2012 April

1st  In the first game between ML teams in the new Marlins Park, the Yankees win, 10-8, over the Marlins.  CC Sabathia shakes off a rough spring outing, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits in 3 innings.

The Reds scoop up RHP J.J. Hoover from the Braves, sending 3B Juan Francisco to Atlanta.

2ndThe Giants sign pitcher Matt Cain for another 5 years as he inks a contract worth $112.5 million.

4th  The Cardinals defeat the Marlins, 4-1, in the opening game at Miami’s new Marlins Park as a crowd of 36,601 are on hand. Kyle Lohse holds Miami hitless until the 7thinning to pick up the victory. David Freese gets 3 hits and 2 RBIs for St. Louis. He becomes just the 2ndreigning World Series MVP to get at least 3 hits and 2 RBIs in his team’s opener the next season. Pete Rose duplicated the feat in 1976.

5thJP Arencibia hits a 3-run HR in the 16thinning to send the Blue Jays to a 7-4 win over the Indians. At 16 innings, the game is the longest opening-day game ever in the ML.

6thThe Rays edge the Yankees, 7-6. Carlos Pena hits a 1st-inning grand slam for Tampa Bay, off nemesis CC Sabathia, becoming only the 5thplayer in ML history to do so in his team’s first game of the season. Others to accomplish the feat were Brian Downing, Terry Steinbach, John Jaha, and Juan Encarnacion. Pena ends the game with an RBI single off another nemesis Mariano Rivera.

7thIn Detroit, Josh Beckett serves up 5 homers—2 each by Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder—as the Tigers smack the Red Sox, 10-0. Fielder, playing in his 1,000thgame, now has a total of 232 homers, the same number his father hit in 1,000 games. Doug Fister leaves a win on the table when he exits in the 4thinning with a pain in his side.

The Orioles collect 3 homers and Tommy Hunter allows 2 earned runs in 7 innings as Baltimore tops the Twins, 8-2. In his O’s debut Ronny Paulino goes 4-for-4 making him a collective 13-for-17 in his initial game for the four teams he’s played for.

Lucas Harrell pitches 7 shutout innings and Houston beats Colorado, 7-3. Jordan Schafer, who was not even born when Jamie Moyer served up his first leadoff homerun, hits a leadoff homer off Moyer.

8thThe Mets defeat the Braves, 7-5, to sweep their opening series. Frank Francisco saves all 3 games for NY, becoming just the 3rdpitcher in ML history to record a save in every game of a season-opening series of at least 3 games. Derrick Turnbow (2006) and Salomon Torres (2007) are the others who turned the trick.

9thThe Rangers’ Yu Darvish wins his ML debut despite surrendering 4 runs in the 1stinning of Texas’ 11-5 victory over the Mariners. He is the first pitcher since Bill Steele in 1910 to win his ML debut in a start in which he allowed 4 or more runs in the 1stinning.

     Tom Milone throws 8 shutout innings and the A’s top the Royals, 1-0, scoring the run on a wild pitch.

Pablo Sandoval hits a 2-run homer in the 1stat Coors Field and Barry Zito throws his first shutout since 2003 as the Giants beat the Rockies, 7-0. His 274 starts between shutouts is the longest in MLB history, according to NY Times reporter Tyler Kepner.  Zito’s shutout is just the second thrown by a visiting pitcher in 13 years (Roy Oswalt, 2008).

10thThe Yankees edge the Orioles, 5-4, in 12 innings. Mariano Rivera gets the save for NY. It is his 39thcareer save at Camden Yards, tying Trevor Hoffman’s record for most saves by a visiting player at a particular ballpark. Hoffman had 39 at Dodger Stadium. Freddy Garcia tosses 5 wild pitches in the game for the Yankees, just one shy of the ML record, and ties the AL mark of Charlie Wheatley (1912) and Jack Morris (1987).

At Oakland, KC’s Danny Duffy (6 IP) and Aaron Crow combine on a one-hitter, beating the A’s, 3-0, in 8 innings in a game called because of rain. Cliff Pennington’s 3rd-inning double is the lone hit.

11thThe Rays score 4 runs in the 9thto defeat Justin Verlander and the Tigers, 4-2. Verlander becomes just the second pitcher in ML history to toss shutout ball over the first 8 innings in each of his first 2 starts of a season, and not get a win in either game.

