2010 April

1stThe Cardinals trade IF Julio Lugo to the Orioles for the player to be named or cash.

4thThe Red Sox overcome a 5-1 deficit and go on to defeat the Yankees, 9-7, to open the 2010 MLB season. Jorge Posada, off the LF foul pole, and Curtis Granderson hit 2nd-inning HRs off Josh Beckett.

5thPresident Obama throws out the ceremonial first pitch to start the baseball season before the Phillies-Nationals game. The tradition was started by President Taft exactly 100 years ago. Philadelphia goes on to defeat Washington, 11-1, as Placido Palenco has 3 hits, including a grand slam, and 6 RBIs.

The Braves trounce the Cubs, 16-5, as blue chip rookie Jason Heyward hits a 3-run HR, off Carlos Zambrano, in his first ML plate appearance, on his first swing. The Braves become the first team in ML history to open a season at home with a pair of 6-run innings, scoring that many runs in the 1stand 7thinnings. Heyward drives in 4 runs while Yunel Escobar drives in 5.

Stephen Drew and Mark Reynolds clout two-run homers as Arizona downs San Diego, 6-3. Drew joins Johnny Groth (1949), Frank Lary (1956), Jim Gilliam (1956), Bill Skowron (1962), Carl Yastrzemski (1968) and Emilio Bonifacio (2009) as the only major-leaguers since 1949 to hit inside-the-park homers on Opening Day. Matt Stairs pinch hits for the D’Backs to become the fourth big leaguer to play for 12 different teams in his career. The others who played for a dozen different clubs in the majors were Jim “Deacon” McGuire, Mike Morgan and Ron Villone.

The Rockies down the Brewers, 5-3, as Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0) pitches 6 innings, allowing a run. Rox 2B Ian Stewart becomes the first player in ML history to hit a HR in his first at bat of the season, in his team’s opener, on his birthday. He drives in 2 runs. Todd Helton is 2-for-5 for Colorado. He and Andres Galarraga (1993-97) are the only starting first basemen the Rockies have used in their Opening Day lineups since the team began playing in 1993.

Paul Konerko and Alex Rios homer for the White Sox and Mark Buehrle pitches 7 innings as the White Sox shut out the Indians, 6-0. Buehrle makes the highlight reels in the 6thinning when a sharp grounder by Lou Marson deflects off his leg into foul territory. Buehrle chases the ball down and flips it between his legs to 1B for the out. Buehrle will lead AL pitchers in fielding and pickoffs and win the Gold Glove at his position.  He’ll later say this one play won it for him. Jake Westbrook allows 5 runs in taking the loss and his 4 wild pitches, all on change-ups, doesn’t help.

Albert Pujols has 4 hits, including a pair of homers, and scores 4, and Yadier Molina adds a 9thinning grand slam, off Nick Masset, as the visiting Cardinals beat the Reds, 11-6.  St. Louis scores 5 in the 9thand the Reds answer with 2 runs.  The press box is briefly evacuated when mop heads catch fire in a dryer.

Casey Kotchman has 4 RBIs, 2 in the 9th, as the Mariners defeat the Athletics, 5-3, in Oakland.  Felix Hernandez gives up 3 runs in 6+ innings and doesn’t figure in the decision.  Milton Bradley debuts for the M’s and goes 0-for-3 with 2 walks. He is the 23rd left fielder the Mariners have used on Opening Day in their 34-year history.

6thThe Twins edge the Angels, 5-3. The estimated crowd of 45,000 in Los Angeles receive complementary red fleece blankets honoring Hideki Matsui. At the end of the 4thinning, fans wear the blankets for 5 straight minutes, setting a Guinness World Record for “the largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets of one color in one place.”

The Rays down the Orioles, 4-3, on Carl Crawford’s 2-run double in the bottom of the 9thinning. Crawford becomes the only player in the last 40 years to have more than one game-ending hit in season-opening games, having also performed the feat with a walk-off HR in 2003. Miguel Tejada, who finished last season with a 21-game hit streak, goes 0-for-5.

Pads pitcher Chris Young (1-0) pitches a brilliant 6 innings allowing one hit and no runs as San Diego stops the Diamondbacks, 6-3. Young, who had orthoscopic shoulder surgery last August, will be shut down until September 18 and finish at 1-0. Arizona’s Chris Young is 0-for-2 against SD’s Chris Young and is now 0-for-16 against him.

