2005 April

3rd  The Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 9-2, to open the 2005 baseball season. Randy Johnson gets the win for New York, while Hideki Matsui gets 3 hits, including a HR, drives home 3 runs, and robs Kevin Millar of a 2-run HR.

Devil Rays OF Alex Sanchez is suspended 10 days for violating baseball’s new policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

4thThe Tigers defeat the Royals, 11-2, as Dmitri Young drives in 5 runs while becoming the 3rd player in history to hit 3 homers on opening day. George Bell (1987) and Tuffy Rhodes (1994) were the others. Jeremy Bonderman gets the win for Detroit, becoming the youngest starter to win on opening day since Dwight Gooden in 1986.

The Washington Nationals fall to the Phillies, 8-4, in their first regular season game since relocating from Montreal.

Rookie Clint Barmes’ 2-run HR off Trevor Hoffman in the bottom of the 9th gives the Rockies a 12-10 comeback win over the Padres. Aaron Miles has 5 hits for Colorado, including a pair of doubles.

The Mariners defeat the Twins, 5-1, as Seattle 1B Richie Sexson hits HRs in his first 2 plate appearances for his new team, and drives home all 5 of their runs.

The Cubs pound out 23 hits as they cruise to a 16-6 victory over the Diamondbacks. Aramis Ramirez, who inked a four-year $42 million contract this morning, is 3-for-4 with a homer and 4 RBIs. Cubs pitcher Zambrano gets tossed in the 5thinning.

Seattle’s Damian Moss and Ryan Christianson are among 38 players suspended for violating baseball’s minor league steroids policy, a group that includes eight players from the Mariners’ organization. Oakland’s David Castillo is suspended for 60 games, the penalty for a third violation. All the others are suspended for 15 games, the ban given to first offenders.

5thThe Twins down the Mariners, 8-4, as Cy Young winner Johan Santana wins his first game of the season. In giving up 4 runs, however, Santana’s streak of 22 straight starts allowing 3 or fewer runs is halted. It is the 2nd-longest streak of its kind in ML history.

6thThe Nationals defeat the Phillies, 7-3, for the team’s first win while representing the city of Washington. Brad Wilkerson is the hero for the Nationals, hitting for the second cycle of his career. He also accomplished the feat against the Pirates on June 24, 2003.

7thDown 5-2, the Indians hit 3 HRs in the 9th inning to tie the White Sox, then score 6 more in the 11th to pull out an 11-5 victory.

9thThe Brewers manage only 1 hit off Victor Zambrano, Chad Fox, and LaTroy Hawkins—a 2nd inning single by Russell Branyan—as the Cubs set them down 4-0. It is the first loss of the season for Milwaukee, the last undefeated ML team.

The Blue Jays down the Red Sox, 12-5. Toronto jumps out to a 5-1 advantage in the 3rd inning on consecutive HRs by Vernon Wells, Corey Koskie, and Shea Hillenbrand.

10thAtlanta’s John  Smoltz pitches 7+ innings striking out 15 batters, but he loses, 6-1 to the Mets.  Pedro Martinez is even better, allowing 2 hits in a complete-game victory. Smoltz is just the 15thpitcher since 1960 to strike out 15 batters and lose (according to Retrosheet).

12thThe Twins fight back to defeat the Tigers, 5-4. Shannon Stewart’s ground-rule double off Troy Percival in the bottom of the 9th plates the winning run. It is the first run scored by the Twins off Percival in 40 innings over the past 6 years.

13thThe Mariners defeat the Royals, 2-1, to give manager Mike Hargrove his 1,000th career victory. He is the 51st skipper in history to reach the mark.

14thThe Nationals beat the Diamondbacks, 5-3, in the first game played in Washington, DC, since 1971. Livan Hernandez gets the win for Washington and Vinny Castilla hits a HR and drives in 4 runs.

In Boston, the Red Sox collect three homers in 7 innings off Randy Johnson, then jump on Yankee reliever Tom Gordon for 3 go-ahead runs in the 8th. Jason Varitek, who hit a homer in the 4th, hits a triple off Flash for 2 runs, as Boston wins, 8-5. The 4thinning also sees the thumbing of Sox coach Ron Jackson in the top of the frame, and manager Terry Francona in the bottom of the inning, both by home plate ump Greg Gibson. In an oddity noted by Zack Hample, a Tino Martinez line drive is a caught by NFL great Doug Flutie who is sitting in the third row down the RF line. Flutie uses a mitt to snag the foul. The quarterback later tells a NESN reporter that it is the fourth straight game that he’s caught a foul ball.

