st The defending NL East champion Mets defeat the defending World Champion Cardinals, 6-1, in the opening game of the season. Tom Glavine gets the 291stwin of his ML career.
2ndThe Tribune Company puts the Cubs up for sale. The Tribune has owned the team and Wrigley Field since 1981, when they purchased the franchise from William Wrigley for $21 million. The Cubs do their share to help the sale by losing, 5-1, to the Reds in Cincinnati.
The Mariners shut out the A’s, 4-0, as Felix Hernandez, the youngest Opening Day pitcher in 22 years, allows 3 hits and strikes out 12 in 8 innings. He’s just the fourth starter under 21 to earn an opening day win joining Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Bob Feller (1939) and Chief Bender (1905).
The Pirates win, 4-2, in 10 innings over the Astros in Houston’s home opener, setting a new record in the process. Fans included President George W. Bush. It is believed to be the longest Pirates victory ever attended by a U.S. President in terms of innings. President Taft attended an 11-inning Pirates defeat in 1909.
The Brewers beat the Dodgers, 7-1, as Ben Sheets hurls the first Opening Day complete game of 2 hits or fewer in 15 years.
The Marlins down the Nationals, 9-2, as Florida’s Fredi Gonzalez and Washington’s Manny Acta make their managerial debuts. They become the first pair of managers born outside the US to make their debuts in the same game.
The Yankees defeat the Devil Rays, 9-5, as Tampa Bay rookie OF Elijah Dukes hits a homer in his first ML at bat and he will hit another on April 5 to tie a mark with two homers in his first two games. Nutty the lucky squirrel, as he’ll come to be called, watches from atop the RF foul pole at Yankee Stadium. He’ll make four appearances through September 4, all Yankee wins.
The Royals beat the Red Sox, 7-1 behind newly acquired Gil Meche. Mark Grudzielanek has three hits and three RBIs for KC and rookie SS Tony Pena Jr. becomes the first player since 1950 to hit 2 triples on Opening Day. Hideki Okajima’s first ML pitch is hit for a homerun by John Buck in the 6th. Hideki’s last pitch this season, to Garrett Atkins, will end up in the same place.
4thThe Braves edge the Phillies, 3-2, in 11 innings. Ryan Madson takes the loss for Philadelphia, becoming the first pitcher to get the loss in both of his team’s first 2 games since 1977. Scott Thorman’s 11thinning homer is the decider.
At Kauffman Stadium, Boston pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka lives up to his advance billing by allowing one run in 7 innings and striking out 10. The Red Sox top the Royals and Zack Grienke, 4-1.
At AT&T Park, the Padres down the Giants, 5-3, as Marcus Giles and Adrian Gonzalez each have 3 hits and 2 RBIs for the Pads. Barry Bonds homers in the 1stoff starter Chris Young. Until August 15, Young will give up a homer only to Tony Clark—three times.
The Tigers score 8 runs in the 3rdto take an 8-0 lead and hold on for a 10-9 victory over the Blue Jays. Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez has 4 hits and Curtis Granderson has a triple and grand slam to drive in 5 runs.
Ted Lilly wins in his Cubs debut, 4-1, over the Reds, as Lou Piniella wins his first game as a Cubs manager. Lilly strikes out 9 in 7 innings.
The Mets shut out the Cardinals, 10-0, as St. Louis P Braden Looper makes his first start after 572 relief appearances. It is the 3rd-longest run of consecutive relief appearances before starting in ML history, behind only Todd Jones (632) and Chuck McElroy (603). John Maine pitches 7 innings for the Mets and is back by two homers and 4 RBIs from Carlos Beltran.
6thIn a meeting of two 3-0 teams, the Mets pound the Braves, 11-1. It is the first time since 1894 that a pair of unbeaten NL teams with at least 3 victories faced each other. In winning their first 4 games, the Mets have outscored their opponents, 31-3. The 1978 Brewers are the only other ML team since 1900 to start their season with 4 consecutive wins while outscoring their opponents by at least 28 runs. The Mets tie another ML mark by winning their first four games while allowing no more than a run in each game. The 1991 White Sox and 1915 Phillies also performed the feat.