The commissioner’s office announces that the percentage of MLB players born outside the 50 states on opening day rosters is down slightly from last year’s 28 percent. The Dominican Republic leads with 86 players, followed by Venezuela with 58 and Puerto Rico with 21. The Mets have the most foreign-born players with a record high of 18. The commissioner also announces that opening day baseball salaries went up 1.8 percent to an average of $3.3 million per player.

7thThe visiting Giants defeat the Astros, 10-4, scoring 7 runs in the last 3 innings. Shortstop Edgar Renteria goes 5-for-5 to lead SF’s 19-hit attack. Shades of last year’s “Natinals” misspelling, Eugenio Velez enters the game in the 7thwearing a “San Francicsco (sic)” jersey. It is his first appearance of the year, but the Giants’ third game.

At Fenway, the Yankees edge the Red Sox, 3-1, in 10 innings as Curtis Granderson homers off Jonathon Papelbon. It is the 17thconsecutive win for New York in games that were tied entering the 8thinning, for a new ML record. Before the game, West called the AL East rivals “embarrassing” and “a disgrace to baseball” for slowing the pace of their games to a crawl, according to the Bergen (N.J.) Record. “They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.” During the game, home plate umpire Angel Hernandez denies a number of requested timeouts in the batter’s box. West did not allow Hernandez to comment, according to the report. “All of baseball looks to these two clubs to pick up the pace,” West said, according to the report. “[Hernandez] did everything he could. The players aren’t working with us.” Today’s game goes 3:21 minutes. The team’s season opener on Sunday took 3:46 to play; Tuesday night’s game went 3:48.

9thAt Chase Field, the Diamondbacks crush the Pirates, 9-1, as Chris Young has a grand slam and 5 RBIs.

Drew Stubbs hits a triple and a grand slam to pace the Reds to a 5-4 win over the visiting Cubs.

10thThe Cardinals defeat the Brewers, 7-1. Rookie Jamie Garcia gets the win for St. Louis, ending a string of 586 consecutive games without a win by a left-handed starting pitcher for the Cardinals. It is the 3rd-longest such streak in ML history.

11thThe Diamondbacks score 13 runs in the 4thinning and go on to trounce the Pirates, 15-6. Chris Young’s 3-run homer is one of three the D’Backs hit in the 4th.  Chris Snyder has a HR and 5 RBIs for Arizona.

In his professional debut, Reds pitcher Mike Leake pitches out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, settles down and tosses` 6 2/3 innings, allowing only one run against the Chicago Cubs. The Reds win, 3-1, as Leake walks 7. The number 1 pick in the 2009 draft, he is just the 21st player in major league history (and the 7th Reds player) to be drafted and skip the minor leagues en route to a major league debut. He also has no problem with ML pitching as he goes 2-for-2.

Roy Halladay and the Phillies defeat Roy Oswalt and the Astros, 2-1, in a match-up pairing the players with the highest career-winning percentages among active pitchers with at least 250 starts. It is the first such duel of such pitchers, both with a winning percentage of .658 or higher and at least 250 career starts since July 15, 1913, when Christy Mathewson defeated Mordecai Brown.

At Citi Field, Josh Willingham connects for a 1stinning grand slam off Johan Santana as the Nationals beat the Mets, 5-2. Willingham has 5 RBI.

At Detroit, the Indians take a 5-run lead in the 1stas Luis Valbuena connects for a grand slam off Justin Verlander. But Detroit scrambles back, scoring 2 in the 8thand 3 in the 9thto win, 9-8. Carlos Guillen scores the winning run on a wild pitch by Chris Perez.

Scott Feldman allows a run in 7 innings and the Rangers total 16 hits in sinking the Mariners, 9-2. The Rangers’ David Murphy reaches base twice consecutively on catcher interference, joining Ben Geraghty (1936), Pat Corrales (twice in 1965), Dan Meyer (1977) and Bob Stinson (1979) as the players to reach base on catcher’s interference in consecutive at bats.

12thThe Twins open Target Field with a 5-2 win over the Red Sox.

The Padres score 10 runs in the 4thinning and go on to rout the Braves, 17-2, in their home opener. Kyle Blanks leads the way with 3 hits, 3 runs, and 5 RBIs.

13thAt Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte pitches 6 shutout innings as the Yankees beat the Angels, 7-5. David Robertson serves up a g rand slam in the 9thto Bobby Abreu, but Mariano Rivera closes it out.