15thThe Mets down the Marlins, 4-0, behind Aaron Heilman’s 1-hit shutout. Luis Castillo’s 4th inning infield single is the only safety recorded by Florida as Heilman hurls the first complete game of his career.

San Francisco scores 9 runs off Jamey Wright in 4 innings and scales the Rockies, 13-6. Noah Lowry is just slightly better allowing 9 hits and 6 runs in 5+ innings for the win. Pedro Feliz helps with a grand slam and 5 RBI, while the Rocks get offense from Clint Barmes, with 4 hits including 2 homers, and Mike Restovich with 3 hits. It won’t assure Restovich of a job, however: he was acquired from the Twins on April 6, who had gotten him from Tampa Bay on March 31. Colorado will send him to Pittsburgh on May 11, and the Bucs will pass on him in November. In January 2006 the Cubs will sign him.

The Astros pound the Reds, 11-2, collecting 9 extra base hits including a pair of homers by Jason Lane. It is the 12thstraight win for Houston over Cincinnati. The scoring might have been greater except for a unassisted DP by Reds catcher Jason LaRue who snags a popped bunt and tags the runner from 3B.

16thIn the 8-0 Blue Jay win at Texas, Reed Johnson ties a big-league record when he is hit by a pitch three times; the Blue Jay outfielder is the 21st player plunked thrice.  Johnny Gomes will tie this on August 15.

18thThe Yankees score an AL record-tying (for the inning) 13 runs in the 2nd inning on their way to a 19-8 thrashing of the Devil Rays. Alex Rodriguez leads the 20-hit attack with 5 safeties, including 2 doubles and a pair of HRs, and 6 RBI. He scores 5 runs. Tino Martinez also drives home 6 runs for NY. The last time the Yankees scored 13 runs in an inning was in 1945; the team record of 14 in an inning was set in 1920 against the Senators.

The Dodgers down the Brewers, 7-3, as Milton Bradley becomes the 7th Dodger to hit HRs from both sides of the plate in the same game.

19thThe Mets slug a team record 7 HRs in a 16-4 pasting of the Phillies. Jose Reyes and Victor Diaz each hit a pair of round-trippers and Mike Piazza, Doug Mientkiewicz, and David Wright also homer. Wright’s blast is a grand slam.

23rdMark Mulder of the St. Louis Cardinals becomes just the 12th NL pitcher since 1976 to throw a complete-game shutout of 10 innings or more when he blanks the Houston Astros, 1-0, in 10. Greg Maddux in 1988 posted the last NL extra-inning shutout.

25thThe Red Sox drub the Toronto Blue Jays, 12–7 jumping on the first two pitchers for the Jays, Bush and League. Together the two (a.k.a. Dave and Brandon) surrendered nine runs in four and two-thirds innings.

26thThe Yankees pound the Angels, 12-4. Alex Rodriguez strokes 3 HRs and a single for New York, and becomes the 11th player in history to drive in 10 runs in a game. He connects with one on, two on, and the bases loaded, all off Bartolo Colon.

The Blue Jays defeat the Devil Rays, 7-5. TB starter Dewon Brazelton takes the loss, giving him a lifetime record of 0-13 on the road. He is the first pitcher in 56 years to begin his career with that many consecutive road losses. Cincinnati’s Kent Peterson did so in 1947-49. Brazelton will lose his next 4 decisions, including three on the road (0-16).

27thThe Cardinals defeat the Brewers, 6-3, as 2B Mark Grudzielanek hits for the cycle.

The Pirates edge the Astros, 2-0, behind Kip Wells. Jose Mesa sets Houston down in order in the 9th for his 300th career save. He becomes the 19th pitcher in ML history to reach the mark.

29thThe Cubs defeat the Astros, 3-2, in the first matchup of 300-game winners in nearly 18 years (June 6, 1986). Greg Maddux outduels Roger Clemens for his 306th career victory, even though The Rocket has two hits off him. The last match-up of 300-game winners in the National League was in 1892 (Tim O’Keefe and Jim Galvin).

30thThe Athletics defeat the Mariners, 6-5, in 10 innings. Oakland’s Mark Kotsay strokes 5 hits, including a game-winning single.

The Nationals down the Mets, 5-3, in a rain-soaked game that is called before the bottom half of the 8th inning. In an unusual move, both managers protest the contest due to the horrible playing conditions.

Commissioner Bud Selig asks players to agree to a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders and a lifetime ban for a third violation under what he calls a “three strikes and you are out approach” to doping. Selig proposes a 100-game ban for a second offense, and also asks the union to ban amphetamines and to have more frequent random drug tests.