After failing to capitalize on early scoring threats against Phil Hughes, the Orioles have finally broken through against Phil Hughes. Nate McLouth led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo homer to right field to break a scoreless tie and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Hughes issued leadoff walks in three out of the first four innings, but managed to wiggle out of trouble each time. The Orioles are an astounding 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position so far tonight.
The Yankees have also had their fair share of chances against Joe Saunders, the most prominent of which was when Jayson Nix led off the bottom of the third inning with a double. However, Saunders managed to strike out Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira swinging. Yes, Joe Saunders actually did that.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.