TORONTO: Manager John Gibbons kept lefty 1B Lyle Overbay in the lineup Wednesday against Detroit LHP Nate Robertson and said he might continue using him against southpaws in future games. … DH Frank Thomas’ single in Monday’s season opener extended his opening-day hitting streak to 13 games. It’s the major leagues’ best among active players, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It’s the longest such streak since Will Clark hit safely in 14 straight opening days from 1986 to 2000. … OF Matt Stairs, who played 14 games with the Tigers last season, ran to the home team’s side of the field before Wednesday’s game to receive his AL championship ring.
n’t smell of cigarette smoke, as it did during last season, his first with the Tigers. Leyland is never far from a pack of Marlboro filters during his daily chats with the media. … Leyland’s AL championship ring came two years after he was given one to celebrate St. Louis’ 2004 NL title. He was an assistant to Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty that season. … RHP Jose Mesa will be available Thursday after serving a two-game suspension for a beanball incident last season while he was with Colorado. … Curtis Granderson’s grand slam in Wednesday’s 10-9 win over Toronto was Detroit’s first since Brandon Inge hit one last Sept. 15 off Baltimore’s Sandy Rleal. … Manager Jim Leyland was unhappy that three of the Tigers’ first four series, when the chances for rainouts often are better than normal, were against teams the club doesn’t play more than once.
z reached base in all six of his plate appearances. He was 4-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. … RHP Jake Westbrook was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA against Chicago in 2006, but struggled Wednesday, giving up seven runs and two homers in five innings. “It was a frustrating day in the sense that I felt good, I felt like I was locating my pitches,” he said. “I just made some mistakes that cost a lot of runs.”
TEXAS: The Rangers stranded 23 runners while being swept by the Angels in their season-opening series. … Texas also started 0-3 in 2002, but before that, the Rangers’ last such start was in 1993. … The Rangers are off Thursday and play their home opener Friday against Boston. … OF-DH Sammy Sosa got Wednesday off. The 38-year-old Sosa, coming back after sitting out the 2006 season, went 1-for-7 and struck out three times in the opening two games in Anaheim.
LOS ANGELES: The Angels hit .337 in the opening series against the Rangers, and Los Angeles pitchers posted a 1.67 ERA. … Ervin Santana upped his record to 20-5 at Angel Stadium with Wednesday’s win in the 5-3 victory over Texas. … Vladimir Guerrero was the DH instead of in his usual spot in right field, with Angels manager Mike Scioscia saying he intended to use some of the veteran players in the DH role when the team plays a day game after a night contest. Reggie Willits started in right and went 1-for-3.
BOSTON: Temperatures were expected to dip into the 40s Thursday afternoon, adding a new element to the much-anticipated major league debut of RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka. Pitching coach John Farrell said the former Japanese star pitched in cold weather in Japan, even though his home stadium was a dome. “But the one great thing about pitching on a cold day is the warmest guy in the field is the starting pitcher,” Farrell said. … On Monday, Hideki Okajima became the third pitcher in Red Sox history to allow a home run to the first batter he faced in the major leagues. He’s the 91st pitcher in baseball history to do so.
KANSAS CITY: The Royals placed closer Octavio Dotel on the 15-day DL on Wednesday. He has a strained muscle on his left, non-throwing side. Manager Buddy Bell said the problem is not considered long-term. RHP David Riske will close in his absence. … When Tony Pena Jr. hit two triples Monday, he became the first major leaguer to do so on opening day since Tommy Henrich of the New York Yankees on April 15, 1950. … The game-time temperature Wednesday night was in the 40s, a drop from Monday afternoon’s sunny opening day reading of almost 30 degrees.
stolen bases in Tuesday night’s loss, and Perlozzo hoped that they would fare better on Wednesday night with Jaret Wright on the mound rather than Daniel Cabrera, who has a long, slow delivery. “Nine times out of 10, you’re stealing off the pitcher and not the catcher.”
MINNESOTA: It didn’t take long for mischievous manager Ron Gardenhire to break out the hijinx. Two days after watching Metrodome security guards chase around a fan who ran on the field, Gardenhire and coaches Steve Liddle, Jerry White and Joe Vavra donned “Twins Security” jackets and chased around a ballboy in the outfield during batting practice. The four coaches stumbled around and tripped over each other in a hilarious scene. “I had fun with (the guards) over the winter and was laughing with them and told them, `I’ll show you how it’s done,”’ Gardenhire said. … INF Jeff Cirillo took an injection in his sore knee Tuesday and will rest for the next few days before probably playing this weekend, Gardenhire said. … OF Jason Tyner received plenty of grief for stumbling into second base on a steal Tuesday night. “It was even funnier today on ESPN than it was last night,” RHP Sidney Ponson teased.
FLORIDA: RHP Jorge Julio, acquired March 26 in a trade with Arizona, blew his first save opportunity, giving up five hits and three runs while getting only one out in the ninth Wednesday. “I’m fine. It’s the start of the season right now. I’ll come back Friday,” Julio said. … 3B Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a homer Wednesday, finishing the three-game series 7-for-10 with two homers, two doubles, six RBIs and five walks. He moved into fourth in Marlins history with 410 RBIs. … Cabrera does more than help the club on the field, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He’s a vocal guy. During spring training, when we run fundamentals or do some defensive situation stuff, and stuff wasn’t going correctly, he’d get on people,” Gonzalez said. “He takes a lot of pride in doing stuff the right way.” … RHP Matt Lindstrom made his major league debut and faced one batter, getting 3B Ryan Zimmerman on a long fly ball to end the seventh.
won. That’s good.” … C Jesus Flores made his major league debut, too, grounding out as a pinch-hitter. He’d never played above Class-A. … Rookie LF Kory Casto got his first major league RBI. … INF D’Angelo Jimenez was called up from Triple-A Columbus. … Felipe Lopez shifted from 2B to SS, and Ronnie Belliard started at 2B. Washington started three SSs in its first three games; Cristian Guzman is on the 15-day DL after hurting his hamstring in Game 1.
