Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs and drove in three runs and Prince Fielder added a two-run homer of his own to back starter Max Scherzer, who improved to 12-0. Cabrera bumped his Triple Crown stats to .377/24/81. He leads the Majors in average and RBI, but trails Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (28) in home runs. Fielder’s homer was a monster that hit the catwalk at Tropicana Field.
As for Scherzer, he held the Rays to three runs over seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. He becomes the first pitcher to start 12-0 since Roger Clemens in 1986 with the Red Sox. That year, Clemens went 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA en route to taking home both the AL Cy Young (unanimously) and MVP awards. Scherzer currently has a 3.10 ERA.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.