MLB Tailgate News
Elsewhere in the AL West, the suddenly surprising Mariners shellacked the LA Angels 10-3 with their ace, Felix Hernandez on the mound. The Mariners would go on to sweep the Angels in the next two games of the week, partially due to the sudden emergence of Justin Smoak as a hitter. The Mariners take on another AL West rival in the Oakland A's next.
The NL West SF Giants also put their ace on the mound for opening day against the Arizona Diamondbacks, in the form of Madison Bumgarner. However, he left the game after four innings and four unearned runs. The Giants struggled considerably in the first half of the game, down 7-3 by the sixth inning. They rallied in the end, thanks in part to catcher Buster Posey's two run homerun in the 9th. The Giants won 9-8 and would go on to lose the next game, before winning the third. The fourth game, which you can catch on MLB Extra Innings DirecTV packages if you’re not in the New York area, is set to showcase the Giants' former ace in Tim Lincecum. After an uneven starting role the previous year, baseball fans and analysts will be watching closely to see if he returns to form.
Meanwhile, in the NL East, the Mets became the target of sports radio controversy when their second baseman Daniel Murphy took three days of paternity leave to start the season. Including missing opening day. The Mets lost the opening day game to the Washington Nationals. However, that gave Nationals manager Matt Williams his first win as a major league manager. Daniel Murphy eventually took to the airwaves on Thursday after the Mets lost again on Wednesday to address criticism of his decision.
In the AL East, the rival Red Sox and Orioles faced off in an opening series. The Orioles started Chris Tillman on the mound and he pitched five innings and allowed one run before being relieved by Zach Britton. However, the real highlight was new acquisition Nelson Cruz, formerly of the Texas Rangers and formerly suspended for steroid use. Cruz joined Chris Davis as a home run threat and immediately delivered with a tie-breaking blast in the seventh inning. The O's had Tuesday off, but lost the Wednesday game against the Sox 6-2.
In the NL Central, the Reds and Cardinals resumed their rivalry with a game that stayed blank until Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina hit a solo home run in the seventh inning. That turned out to be the winning run as neither team scored again. Previously, Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto tossed seven innings of no run baseball, each only allowing three hits. The Molina home run effectively ended Cueto's night along with the deadlocked zeros.
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