffield and Waveland avenues. This is the latest skirmish in the war between the Cubs and bar owners who have put up roof top venues. FX Reprographics had 22 people at $113 apiece in the bleachers atop Michael Kaufman’s skinny building on the left–field line on Waveland. Kaufman and the other ten rooftop owners disagree that they are stealing the Cubs’ product.

The Mets acquire RP Scott Strickland from the Expos in exchange for pitchers Bruce Chen and Dickey Gonzales, and IF Luis Figueroa. The Mets also receive minor leaguers Matt Watson and Philip Seibel.

6th  Highly touted Japanese pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii makes his ML debut and pitches 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out 10, in LA’s 9–2 win over the Rockies. Brian Jordan backs Ishii with a grand slam to give the loss to Jason Jennings. Relief pitcher Jesse Orosco of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores just the third run of his 4–decade major–league He last scored while playing for the Mets on July 22, 1986.

The White Sox roll by the Kansas City Royals, winning 14–0. Mark Buehrle allows 5 hits in 6 innings pitched. Paul Konerko has 3 runs and 3 RBIs, and Magglio Ordonez has 3 RBIs. Trailing 9–0 in the 8th, the Royals bring in Miguel Asencio, the youngest pitcher in the majors. Making his ML debut, Asencio walks Kenny Lofton on 4 pitches and does the same to the next three batters. He leaves, having thrown 16 pitches.

The Mets score 9 runs in the 9th inning—8 off John Smoltz—to break a 2–2 tie and defeat the Braves, 11–2. Rey Ordonez’s bases–loaded double is the big blow as the Mets have 15 at bats in the 9th. It is the most runs they’ve ever scored in the frame.

7th  The Diamondbacks defeat the Brewers, 2–0, as Curt Schilling strikes out 17 batters in hurling a one–hitter. Raul Casanova’s 2nd–inning single is the only Milwaukee hit.

The Phillies Pat Burrell breaks a 2–2 tie with Florida by belting a no-out 11thinning homer off Braden Looper, as the Phils win, 3–2. Burrell will win a game on April 10 with a 11thinning HR against Atlanta.  It is one of three extra inning walk-off homers today in the NL: Marcus Giles, Atlanta, hits one in the 14thagainst the Mets Satoru Komiyama and Houston’s Daryle Ward takes the Cards Luther Hackman deep in the 12th.

8thHouston turns back Colorado, 8–4, as Craig Biggio hits for the cycle. Biggio drives home 4 runs in recording the 6th cycle in Astros’ history. He began the day batting .174.

The Yankees pound out 22 hits in defeating the Blue Jays, 16–3. Alfonso Soriano gets 5 hits for the Bronx Bombers, including a double and 3–run HR, while Robin Ventura drives home 6 runs.

Travis Fryman hits a grand slam in the 3rdinning for Cleveland, as the Tribe whips the Twins, 9-5.

After opening their season with 6 straight losses, the Tigers fire manager Phil Garner and general manager Randy Smith. Coach Luis Pujols takes over the reins on an interim basis while team president Dave Dombrowski assumes the GM’s responsibilities. Pujols will sign a one-year deal to become the full–time manager tomorrow. Smith is the 2nd of 4 GM’s to leave their post this season. In early July, Chicago Cub GM Andy McPhail will give up his position to concentrate on his duties as club president, and Brewer GM Dean Taylor will get axed in the last week of the season.

9thThe Red Sox crash 5 homers to beat the Royals, 8-4. Tim Wakefield is the winning pitcher, giving up 5 hits in his 5 innings, including a 5thinning grand slam to Chuck Knoblauch.

10th  At the Superdome in New Orleans, a crowd of 27,673—a record for a college baseball game—watch LSU beat Tulane, 9–5. Aaron Hill has 4 RBIs for LSU. The previous record was 24,859 at consecutive games at the CWS in 1999 in which Miami played Alabama and Rice played Oklahoma State. The record will last till the San Diego State–Houston matchup on March 11, 2004 at newly built Petco Park in San Diego.

11thThe Orioles pound Tampa Bay, 15–6, scoring a franchise–high 12 runs in the 6th inning. They also collect a club–high 11 hits in 16 at bats. Mike Bordick leads the way with 3 RBIs.

Doug Davis (2–0) fires a 2–hit complete game as Texas beats Mark Mulder and the A’s, 7–0. Davis, an 11-game winner last season, had been criticized by pitching coach Oscar Ocasta in spring training for not working hard enough. He will go 1–5 in his next 8 starts and be demoted to (AAA) Oklahoma. Kevin Mench hits his first ML HR and drives in 4 runs, while Rodriguez and Palmeiro each have 3 hits.

Cubs P Kyle Farnsworth breaks his foot warming up in the bullpen and will be out of action for 6 weeks.