The Indians home opener against the Mariners is called with 2 outs in the 5thinning because of snow. Pitcher Paul Byrd had not given up a hit to the M’s. Cleveland is leading, 4–0, and is a strike away from an official game when the umpires stop play for the 3rdtime. The game is called after a total of 173 minutes of stoppage. After four games with Seattle are snowed out at Jacobs Field the Indians finally retreat to the covered confines of Miller Park in Milwaukee to play their scheduled home games against the Los Angeles Angels.
7thThe Yankees defeat the Orioles, 10-7, on Alex Rodriguez’s two-out two-strike walkoff grand slam, a shot to CF. It is his 14thgrand slam and the third time one of his slams ends a game, tying the ML record shared by Vern Stephens and Cy Williams. Williams parked his three in 1924 and 1926 and Stephens in 1946, 1949 and 1950.
The Diamondbacks beat the Nationals, 7-1. Brandon Webb pitches 7 innings for the win, allowing a solo HR to Austin Kearns. Washington becomes the first team since 1900 to trail by at least 4-0 in each of its first 6 games.
8thThe Red Sox and Curt Schilling edge Texas, 3-2. David Ortiz accounts for all the runs with two homers.
In Chicago, Johan Santana throws 8 shutout innings and the Twins defeat the White Sox, 3-1. Justin Morneau’s three-run homer, off John Danks, tallies the runs for the Twins.
9thAt PetCo Park, Chris Young wins a 1-0 pitching duel with Matt Cain as each starter goes 7 innings. Kahlil Greene doubles and scores on a sac fly after being bunted to 3B.
The Bridgewater (Mass.) State Bears set a NCAA Division III records for runs, hits, RBIs and margin of victory defeating Newbury College, 57-1. The Bears scored 13 runs in the 1st, nine in the 2nd, nine in the 3rd, 16 in the 4th, eight in the 5th and two in the 6th. As the home team they didn’t bat in the bottom of the seventh. The five Newbury pitchers hit four batters as well as surrendering 44 hits and 20 bases on balls.
10thJim Abbott, Pete Incaviglia, Fred Lynn, John Olerud, Phil Stephenson, and Derek Tatsuno are elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Also elected are former coaches Jim Brock, Chuck Brayton, Bibb Falk, Jerry Kindall, and Dick Siebert.
At Dolphins Stadium, the Brewers and Marlins play a 2-2 tie that is the first such game to fall under the new ML rule change. Rather than be played over from the start, the game will be resumed where it left off in the 10thinning tomorrow night. The Mariners finally prevail 3-2 when Prince Fielder drives in a run with a single in the 13th. Fielder reaches base 7 times, going 4-for-4 with 3 walks. The game takes 4+ hours in addition to two long rain delays.
The Indians edge the Angels, 7-6, in a game played in Milwaukee’s Miller Park. The three-game series with the Angels was switched to Milwaukee because of snow, making play in Cleveland impossible.
11thThe Mariners shut out the host Red Sox, 3-0, on Felix Hernandez’s one-hitter. J.D. Drew’s single leading off the bottom of the 8thinning is Boston’s only safety.
At Camden Yards, the Tigers and Orioles battle for 11 scoreless innings before Craig Monroe hits a 2-out grand slam in the 12th, off Kurt Birkins. Detroit wins it, 4-1.
12thThe Mets beat the Phillies, 5-3, as 4one-year-old Tom Glavine bests 44-year-old Jamie Moyer. The game marks the oldest matchup of lefty starters in ML history.
13thThe Astros down the Phillies, 9-6, as Carlos Lee clubs 3 homers and drives home 6 runs.