ARIZONA: OF Carlos Quentin (torn left labrum) played long toss before the game with no problems, manager Bob Melvin said. … RHP Jeff DaVanon (ankle, shoulder) ran in the outfield and took batting practice from the left side only. … LHP Doug Davis made his Arizona debut Wednesday, giving up three unearned runs in five innings. He was upset with his five walks. “The five walks are inexcusable,” he said. “It can’t happen again.” … OF Eric Byrnes had seven hits and four RBIs in the three-game series.
hits, including his first home run of the season, and four RBIs Wednesday. … INF/OF Jeff Baker has pinch hits in three straight games. … INF Todd Helton had two RBIs Wednesday and is two shy of 1,000 for his career. … Colorado won its 600th home game with 64 coming in Mile High Stadium and the rest in Coors Field.
ATLANTA: RHP Kyle Davies likely will be recalled from Triple-A Richmond to start against the Mets on Sunday. Lance Cormier was slated to make the start, but his sore shoulder could land him on the disabled list later this week. … LHP Chuck James (11-4, 3.78 in 2006) starts the series finale Thursday afternoon. … Edgar Renteria was only the third Braves player to hit two homers on opening day, joining Joe Torre (1966) and Fred McGriff (1995).
s) and C Chris Coste (hamstring) will begin rehab assignments in Clearwater on Thursday and RHP Jon Lieber (oblique) will start his Friday.
CHICAGO: OF Matt Murton was the Cubs’ emergency catcher Wednesday. Backup C Henry Blanco was in Florida to testify in the trial of agent Gustavo “Gus” Dominguez and five others accused of conspiring to smuggle Cubans into the United States. Blanco is not charged. … LHP Ted Lilly made his first career appearance against the Reds. … RHP Jason Marquis makes his Cubs debut Thursday. He is 4-3 career against the Reds with a 4.76 ERA. … It was 39 degrees at the first pitch Wednesday, 33 degrees colder than for the opener Monday.
CINCINNATI: LHP Eric Milton threw to some of the Reds’ hitters before the game. Milton, on the disabled list because of a sore back, is expected to be activated and start Sunday’s game against the Phillies. … Ken Griffey Jr. batted fifth for the first time since May 6-8, 2004. He has usually batted third or fourth with the Reds. … Griffey got permission from commissioner Bud Selig to wear Jackie Robinson’s retired No. 42 on April 15, the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. Griffey also wore No. 42 on the 50th anniversary.
PITTSBURGH: LHP Zach Duke’s next scheduled start has been pushed back from Saturday to Sunday because of a crack in the nail of the middle finger of his throwing hand. Manager Jim Tracy said he changed his scheduled bullpen session for Wednesday to Friday so Duke could rest for two days. The Pirates are off Thursday. “It looks a little tender,” Tracy said. “He says it looks worse than it really is, but we’re going to give it some time before he throws.” Duke, who pitched the opener Monday, said it isn’t painful, but that the extra time off should help it heal. Tony Armas will start Saturday instead. … Ian Snell’s career-high 11 strikeouts Tuesday were the most by a Pittsburgh player since Kip Wells had 12 in July 2005.
. I’m very confident in myself. I could go 0-for-4, but if we get the win that would be even better.”
LOS ANGELES: Wednesday was the first start in a Dodgers uniform for Jason Schmidt, who signed a three-year, $47 million deal on Dec. 8. … Grady Little disputed the media’s questioning of his leaving Randy Wolf in the game to bat with two men on in the sixth Tuesday night. Wolf walked to load the bases, and Juan Pierre grounded out to end the inning. Little said he planned to use Takashi Saito, even in a non-save situation, but added: “And when we have any decision to be made on the pitchers, I’ll call upstairs (to the press box) and see what you guys think we ought to do first.”
h. … The Brewers are the only team in baseball to start the season 2-0 in each of the last four seasons.
NEW YORK: The season opener delivered a 4.3 television rating or 325,000 households in New York, the best for the team since 2004 – and a huge improvement over a 2.9 rating last year when they opened against the Braves. … RHP Aaron Heilman has come through in two tight spots already. He got Scott Rolen to ground into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth and preserve 5-1 lead in the opener Sunday. Heilman also retired Albert Pujols on a routine fly ball with two men on to end the eighth in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory. … The Mets opened with two wins for the first time since 1994, when they won three straight at Chicago. They had a fast start last year, too, going 8-1. The Mets’ first nine games are against contenders, with three in Atlanta starting Friday followed by three against the Phillies in the home-opening series. “Why not play the best?” manager Willie Randolph said. “Why not challenge yourself early?”
ST. LOUIS: Manager Tony La Russa said RHP Chris Carpenter, scratched from his next start Tuesday due to elbow inflammation, was feeling better. Another exam is scheduled for Thursday, an off-day, and the next opening in the rotation is Tuesday. “Right now, it’s open,” La Russa said. “Hope for the best.” … The last time the Cardinals lost their first two games was 2004, when they finished 105-57. The last time they lost three straight to open the season was 2001, when they finished 93-69. … Cardinals outfielders have lost two fly balls in the lights in their first two home games, one of them glancing off right fielder Skip Schumaker’s head on Tuesday. La Russa said he’s asked whether there’s been any change in the lighting this season. … It had been reported that La Russa would make a statement regarding his DWI arrest on Wednesday but he said, “Don’t believe everything you read.”
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