14thBefore 10,071 fans, the lowest in Progressive Field history, the Rangers defeat the Indians, 6-2. Nelson Cruz hits his 6thHR of the year for Texas, becoming the first player in ML history to hit a HR in 6 of his team’s first 8 games of a season.

Carlos Quentin hits a grand slam and drives in 6 runs as the White Sox paste the Blue Jays, 11-1. John Danks and Tony Pena combine to allow 2 hits.

Jose Guillen homers in his 4thstraight game, and adds two singles as the Royals beat the Tigers, 7-3. It is Guillen’s 200thcareer HR. Jason Kendall has 4 hits as the Royals collect 17. Johnny Damon of the Tigers collects his 1,000th RBI.

Chase Utley has 2 homers and 4 RBI, and Shane Victorino has 4 hits and 5 RBI as the host Phillies kick the Nationals, 14-7. Utley will homer in his first 4 home games of the year, a ML first, that Matt Kemp will also match.

15thJorge Can do. Jorge Cantu continues his hot hitting with a double, two runs and an RBI as the Marlins rip the Reds, 10-2. Cantu is the first player in ML history to have at least one RBI in each of his team’s first 10 games of a season. George Kelly of the 1921 Giants did it for 8 games to set the record. Cantu has posted a hit and a ribbie in 14 straight games dating back to last season, two shy of the NL record set by Mike Piazza in 2000. After the Marlins trade him to Texas on July 29, Cantu will have just one game (out of 30) with an RBI.

16thThe Red Sox and Tampa Bay suspend play in the middle of the 9thinning, finishing up tomorrow with the Rays winning, 3-1, in 12 innings on Pat Burrell’s 2-run homer. As noted by Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, it is probably the first time that two teams begin a game wearing one set of uniform numbers and finish it wearing a different set. The Sox were celebrating a belated Jackie Robinson Day on April 16, and all the players on both teams were wearing number 42.

Andre Ethier hits a pair of homers and drives in 5 runs, and Matt Kemp homers in his 4thstraight home game, as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 10-8. San Francisco scores 5 runs in the 9thto make it close.  Kemp homering in his first 4 home games of the year is a ML first, but matched today by Chase Utley.

17thUbaldo Jimenez hurls the first no-hitter of the season as the Rockies defeat the Braves, 4-0. It is also the first no-hitter in the history of the Colorado franchise. He walks 6 and strikes out 7 to run his record to 3-0.

In St. Louis, the Mets edge the Cardinals, 2-1, in 20 innings. The game is scoreless through the first 18 innings. Utilityman Joe Mather takes the loss in relief for St. Louis, with teammate IF Felipe Lopez also seeing duty on the mound. They are the fifth pair of position players to pitch since 1952. New York has only one hit through the first 11 innings. The last time that the Cardinals played a 20-inning game at home was 1898.

18thThe Orioles down the Athletics, 8-3, for only their 2ndwin of the season. Brian Matusz has been the winning pitcher both times, making him only the 2ndpitcher in the last 94 years to earn the first 2 victories of the season for a team that started the year with a record of 2-11 or worse. Rick Wise did so for the Cardinals when they started the year 2-15 in 1973. The O’s have won 15 games since August 4 of last year, and Matusz has won 7 of them.

The Pirates overcome a pair of homers by Jay Bruce and beat the Reds, 5-3, to sweep the series with Cincinnati. The Bucs are 5-1 in their first six home games, the first time since 1992 that they have started the season by winning two series. The Bucs stop here, however, as they will lose their next 7 games.

The Brewers score 10 runs in the 1stinning on their way to an 11-7 win over the Nationals. Seven of the runs are charged to Jason Marquis, who records no outs. Reliever Miguel Batista then serves up a grand slam to Craig Counsell.

Manny Ramirez belts a 2-run pinch HR in the 8thinning, off Sergio Romo, as the Dodgers edge the Giants, 2-1. It is #548 for Manny.

Shin-Soo Choo hits a grand slam and drives in 5 as the Indians defeat the White Sox, 7-4.

At Turner Field, rookie Jason Heyward lines a 2-run single in the 9thto give the Braves a 4-3 win over the Rockies. Heyward drives in 3.

Alberto Callaspo bangs a pair of 3-run homers as the Royals rough up Carl Pavano and the Twins, 10-5.

