Matthew Pouliot

Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray loses no-hitter, but A’s finally snap Opening Day skid

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Sonny Gray gave up an 0-2 single to right to Ryan Rua to snap his no-hitter in the eighth inning of Monday’s game against the Rangers.

Gray, aiming for just the second Opening Day no-no in MLB history, had thrown 83 pitches through seven innings, allowing just two batters to reach. One came on an HBP, while the other reached on a Ben Zobrist error.

After Rua’ s single, Gray got a line-drive double play and a groundout to finish the eighth at 98 pitches. He exited, and the A’s went on to win the game 8-0.

Zobrist, more than making up for his error, had a two-run homer and a double in his A’s debut.

Cleveland’s Bob Feller pitched the lone Opening Day no-hitter in MLB history in 1940 against the White Sox.

For the A’s, it was the first Opening Day victory in 11 years. Even with all of their regular-season success, they had lost 10 straight openers dating back to 2005, and they were shut out in the last two. Their previous Opening Day victory in 2004 was also against the Rangers.

Steve Pearce totally stole a run, thanks to instant replay

pearce2
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Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce turned this:

source:

Into this:

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He was called out, of course, as home plate umpire Dana DeMuth was in the typical lousy position to make the call and simply assumed the out. Replay, though, overturned the call: Pearce clearly slid in under the tag from Rene Rivera, giving the Orioles a 5-1 lead in a game they’d win 6-2 over the Rays.

Credit instant replay for keeping players honest. If Rivera had simply taken a step in front of the plate (remember, you can legally block the plate when you have the ball) and cut off Pearce’s path, Pearce probably wouldn’t have even slid. He would have let himself been tagged and headed back to the dugout. As it was, he saw an alley to the plate and took it. For 100 years of baseball history, he would have been called out anyway. Instant replay, though, saw the play to completion in a way the umpires can’t or won’t.

Click here for the full video from MLB.com.

Red Sox get a pair of two-homer games in beating Phillies

Dustin Pedroia
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The Red Sox became the seventh team in 100 years to receive a pair of two-homer games on Opening Day in beating the Phillies on Monday.

Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez pulled off the feat, with Ramirez hitting a grand slam in the ninth to punctuate the 8-0 victory. Clay Buchholz pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, in his new role as Boston’s nominal ace.

The Red Sox also got a homer from Mookie Betts. Cole Hamels gave up four of the five bombs, with Hanley’s slam coming off Jake Diekman.

The 2009 Diamondbacks were the last two to have two players homer on Opening Day, with Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark going deep against the Rockies. In 2000, two teams did it: the Rangers with Gabe Kapler and Ivan Rodriguez and the Blue Jays with Shannon Stewart and Tony Batista.

Pedroia now has four Opening Day homers, tied for the most of any active player. Others with four include David Ortiz and Albert Pujols. Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson have the most ever Opening Day homers with eight.