Pirates 4, Cubs 2: The Pirates caught a break on Friday, snapping a four-game losing streak with a decisive 4-2 victory over the Cubs. Right-hander Gerrit Cole looked like he had finally found his footing, and limited the Cubs to just six hits and two runs over six frames. The Bucs’ offense came alive in the sixth inning with David Freese‘s RBI single and a game-winning two-run double from Francisco Cervelli.
Nationals 3, Phillies 2 (10 innings): Extra inning games are so often remembered for their dénouements, their walk-off home runs and last-minute sacrifice flies. Well before Daniel Murphy‘s dramatic game-winning double, however, there were nine innings of solid pitching, from Aaron Nola‘s five innings of one-run ball to the three scoreless innings from Washington’s bullpen that stifled the Phillies’ best attempts at a comeback.
Yankees 4, Cardinals 3: It’s been an uncharacteristically painful start to the year for 28-year-old Masahiro Tanaka, who came into Friday’s game with an overblown 11.74 ERA after allowing 14 hits, 10 runs runs and six walks and striking out just eight batters through his first 7 2/3 innings. A first-inning two-run homer by Matt Carpenter did little to allay concerns about Tanaka’s performance, but the right-hander quickly settled into a groove, allowing just three runs, two walks and striking out five batters before calling it a night.
Orioles 6, Blue Jays 4: It wasn’t a good night for the Blue Jays, who were handed their ninth loss of the season after the Orioles went yard four times. It was an even worse night for home plate umpire Dale Scott, who was carted off the field in a stretcher after taking a foul tip off the mask in the eighth inning. Scott will not facilitate any remaining games this weekend after sustaining a concussion, though he was released from the hospital early Saturday morning after a CT scan failed to reveal any significant damage. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, will need to make a concerted effort to revive their offense after losing their eighth game by a difference of two or fewer runs.
Tigers 7, Indians 6: Both benches received a warning on Friday after Miguel Cabrera exchanged heated words with Indians’ manager Terry Francona in the first inning. According to Cabrera, Francona had some unwelcome advice for the slugger following a brushback pitch from Trevor Bauer, which Cabrera felt was both disrespectful and unwarranted. No ejections were issued, though, and Cabrera silenced most of Francona’s criticism after unleashing a three-run home run off of Bauer in the fifth inning.
Brewers 10, Reds 4: Every streak has to come to an end at some point, and for the Reds’ bullpen, April 14 was that point. Their league-leading 1.13 ERA ballooned to an eighth-best mark of 2.68 after two disastrous innings against the Brewers’ offense, during which Cincinnati relievers combined to give up seven hits and eight runs. Poor location and shaky command created a deficit much too large to overcome, and by the time the Reds managed to procure another run, the ninth inning had drawn to a close on a swinging strikeout from pinch-hitter Jesse Winkler.
Marlins 3, Mets 2: Between Noah Syndergaard‘s torn fingernail and J.T. Realmuto‘s walk-off double in the ninth, there was little for the Mets fan to enjoy on Friday. Little, that is, save for a laser bream fired from right field to catch Miguel Rojas at home plate:
Rays 10, Red Sox 5: Two career firsts were inked during the Rays-Red Sox series opener this weekend. Logan Morrison recorded his first grand slam, a moonshot into the right field bleachers:
Braves 5, Padres 2: Ender Inciarte may have stolen the show during the Braves’ home opener at SunTrust Park, but partial credit for the win also goes to right-hander Julio Teheran, who labored through six innings of two-run ball and kicked in his own tie-breaking run with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Atlanta’s bullpen was instrumental in cementing the win, too, delivering three scoreless frames that had the Padres flummoxed through the end of their 5-2 loss.
White Sox 2, Twins 1: How did the White Sox’ three-Garcia outfield prevail against the Twins, you might wonder? Avisail Garcia went 2-for-4 at the plate,Leury Garcia represented the Sox’ first run of the night on an RBI force out from Jose Abreu, and Willy Garcia doubled in his first major league at-bat, then was promptly thrown out when he tried for a triple.
Royals 7, Angels 1: It’s too early in the season to judge teams on their rankings and statistics, but in case you’re wondering, the Royals’ rotation currently holds the second-best ERA in the league, at 2.70, and the Angels hold the second-worst, with a 6.27 mark. Danny Duffy and JC Ramirez only confirmed those rankings on Friday, with Duffy’s turning in seven frames of three-hit ball and Ramirez taking his first loss of the year after giving up four hits and five runs through five innings.
Astros 7, Athletics 2: Jose Altuve is good at baseball. Sure, it’s early in the season and that .420 OBP probably isn’t here to stay, but he showed no signs of slowing down on Friday, reaching base for the 11th consecutive at-bat after a three-hit, two-walk performance against the Athletics. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 1: Baseball is a wildly unpredictable game, but sometimes, it unfolds exactly as you expect it to. That was the case for the Dodgers on Friday, who watched Clayton Kershaw unfurl a four-hit, one-run, eight-strikeout gem against the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers’ lineup turned in a seven-run effort, Will Ferrell showed up, and everyone went home happy (except, presumably, the Diamondbacks).
Mariners 2, Rangers 1: The Mariners are fresh out of grasshoppers, and people are not happy about it. The demand for Safeco Field’s newest ballpark snack, bowls of toasted grasshoppers called chapulines, has brought in sales of over 18,000 of the salty insects. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, that’s more grasshoppers than the owners of the stand sell in an entire year at their Seattle-based restaurant, Poquitos, and they’ll need to place emergency orders of grasshoppers to meet customer demand through the rest of the weekend. Fortunately, for the 41,855 fans who showed up to the park on Friday night, their bowls of chili-lime chapulines were served with a side of dominant pitching from Felix Hernandez. The King delivered 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, backed by a scoreless run from the bullpen and two RBI singles that decided the game in the Mariners’ favor, 2-1.
Giants 8, Rockies 2: Chris Marrero‘s first career home run highlighted an impressive run from the Giants, who put up eight runs behind a lights-out performance from Johnny Cueto. If only things had worked out so well for the Rockies. Tyler Anderson was pulled after issuing four runs in four innings, while manager Bud Black received his first ejection of the season when he disputed several balk calls with home plate umpire Mike Everett and first base umpire Bill Welke. The most emotional moment in the game did not concern the Rockies, however, but San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford, whose fourth inning home run followed the sudden and tragic loss of his sister-in-law on Wednesday.