19thAt Fenway, Tampa tops the Red Sox, 8-2, in a morning game on Patriot’s Day (the holiday is also recognized in Maine & WI). It is the Rays seventh road win in a row and its first sweep at Fenway in a series of 3+ games.

In the Blue Jays 8-1 win over the Royals, Jose Bautista hits a pair of homers. The crowd of 10,314 is the lowest in the two-year history of the Rogers Centre and breaks a 3-day old record.

20thThe Red Sox bounce back from a 6-2 deficit to defeat the Rangers, 7-6. Rookie Darnell McDonald hits a 2-run pinch HR in his first ML AB in the 8thinning to tie the game, then drives in the winning run the next inning with a walk-off single. He is the first player in Red Sox history with a walk-off RBI in his debut with the team. Led by Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus, each with 3, the Rangers steal 9 bases in 9 tries in the contest in a losing effort. All the steals come with Tim Wakefield (6 IP) on the mound and Victor Martinez behind the plate. The nine swipes in a game sets a Rangers club record and the nine steals allowed matches a Sox team record set on October 3, 1913, against the Washington Senators. Cruz and Andrus became just the ninth pair of big-league teammates since 1952 to each steal at least three bases in the same game.

The Mets shut out the Cubs, 3-0. Mike Pelfrey gets the win, becoming only the 2ndpitcher in ML history to record 3 wins as a starter plus a save in his first 4 games in a season.

The Reds score a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8thinning to edge the Dodgers, 11-9. The team ties a modern ML record by having won each of its first 6 victories of the season in its final turn at bat. The 1970 Giants also performed the feat.

The Braves edge the Phillies, 4-3, in 10 innings, using three homeruns to do it. Nate McLouth’s homer in the 10thwins it. Jason Heyward homers and ties Ted Williams for most RBIs posted by a player under the age of 21 through his first 13 games; Williams had 16 in his rookie season in 1939 (Elias Sports Bureau).

The Padres defeat the Giants, 1-0, despite getting only one hit. Chase Headley’s 4th-inning single is SD’s only safety. The last time the Giants lost a one-hitter was in 1917 against the Pirates.

21st At Fenway, the Red Sox edge the Rangers, 8-7, in 12 innings when Kevin Youkilis doubles home the winning run. J.D. Drew has a grand slam for Boston while Josh Hamilton has 3 hits, including a 3-run homer for Texas.

New York’s Phil Hughes (2-0) has a no-hitter through 7 innings, but gives up a leadoff single to Eric Chavez that bounces off his forearm to leadoff the 8th. Two relievers allow 2 hits as the Yankees win, 3-1, at Oakland.

22ndFor the 4thstraight game, Milwaukee jumps to an 8-0 lead, a ML first. They pound out 25 hits, including 11 extra base hits, in crushing the Pirates, 20-0. It marks only the 2ndtime in modern ML history that an NL team wins a shutout by 20 or more runs. The Pirates routed the Cubs, 22-0, in 1975. The last game to end exactly 20-0 was in 1889. Jim Edmonds has a single, pair of doubles and a 3-run homer, while Ryan Braun clubs a 3-run homer and drives in 5 runs.  On the 26th, Milwaukee will beat the Bucs again, 17-3.

The Athletics edge the Yankees, 4-2, as Kurt Suzuki hits a 3-run homer in the 1stoff C.C. Sabathia. New York turns its first triple play in 42 years in the 6thinning when Suzuki hits a 5-4-3 grounder. Alex Rodriguez manages to find a new way to piss off opponents, when, after hitting a foul ball, he wanders back across the infield and touches the pitching rubber.  This infuriates the A’s starter Dallas Braden, who yells at A-Rod.  A-Rod responds by cupping his hand to his ear.

23rdThe White Sox defeat the Mariners, 7-6. Andruw Jones hits 2 HRs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the 9thinning to celebrate his birthday. Jose Lopez has a grand slam for the M’s and 1B Casey Kotchman plays his 200th consecutive game without an error. He joins the Red Sox’ Kevin Youkilis (238) as the only two first sackers in ML history to reach that milestone.

Joba Chamberlain gives up 2 runs in the 8thand the Yankees lose to the Angels, 6-4. The loss ends New York’s 17-game winning streak with the score tied after seven, the longest in the ML since 1900 (Elias Sports Bureau). The Yanks do turn a triple play, their first since June 3, 1968, a stretch of 6,632 regular season games.