At Coors Field, the Rockies pound out 22 hits and score in each of the first 5 innings as they stop the Giants, 17-8. Each team has a 7-run inning. Carlos Gonzalez has a pair of triples, scores 4 runs and knocks in 4. Five Rox have 3 hits apiece, including Michael Cuddyer with 3 doubles.

12thThe Tigers defeat the Rays, 7-2, to improve their record to 5-1. All 5 of Detroit’s wins have been credited to the bullpen. The Tigers are the first team in ML history to win at least 5 of their first 6 games of the season, without a single win being recorded by a starting pitcher.

The A’s edge the Royals, 5-4, in 12 innings with some help from KC reliever Jonathon Broxton, who hits a batter to load the bases and then adds another HBP on the next batter to force in the winning run. Broxton also walks two in the frame.

13thThe Giants shut out the Pirates, 5-0, behind Matt Cain’s one-hitter. Pittsburgh pitcher James McDonald is the Pirates’ only runner, singling with 2 outs in the 6thinning.

The Dodgers edge the Padres, 9-8. Aaron Harang fans 9 Padres in a row in the early innings to fall one short of the ML record held by Tom Seaver.

The Yankees shut out the Angels, 5-0, in their home opener. Alex Rodriguez hits the 630thHR of his career to tie Ken Griffey Jr. for 5thplace on the all-time list.

15thIt is an eventful 9thfor the Dodgers who trip the Padres, 5-4.  They turn a triple play in the top of the inning, with the help of home plate ump Dale Scott.  With 2 on in the 9th, Jesus Guzman bunts the ball down and Scott puts his hands up as if to signal timeout, freezing the runners at their bases. The ball then dribbles fair and, when Scott signals fair ball, catcher A.J. Ellis picks it up and fires to 3B to start a triple play.  The Padres protest vehemently and manager Buddy Black gets ejected.  The Dodgers win in the bottom of the 9thwhen Dee Gordon singles with the sacks full.

16thAt Chicago, the Orioles explode late in the game to beat the White Sox, 10-4.  Matt Wieters hits an 8thinning homer and adds a grand slam in the 6-run for the Birds.  Adam Jones homers in the 9thand Nolan Reimold hits a homer in the 9thand adds a RBI in the 10th. Zach Stewart gives up 5 hits and 6 runs in the 10thto take the loss for Chicago.

17thThe Rockies defeat the Padres, 5-3, as 49-year-old Jamie Moyer becomes the oldest pitcher to ever win a ML game. The oldest pitcher to previously have won a game was Brooklyn’s Jack Quinn in 1932.

At Fenway, Texas unloads 21 hits, including 6 homers, 2 by Mike Napoli, in whipping the Red Sox, 18-3. Napoli has 4 RBI while Josh Hamilton drives in 5.

Johnny Damon signs a minor league deal with the Indians and will join the team May 1. Hideki Matsui also signs a minor league deal with the Rays.

18thThe Athletics shut out the Angels, 6-0, behind Bartolo Colon (3-1). In his 8 innings of work, Colon throws 82 of 108 pitches for strikes, including 38 in a row at one point. Yoenis Cespedes has a 3-run homer off Ervin Santana (0-3).

Matt Cain (9 IP) and Cliff Lee (10 IP) match goose eggs before the Giants edge the Phillies, 1-0, in 11 innings. Melky Cabrera’s third hit of the game scores the winner.  The first 9 innings took just 1 hour and 49 minutes.

At Toronto, the Rays put the game away with a 6 spot in the 9thto beat the Blue Jays, 12-2.  Luke Scott clubs a 9thinning grand slam, off Carlos Villanueva to finish the scoring.

19thCurtis Granderson strokes 5 hits, including 3 homers, to lead the Yankees to a 7-6 win over the Twins. Granderson drives in 4 runs, as does Ryan Doumit for the Twins, to help offset a woeful start by Phil Hughes.

The Angels sign a 4-year $35 million deal keeping Erick Aybar with the team.

20thIn St. Louis, a rare Honus Wagner 1909 baseball cards sells for $1.2 million in an online auction.

The Tigers obtain P Zach Miner from the Royals for cash.