The Mets edge the Nationals, 3-2. Washington scores both its runs in the 2ndinning after they became the first modern ML team not to score in the first 3 innings of any of their first 10 games. David Wright gets a hit to extend his hitting streak to 22 games over 2 seasons. He is the first player since Curt Flood and Dick Groat (both 1961-62) to end one season with a hitting streak of at least 10 games and start the next season with a hitting streak of at least 10 games.
Friday the 13th is not unlucky for Barry Bonds as he goes 3-for-3 including a pair of homers against his former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is the 70th multi-homer game of his career. Russ Ortiz is the winner in the 8-5 Giants victory.
The Devil Rays defeat Johan Santana and the Twins, 4-2. It is Santana’s first loss at the Metrodome in nearly 2 years. The Twins won all 24 games in which Santana pitched over that span, one short of the ML record set in 1890-91 by Louisville with Scott Stratton.
15thBaseball honors Jackie Robinson on the 60thanniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Many players wear #42 in his honor. Mariano Rivera is the only current player wearing #42; it will be retired after his career with the Yankees and all 30 teams will then have retired the number. The Dodgers retired the number on June 4, 1972, to honor Robinson but two other Dodgers also wore it, George Jeffcoat in 1939 and Ray Lamb in 1969.
The Dodgers defeat the Padres and Chris Young, 9-3. The win snaps Young’s streak of 25 consecutive road starts without a loss. Allie Reynolds is the only other pitcher in big league history to have gone that many straight road starts without losing, matching Young’s 25 in 1948-49.
The Indians edge the White Sox, 2-1, despite getting only one hit. The safety is Grady Sizemore’s leadoff double in the first inning, but the Tribe uses three errors and a bases-loaded walk to plate two unearned runs. Chicago starter Jose Contreras and three relievers combine to no-hit the Tribe following Sizemore’s hit. It is the first time since 1952 that a team wins with one hit when it comes in its first at-bat. Winning pitcher C.C. Sabathia strikes out 10 in 8 innings.
At Wrigley Field the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cubs, 1-0, with each team’s starter recording double-digit strikeout totals. It was just the 18th time since 1957 that opposing pitchers each K’d 10 or more in a 1-0 game. Winning pitcher Kyle Lohse strikes out 12 while his opposite, Ted Lilly, whiffs 10. The last pair to each strike out 10 or more in a 1-0 game was Ben Sheets of the Milwaukee Brewers and Matt Clement of the Cubs in 2004.
Mariners DH Jose Vidro has 3 hits including pair of homers to pace the Mariners to a 14-7 win over the Rangers. Ichiro Suzuki has 4 hits, including HR, and a stolen base, and Kenji Johjima had 3 hits.
The Armstrong Atlantic State Pirates set a NCAA Division II record as they hit three grand slams in an inning. The old mark was two, which had been accomplished 22 times since the statistic began to be tracked in 1973. The Savannah, Georgia, team hit the slams as part of a 13-run 7th inning in a game against the Augusta State Jaguars. The Pirates take the nine-inning contest, 27-3.
A Nor’easter washes out games in the East as 7.46 inches of rain falls in New York’s Central Park, the second most in recorded history. The record of 8.28 inches was set on September 23, 1882.
18thMark Buehrle of the White Sox hurls the first no-hitter of the ML season, facing only 27 batters in his 6-0 whitewashing of the Rangers. Sammy Sosa, who walks in the 5thinning and is picked off, is Texas’s only baserunner. Jermaine Dye belts a grand slam and Jim Thome adds 2 solo homers for the Sox scoring. This is the second time Buehrle has faced just 27 batters in a game.
19thThe Yankees score 6 runs in the bottom of the 9thinning to defeat the Indians, 8-6, on Alex Rodriguez’s walkoff HR. Sean Henn gets the win for the Bombers. He becomes the third Yankee hurler in 3 games to get his first ML win, a feat that hasn’t happened since 1941.
The White Sox edge the Rangers, 6-4. Jim Thome walks 5 times for Chicago.