In Arlington, the Tigers score two runs in the 9th, off Neftali Feliz, to tie the Rangers 4-4, but Texas plates a run to win in the bottom of the frame.  Justin Smoak has a pair of walks in his debut game for Texas, while Tiger DH Brennan Boesch has two hits in his debut. In a little-noted sidebar, this was the first time in the AL since 1962 that opposing teams each had a non-pitcher make his major-league debut as a starter in a game that was neither on Opening Day nor in September.

At Chase Field, Cole Hamels gives up 4 homers to the Diamondbacks as the Phillies lose, 7-4. Kelly Johnson has two homers, one off Hamels. In the 7th, Jayson Werth scores on a four-base error by CF Chris Young, who gets a glove on the ball but drops it transferring the ball to his throwing hand. Umpire Dale Scott rules Young did not have possession long enough to record the out.

24thThe Twins beat the Royals, 9-7, in 12 innings. Joe Mauer goes 5-for-6 for Minnesota, including a double and triple.

The White Sox edge the Mariners, 5-4, on Alex Rios’ walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9thinning, as the Six plate 3 runs. The M’s score 2 runs in the top of the 9thwhen the have runners on 1B and 2B. Casey Kotchman hits a bounding ball down the 1B line where a fan interferes with the play. The umps rule both runners would have scored and award Kotchman second base. Rios’ homer marks only the second time in White Sox history that the team has won 2 consecutive games with game-ending HRs. Before Rios hits his four bagger, off David Aardsma, Paul Konerko homers. On the bench for the Chisox is SS Omar Vizquel who turns 43, becoming the first ML player since the Sox’ Luke Appling in 1950 to play shortstop at that age. He went 0-for-4 yesterday.

25thThe Cubs rout the Brewers, 12-2. Ryan Theriot goes-5-for-6 for Chicago, including a double.

The Rangers defeat the Tigers, 8-4. Detroit’s rookie OF Austin Jackson becomes the first player in ML history to strike out at least once in each of the first 18 ML games in which he comes to the plate.

After 17 games with the Orioles, Justin Turner is placed on the waiver list. The Mets will claim the red head.

He’s a much better 1-0 hitter. With 2 on in the 7th, the Yankees start to intentionally walk Kendry Morales, but Joe Girardi changes his mind and has Damaso Marte pitch to him instead. Big mistake as Morales hits a 3-run homer. The Angels win, 8-4.

26thJosh Johnson strikes out 12 and allows just 3 hits in the Marlins 10-1 victory over the Padres. Johnson also has 3 hits and drives in 3 runs. Hitting .300 now, he’ll finish at .085. Johnson joins Dazzy Vance (1925), J.R. Richard (1976) and Steve Carlton (1977) as the only big-leaguers to strike out 12 or more batters and knock in at least three runs in the same game (Elias Sports Bureau).

27thThe Mets sweep the Dodgers in a doubleheader, 4-0 and 10-5. New York becomes the first team in history to face managers who have won 1,500 games in their careers in 4 successive series—Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, Lou Piniella, and Joe Torre.

The Pirates score 5 runs in the 9thinning, highlighted by a grand slam by Ryan Doumit, to defeat Trevor Hoffman and the Brewers, 7-3. It is the first slam allowed by Hoffman, who had faced more batters with the bases loaded (135) without allowing a slam than any current closer.

28thThe Tigers defeat the Twins, 11-6. Minnesota rookie Luke Hughes hits a HR in his first ML AB, becoming the first Australian player to accomplish the feat.

The Phillies edge the Giants, 7-6, in 11 innings. Nate Schierholtz gets 5 hits for SF, including a pair of doubles.

29thThe Buck stops here. The Blue Jays beat the A’s, 6-3, as catcher John Buck hits 3 homers, his first 3-homer game. On May 2, he’ll have his first 3-double game.

Colby Rasmus scores 4 runs and David Freese drives in 6 runs as the Cardinals stop the visiting Braves, 10-4. Jair Jurrjens allows 3 runs in the 1stbefore leaving with an injured leg. He won’t pitch for two months.

30thThe Tigers pound the Angels, 10-6. Blue-chip rookie OF Austin Jackson goes 5-for-5 for Detroit and Scott Sizemore and Brennan Boesch each hit their first career HRs in the 8-run 4thinning.