With both teams wearing throw-back uniforms, the Yankees blow out the candles on Fenway Park’s 100thbirthday celebration, defeating the Red Sox, 6-2. The Yanks hit 5 homers off Clay Buchholtz, 2 by Eric Chavez. Ivan Nova (3-0) wins his 15thstraight game, second highest for a Yankee since 1920 (Roger Clemens won 16 in a row). On hand are 240 former players, including Doerr and Pesky, who come out one by one to take their positions. The biggest hand is for former manager Terry Francona. Accompanying the players is music by John Williams that he wrote for Fenway.

The Reds beat the Cubs, 9-4, for the 10,000thwin in franchise history. The Reds join the Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals as the only teams to have reached the milestone.

With the help of a 3rd-inning 3-6 triple play, the Blue Jays turn back the Royals, 3-2. It is their first triple play since 1979.

21stPhilip Humber of the White Sox tosses the 21stperfect game in ML history, downing the Mariners, 4-0.

After trailing 9-0 through 5 innings, the Yankees score 7 runs in the 7thand 7 more in the 8thto defeat the Red Sox, 15-9. Most of the damage is done by Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira who each drive in 6 runs, with Swish hitting a grand slam and Tex hitting a homer from each side of the plate.  The comeback ties a club record for biggest deficit overcome, equaling a mark achieved 4 times. The Sox are now 4-10.

The Red Sox obtain OF Marlon Byrd from the Cubs for blue-chip prospect Michael Bowden and a player (Hunter Cervenka) to be named. The Sox will also assume Byrd’s 2012 contract of $6.5 million. The Sox designated infielder Nate Spears for assignment to make room for Byrd. Byrd, 34, has just three singles and one walk in 47 plate appearances this season. He hit .276/.324/.395 in 482 plate appearances last season while missing time with multiple fractures after taking a pitch to the face, an injury that occurred in Fenway Park.   Byrd will hit .270 in 34 games but will be suspended for 50 games when he tests positive for a performance-enhancing drug.  The Sox hand him his release on June 12 and he will sign with the Mets for 2013.

22ndThe White Sox defeat the Mariners, 7-4. Adam Dunn’s 1stinning strikeout makes him the first player to fan at least once in each of his team’s first 15 games of the season since 1910.

Gerardo Parra’s first career grand slam, off Randall Delgado in the 2ndinning, propels Arizona to a 6-4 win over Atlanta.

Jordan Schafer hits his first grand slam, the ball glancing off the mitt of Andre Ethier, and Wandy Rodriguez pitches 3-hit ball through 7 innings, as Houston wallops the Dodgers, 12-0.

23rdThe Blue Jays beat the Royals, 4-1. The loss finishes a 0-10 homestand for KC. The Royals become just the third team in ML history to go 0-10 or worse on a homestand.

24thThe Mets edge the Marlins, 2-1. The tying run scores in the 7thinning when New York draws 4 straight walks from 4 different Miami pitchers. It is the first time in ML history that 4 different hurlers walk 4 straight batters in an inning.

     Yu Darvish has a season-high 10 strikeouts pitching into the ninth inning and working out of a couple of jams for the Texas Rangers in a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees and countryman Hiroki Kuroda. It is only the seventh MLB matchup ever of Japanese starters,

The Braves send Jair Jurrjens, an All-Star last season, to Triple-A Gwinnett after he lasted only three-plus innings Monday night in a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bud Norris strikes out 4 batters in the 3rd, but also allows 7 runs in 5+ innings as Houston loses to the Brewers, 9-6.

25thThe A’s edge the White Sox, 5-4, in 14 innings. Paul Konerko hits the 400thHR of his ML career for Chicago.

The Pirates split with the Rockies, losing 2-1 and winning, 5-1. In the first game every Pittsburgh starter gets exactly one hit. With the twinbill split, the Pirates break the record of the 1943 Tigers by starting the season with 18 straight games in which they neither score nor allow more than five runs.

26thThe Mets beat the Marlins 3-2, while starting an entirely home-grown lineup for the first time since 1971, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jon Niese is the winner with 7 solid innings.

Kevin Youkilis hits a grand slam and Jerrod Saltalamachia homers twice as the Red Sox humble Phillip Humber by scoring 9 earned runs off him. The Red Sox beat the White Sox, 10-3. Humber’s 9 earned runs following his perfect game is a record, topping 8 allowed by Catfish Hunter in 1968.