14thThe Twins score 8 runs in the 8th inning to overcome a 7–5 deficit and go on to defeat the Tigers, 13–7. David Ortiz’s pinch 3–run triple is the big blow in the inning.

Tough day, rook. The Mariners top the Rangers, 9–7, as Ruben Sierra strokes 5 hits, including a double. Seattle rookie DH Ron Wright makes his ML debut, going 0–for–3 and accounting for 6 outs on a strikeout, double play, and triple play. He becomes the second player since 1950 to hit into a TP in his debut (Leo Foster did it for Atlanta in 1971) when Kenny Rogers fields his comebacker in the 4th. It is Wright’s only ML appearance. Rogers allows a run in 6 innings, but the bullpen almost blows it for him. Alex Rodriguez has a pair of homers for Texas.

16thHouston defeats Cincinnati, 8–3, as Lance Berkman becomes the first player this year to slug 3 HRs in a game. Berkman drives home 5 of the Astros’ runs.

The Tigers win for the 1st time this season, defeating the Devil Rays, 9–3. Detroit had lost its first 11 games for the 5th–worst start by a ML team this century.

The White Sox score 9 runs off Chuck Finley in the 2nd inning and go on to defeat the Indians, 10–5, ending Cleveland’s 10–game winning streak. Magglio Ordonez has a grand slam in the 2nd, and Royce Clayton adds a 2–run HR. Damaso Marte picks up his first ML win in relief.

17thThe Royals explode for 9 runs on 8 hits in top of the 8th inning as they rout the Twins, 16–3. Carlos Beltran hits a 3–run HR in the 7thfor KC, and Joe Randa and Raul Ibanez also have 3 RBIs. Paul Byrd (3–0) is the easy winner.

Montreal scores 8 times in the 4th inning and the Expos go on to defeat the Cubs, 15–8. Chris Truby hits a 2–run triple in the frame and Vlad Guerrero lines a bases–loaded triple. Expo starter Tomokazu Ohka exits after failing to retire any of the first 6 batters, but Bruce Chin supplies 4 solid innings.

In the Braves 2–1 win over the Mets, B.J. Surhoff makes a 9–3 fielding play; throwing out Jeff D’Amico at 1B on an apparent RBI single. Greg Maddux leaves in the 1stwith lower back pain, but Kevin Millwood throws 4 innings of 2–hit ball.

18thMilwaukee fires manager Davey Lopes and hires coach Jerry Royster as interim manager in his place. In their first game under Royster, the Brewers beat the Cardinals, 7–5, as Richie Sexson drives home all 7 runs on 2 HRs and a triple.

19thThe Rangers shut out the Mariners, 9–0, ending Seattle’s 10–game winning streak. Seattle 3B Jeff Cirillo ties a ML mark by playing his 99th consecutive errorless game. His streak will end tomorrow.

20thTony Mongelluzzo of the Savannah Sand Gnats (South Atlantic League) hits 4 homers before drawing a walk in his fifth plate appearance.

USC first baseman Bill Peavey homers twice against the Washington State Cougars. His second homer clears the RF fence at the Cougars’ field and bounces on to the university’s adjacent nine–hole golf course. When the equipment manager goes to retrieve the ball, he is directed to the center hole of the practice green, where the baseball had rolled in and stuck.

21st  Rafael Furcal triples 3 times to tie the modern ML record as the Braves defeat the Marlins, 4–2. The last player to accomplish the feat was Lance Johnson of the White Sox in 1995.

The Diamondbacks trounce the Rockies, 7–1, as Randy Johnson strikes out 17 batters in becoming the first pitcher this year to win 5 games. It is the 6th time he has fanned 17 or more in a game.

The White Sox score 8 runs in the 1st inning off Jose Lima and hold on to beat the Tigers by a score of 11–8. PH Ray Durham strokes a 2-run single in the 8thto snap an 8–8 tie.

Making his first start in almost 7 years, Cincinnati’s Jose Rijo allows one unearned run in 5 innings as the Reds defeat the Cubs, 5–3. It is Rijo’s first win since July 13, 1995.

Tulsa Driller manager Tim Ireland is ejected in a Texas League game for arguing about organ music at Rich Winder Field in Little Rock, Arkansas. Against the Travelers Ireland becomes irate when organist Rich Pharris starts playing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” while Trent Durrington bats in the 6th. Twice, Durrington, distracted by the music, tries to call time, but umpire Jason Markley refuses. Durrington, an Australian, yesterday was greeted at the plate by “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Boy.” He asked Pharris to replace the song with “anything else.” Ireland expresses his irritation to umpire Markley who tosses him, but orders Pharris to play only between innings. As Ireland leaves the field, Pharris plays “Happy Trails.”

24thThe Mariners outhit Texas to win, 9–7. Ruben Sierra is 5-for-5 and John Olerud 4for-4 for the M’s to offset two homers and 5 RBIs by Alex Rodriguez. In his only ML game, Mariner’s DH Ron Wright goes 0-for-3, striking out, grounding into a DP and lining into a triple play.

