White Sox DH Matt Davidson drilled three home runs against the Royals on Opening Day Thursday, becoming the first player to hit that many home runs in the season’s first game since the Tigers’ Dmitri Young on April 4, 2005, also against the Royals. The other players to do it since 1908: Tuffy Rodes for the Cubs against the Mets on April 4, 1994, and George Bell for the Blue Jays against the Royals on April 4, 1988.
Last season, Davidson hit .220/.260/.452 with 26 home runs and 68 RBI in 443 plate appearances.
Davidson was not the only player bringing the lumber against the Royals. Tim Anderson homered twice and Jose Abreu also had a homer of his own in his team’s 14-7 victory. The six homers by White Sox batters ties the 1988 Mets for the record for team home runs on Opening Day, per Christopher Kamka of NBC Sports Chicago.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.