Thursday, April 5
Boston at Kansas City (2:10 p.m. EDT). Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his debut for the Red Sox.
-Curtis Granderson, Tigers, hit his first career grand slam to cap an eight-run third inning in Detroit’s 10-9 victory over Toronto.
-Matt Holliday, Rockies, had four hits and four RBIs in an 11-4 win over Arizona.
-Ervin Santana, Angels, struck out six, gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings in a 5-3 win to complete a three game sweep of Texas.
-Ted Lilly, Cubs, gave up three hits, one run and stuck out nine in seven innings to get the win in his debut with Chicago 4-1 over Cincinnati.
-Carlos Beltran, Mets, hit two home runs and had four RBIs and New York completed a three game sweep of St. Louis with a 10-0 win.
Dmitri Young uncorked a game-winning single that snapped Washington’s two game losing streak and set off a champagne celebration. The Nationals’ ninth-inning rally to beat the Florida Marlins 7-6 was the team’s first victory of the season and Manny Acta’s first win as a major league manager. Acta received bottles of bubbly from the Nationals and from his former employer, New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya.
Barry Bonds moved a step closer to Hank Aaron’s home run record Wednesday night, hitting his 735th homer in the first inning of the San Francisco Giants’ 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. Bonds sent a 2-2 pitch from right-hander Chris Young into the first row of seats in left-center for a solo shot, pulling the slugger within 21 of passing Aaron’s 755. Bonds finished 1-for-4.
Pittsburgh, which opened last season with three straight losses, is 3-0 for the first time since 2003 and left town with its first three-game sweep in Houston since 1991 after a 5-4 win Wednesday night.
After negotiations that went into extra innings, baseball struck a deal to keep its “Extra Innings” package of out-of-market games on cable television. Under pressure from Sen. John Kerry, baseball and iN Demand reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a seven-year contract, a deal that likely will allow the sport’s new TV network to be available in at least 40 million homes when it launches in 2009.
WHAT A RELIEF
Braden Looper’s run of 572 consecutive relief appearances before making a start in St. Louis’ 10-0 loss to the Mets is the third-longest in major league history behind Todd Jones (632) and Chuck McElroy (603). Looper threw five scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the sixth and took the loss for the Cardinals.
The Seattle Mariners and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt agreed Wednesday to a multimillion-dollar, three-year contract extension. Exact terms were not immediately known, but it will be a substantial raise from the $400,000 Betancourt is making this season.
The Kansas City Royals put closer Octavio Dotel on the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday night’s 7-1 loss to Boston because of a strained muscle on his left side. Dotel, limited to only a handful of appearances the last two years while recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery, had pitched well in spring training after signing a one-year contract. The Royals are counting on him to revive a bullpen that blew a major league-high 31 saves last year. The move is retroactive to March 30.
“It’s embarrassing. This is the big leagues. It’s unacceptable. The only good thing about today was seeing the heart of this team. They almost got me off the hook.” – A.J. Burnett, who gave up six runs, five hits and four walks in two-plus innings in Toronto’s 10-9 loss to Detroit. It was Burnett’s shortest start since June 30, 2004, when he got three outs for Florida at Atlanta.
1971 – In their last opening day, the Senators, behind pitcher Dick Bosman, beat the Oakland A’s 8-0 before 45,000 fans at RFK Stadium.
1979 – Baltimore manager Earl Weaver got his 1,000th career victory when the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox.
1983 – The San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 16-13 in the highest-scoring opening day game in 50 years. Winning pitcher Tim Lollar also drove in three runs.
1993 – The expansion Florida Marlins won their first game, 6-3 over the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Joe Robbie Stadium. The new Colorado Rockies lost to the Mets 3-0 in New York.
2003 – Kansas City became the first major league team to start 5-0 after a 100-loss season.
2006 – Ivan Rodriguez went 5-for-5 with a single, homer, three doubles and five RBIs, leading Detroit to a 14-3 rout over Kansas City.
Today’s birthdays: Ryan Drese 31; Ross Gload 31; Brandon Backe 29; Jorge De La Rosa 26.