The Tigers release Brandon Inge who will sign on with the A’s.

27thThe Yankees rally to beat the Tigers, 7-6, scoring the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 9th.  They hit two homers off Tiger starter Justin Verlander before the rally. Miguel Cabrera drives in the 1,000thrun of his ML career, making him the 6thyoungest player to reach that milestone. Only Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Lou Gehrig did so at a younger age. Delmon Young does not play for the Tigers today, having been arrested last night after getting into a pushing fracas in his hotel lobby. A drunk Young made anti-Semitic remarks, according to police, but before tonight’s game said that “he apologizes to everyone.”

The Rockies score 11 runs in the 5thinning and go on to trounce the Mets, 18-9. Carlos Gonzalez drives home 5 of the runs in the inning, 3 on a homer, for Colorado. He has 6 RBIs altogether. Ramon Martinez has 5 RBIs, and Marco Scutero has 4 hits and scores 4. Scott Hairston hits for the cycle for New York in a losing cause, as the Mets total just 2 hits fewer than the Rox.

James Shields (4-0) allows 11 hits in 6 innings, but beats the Rangers, 8-4.  For the second game in a row, Rays catcher Chris Gimenez is called for catcher’s interference. He’ll be flagged a third and last time.

At the Rogers Centre, Michael Saunders of Seattle breaks a 5-5 tie with a 10thinning grand slam as the Mariners sink the Blue Jays, 9-5.  His slam, off Luis Perez, is his second homer of the game.

Eric Sogard and Josh Reddick hit homers as the A’s trip the Orioles, 5-2. Ryan Cook, in relief of A’s starter Brandon McCarthy, strikes out 4 in the 8th.

Chase Headley is 4-for-4 as the Padres top the host Giants, 5-3. Pablo Sandoval extends his consecutive game-hitting streak to 20 games.

28thMatt Kemp homers in the 10thinning to give the Dodgers a 4-3 win over the visiting Nationals. For Kemp it is his ninth homer in 15 games, a Dodger record.

29thThe White Sox defeat the Red Sox, 4-1. Chicago’s Adam Dunn ties an ML record by striking out in his 26thconsecutive game.

In a 3-2 loss to Milwaukee’s Josh Greinke, Cards pinch runner Tyler Greene is cut down at home on a double steal attempt to end the game, the play going 2-6-2. It is the first time since 1989 that an out on a steal attempt of home ends a game.  For Greene, it is his first unsuccessful steal attempt in the majors: He has stolen 16 bases over the past three seasons.

At Denver, the Mets squander a stellar start from Johan Santana when reliever Tim Byrdak serves up a grand slam to pinchhitter Todd Helton in the 8thto tie the game at 4-4. The Mets push across a run in the 10th, but the Rockies counter with a solo shot from Carlos Gonzalez. In the 11ththe Mets finally go ahead to stay on Ike Davis’s third hit of the game. Mets win, 6-5.

30thThe Brewers down the Padres, 8-3, as Ryan Braun blasts 3 straight homers and then settles for a triple. He drives in 6. He joins Les Bell (1928) and Wes Westrum (1950) as the only NL players to hit three homers and a triple in a game. It is the first time any player has hit 3 homers in a game at Petco Park.

Juan Nicasio pitches 6 solid innings and Troy Tulowitzki hits a tie-breaking 2-run double as the Rockies top the NL-leading Dodgers, 6-2.  For Nicasio, it is his second straight win after sustaining a broken neck last August, but he will lose 3 in a row and go on the DL in early June for the remainder of the season.

The Astros edges the Mets, 4-3. At one point in the game, Houston uses different pitchers to face 7 consecutive Mets batters, the first time it has ever occurred in ML history. Time of the game: 2:53.

The Rays announced that they signed Hideki Matsui to a minor league contract. Matsui, who turns 38 in June, will report to extended spring training on Wednesday. Alas, Matsui will hit just .147 and be released on August 1.

Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish (4-0) strikes out nine Blue Jays while giving up a run in seven innings in the 4-1 Rangers win over the Jays. Yu allows his first homer, to the hot Edwin Encarnacion, who has gone long in four straight games. He hits the homer two innings after getting hit by Darvish.