20thAt Milwaukee, Craig Biggio hits a 9thinning grand slam to give the Astros a 6-2 lead, and they almost give it back in the bottom of the frame when Prince Fielder hits a 3-run homer. Houston wins, 6-5. For Biggio, it is his first salami since July 24, 1994: he’s the 9thmajor leaguer to go 11 years or more between slams. The major-leaguer with the longest wait between grand slams was Max Carey who hit one in 1912, then again in 1927.
At Dolphin Stadium, the Nationals score 5 runs in the first 4 innings, then not again till the 14th. Ryan Church singles, steals 2B, and scores on a single as Washington beats Florida, 6-5.
Maybe it’s the luck of the Irish. For their home game against the Yankees, the Red Sox wear green jerseys to honor the Celtics; it was the first time they’ve worn home uniforms with players’ names on the back. The Sox overcome a double and pair of homers by Alex Rodriguez to beat the Yankees, 7-6. The Hubmen score 5 runs in the 8th, two off Mariano Rivera, who takes the loss. The red-hot A-Rod has now hit 12 homers in April.
21stThe Phillies beat the Reds, 4-1, as Cole Hamels strikes out 15 and Philadelphia turns its first triple play in almost 8 years.
At Dodgers Stadium, Russell Martin hits a walk-off grand slam, off Shawn Chacon, and the Dodgers beat the Pirates, 7-3. It is the 30th time a big-leaguer’s first career slam was a walk-off.
In his first start in 9 months, Bartolo Colon pitches 7 innings allowing one run for the Angels. Vladimir Guerrero hits a 2-run homer to power the Haloes to a 7-0 lead over Seattle, as they hang on for a 7-6 win. Ben Broussard hits a pinch grand slam for the M’s, the first in Mariners’ history. It is Broussard’s 3rd career pinch slam and he joins Rich Reese, Ron Northey and Willie McCovey as the only major-leaguers to hit three.
The Brewers down the Astros, 6-4, as J.J. Hardy has a pair of homers. Catcher Damian Miller is 3-for-3 and has one of the four stolen bases for the Brewers. It is Miller’s fifth swipe of his 10-year career and his first in four years.
22ndThe Cardinals pound the Cubs, 12-9, as Scott Rolen gets 5 hits for St. Louis, including a triple and a homer.
The Red Sox take a thriller from the Yankees by a score of 7-6, and sweep their series in the Bronx. Boston ties a ML record by hitting four consecutive homeruns in the 3rdinning, as Manny Ramirez, JD Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek connect in order. The Sox are the 5thteam to hit four in a row, while Yankee pitcher Chase Wright becomes the 2ndbig league hurler to surrender four consecutive homers. The other was Paul Foytack of the Tigers in 1963. The four straight homers are not without consequences, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, will note subsequently regarding an obituary in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald: “Shirley Elizabeth Zeegers, 79, of Fort Pearce Fla. and Oxford (Maine), died Sunday evening between the third and fourth consecutive home runs of the night by her beloved Red Sox. Some suspect she may have had an influence in the fourth home run.”
De nada. Mexican-born Joakim Soria of the Royals saves a win for fellow Mexican Jorge De La Rosa as the Royals top the Twins, 3-1. Ross Glaud supplies the margin with a two-run homer off Ramon Ortiz.
At Dolphin Stadium, Dan Uggla cracks 2 homers and drives in 6 runs to pace the Marlins to a 12-6 victory over the Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman’s grand slam in the 9thoff Kevin Gregg makes the score a bit respectable.
23rdAt Wrigley Field, it is a rocky debut for Rocky Cherry as the Cubs reliever serves up a 12th-inning homer to Prince Fielder. The Brewers win it, 5-4.
24thThe Athletics edge the Orioles, 4-2. Oakland sets a ML record in the first inning when it holds Baltimore scoreless. It is the 20thstraight game in which the A’s does not allow a 1st-inning run, a record for the start of the season. The win goes to rookie Dallas Braden in his first start. For the man with a handlebar moustache tattooed on his finger (giving him a Rollie finger), it is his only win this year as he will go 1-8.