25thThe Diamondbacks jump on Greg Maddux and score 8 runs in the 5th inning and go on to defeat the Braves, 11–5. The D’Backs send 12 batters to the plate—11 off Maddux—and the future Hall of Famer helps by walking 4 batters—2 intentionally—in the 5th. He gives up 10 runs, 6 of which are earned. Damian Miller has 4 RBIs for Arizona.

26thThe Mets defeat the Brewers, 1–0, behind Shawn Estes’ one–hitter. A 7th–inning single by Eric Young is Milwaukee’s only hit.

LA pitcher Odalis Perez faces the minimum 27 batters in hurling a one–hit, 10–0 shutout over the Cubs. A bad–hop infield single by OF Corey Patterson leading off the 7th inning is the only Chicago hit.

The Braves shut out the Astros, 9–0, ending Houston’s club–record streak of 122 straight games without being held scoreless.

27thBoston P Derek Lowe hurls Fenway Park’s 1st no–hitter since 1965, shutting out Tampa Bay, 10–0. It is the first career complete game for Lowe, who began last season as the Red Sox closer. In his first start this year, he hurled 7 hitless innings against the Orioles.

The Mets defeat the Brewers, 2–1, getting 6 hitless innings from their starting pitcher for the second game in a row. Pedro Astacio surrenders a single to Geoff Jenkins with 1 out in the 7th to break up his no–hit bid.

The Mariners score a run in the bottom of the 8th inning to defeat the Yankees, 1–0, despite being 1–hit by NY’s Ted Lilly. Desi Relaford’s single with 1 out in the 8th inning scores the only run of the game.

The Royals fire manager Buddy Bell and hire former coach Clint Hurdle to take his place.

28thThe Angels defeat the Blue Jays, 8–5, as SS David Eckstein hits a grand slam for the second day in a row, a 14thinning blast off Pedro Borbon. He also homered in yesterday’s 11–4 win over Toronto. Eckstein will total just 8 HRs for the year.

The Giants edge the Reds, 5–4, behind homers by Reggie Sanders and Benito Santiago. Robb Nen relieves in the 8thafter Adam Dunn hits a 2-run HR. An insurance run in the top of the 9thoffsets another Dunn homer, off Nen.  Ump union head John Hirschbeck tells fellow ump Mark Carlson not to issue a warning to Reds P Gabe White after a pitch sails over the head of Barry Bonds. Hirschbeck will be sent a warning letter about this, which will end up before a judge.

29thFormer ML OF Darryl Strawberry is sentenced to 18 months in prison for violating the terms of his probation six times.

30thMike Piazza hits 2 HRs and drives home 6 as the Mets defeat the Diamondbacks, 10–1. Al Leiter gets the victory for NY and in doing so becomes the first pitcher to have defeated all 30 ML teams. Both Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks and Kevin Brown of the Los Angeles Dodgers have beaten 29 teams, but Johnson needs a win against his own team, the D’Backs, for 30.

The Rockies score 8 times in bottom of the 4th inning on the way to a 10–0 whitewashing of the Pirates. The wheels come off for Buc starter David Williams as he hits 2 batters and makes 2 balks in the 4th. Mike Hampton goes 7 innings for the win.

The Rangers defeat the Blue Jays, 10–3. Alex Rodriguez hits the 250th HR of his career for Texas, becoming the 2nd–youngest player in history to reach that number. Jimmie Foxx was 8 days younger when he did so.

The Angels hand the Indians their worst loss ever at Jacobs Field, defeating the Tribe by a score of 21–2. Anaheim scores in 7 innings and plates 10 runs in the 8th inning to give them their highest total in 23 years. Troy Glaus has 5 RBIs and Jeff DaVanon 4.

For the 2ndday in a row, Barry Bonds belts 2 homers to lead the Giants to a 12–0 rout of the Dodgers. Winner Russ Ortiz helps with a 2–run HR and batterymate Benito Santiago chips in a 3–run HR. Going back to last year, Bonds is now 10 for his last 14 at bats, with 7 homers.

The Royals name bullpen coach John Mizerock as their interim manager, replacing Tony Muser who was fired yesterday.

The Brewers name Jerry Royster as their permanent manager.

The Rockies, with permission, are storing their balls in a humidity– and temperature–controlled room, according to Rockies president Keli McGregor. The room keeps the humidity at 40 percent, compared with 10 percent or less humidity often felt in the mile–high city. In their first 7 Aprils, the Rockies and their opponents combined to average 15.1 runs per game. This April, the average total score at Coors was 9.8 runs—a 35.1 percent decrease. Through the first 16 games at Coors, scoring is off 4.69 runs a game—2.15 runs a game greater than the park with the second–biggest run decrease, San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. However, once the warm weather—and the Yankees—hits and run production will jump.