During the Reds 10-3 win over the Cards, rookie Josh Hamilton plays all three outfield positions, starting in CF, then LF in the 8thand RF in the 9th. Hamilton, with a history of substance abuse, will finish April leading NL rookies in homers, RBIs and slugging percentage.
The Padres double the Diamondbacks, 10-5, as David Wells beats Randy Johnson. The game is the oldest matchup of lefthanders in ML history, breaking the mark set two weeks ago by Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer.
25thThe Rockies pound out 20 hits on their way to an 11-5 win over the Mets. Willy Taveras gets 5 hits for Colorado.
The Phillies rout the Nationals, 9-3, as Chase Utley strokes 5 hits, including a pair of doubles.
At PNC Park, Adam LaRoche singles home the winning run in the 16thinning as the Pirates outlast the Astros, 4-3. The two teams use 15 pitchers who combine to throw 476 pitches.
The Diamondbacks edge the Padres, 3-2, despite a 16-strikeout performance by Jake Peavy. In one stretch, Peavy fans nine consecutive batters, just one shy of Tom Seaver’s ML record.
26thThe Indians defeat the Rangers, 9-4. Sammy Sosa homers for Texas, making Jacobs Field the 44thML ballpark in which he has homered for the most in a ML career.
The Yankees are shut out by the Blue Jays, 6-0, spoiling top pitching prospect Phil Hughes’ ML debut. Hughes goes 4+ innings before being lifted. He is the third starting pitcher to make his debut for the Yankees in the team’s first 20 games. The last time a team had three starters debut so early was the St. Louis Cardinals in 1955. A.J. Burnett throws 7 innings to take home the W. Hughes is the 6thpitcher since 1957 to start a game for the Yankees before turning 21 (Jose Rijo, Gil Blanco, Al Downing, Gene Nelson and Dave Righetti are the others).
27thThe Nationals edge the Mets, 4-3. Washington tallies 3 runs in the 1stinning, the first time they’ve scored that early this season. Washington set a NL record by playing 22 games at the start of a season without scoring a first-inning run. The ML record is 28 set by the 1948 White Sox.
The Athletics obtain OF Chris Denorfia from the Reds in exchange for a pair of players to be named and cash.
28thThe Marlins down the Phillies, 11-5. Miguel Cabrera has 5 hits for Florida, including a HR.
The Padres edge the Dodgers, 3-2. Trevor Hoffman gets the save for SD in his 803rdappearance with the team, breaking the ML record previously held by Walter Johnson and Roy Face for most appearances with a single club.
29thCardinals pitcher Josh Hancock is killed in an early morning car crash when he slams into a truck stopped in a driving lane of the highway. He was coming from a bar a few blocks from Busch Stadium.
The Rockies use an unassisted triple play and a walkoff homer to beat the visiting Braves, 9-7 in 11 innings. In the 7th, Troy Tulowitzki turns a Chipper Jones line drive into an unassisted triple play, just the 13thin major league history. With Todd Helton on base for the 6thtime (5 walks) Matt Holliday takes Steve Colyer deep in the 11thto drive in 2 runs: Holliday will lead the NL in RBIs with 137. The Braves send OF Ryan Langerhans, who was 1-for-3 in the game, to the Athletics for a player to be named or cash.
The Dodgers edge the Padres, 5-4, in 17 innings on Brady Clark’s double. The Dodger bullpen allows one hit in 10 2/3 scoreless innings while the Pad’s pen holds LA scoreless from the 4thto the 17thinnings. Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez homer in the 3rdoff David Wells.
Jamie Moyer pitches 7+ innings of 2-hit shutout ball as the Phillies down the Marlins, 6-1. Moyer also contributes 2 hits, including a double. He last hit a double in 1988, 19 years ago.
The Red Sox defeat the Yankees, 7-4. New York becomes the first ML team to use five or more pitchers in 10 straight games.
30thThe Royals lose to the Angels, 3-1, falling to 8-18 on the year. They become the first team in ML history to finish the month of April ten games under .500 three straight years.