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Dodgers set new Opening Day record with eight home runs

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The Dodgers brought the lumber, kicking off the 2019 regular season at home against the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon. The club mashed eight home runs, setting a new Opening Day record. The previous record was six, accomplished only twice: by the White Sox against the Royals on March 29 last year, and by the Mets against the Expos on April 4, 1988.

The dingers:

Eight-homer games don’t happen often after Opening Day, either. The Dodgers’ outburst on Thursday was just the 25th eight-homer game since 1908, according to Baseball Reference. It’s the sixth eight-homer game since 2010.

The Dodgers went on to win 12-5. The eight homers allowed marks a new record for D-Backs pitching in a single game. Their previous record was six homers allowed, accomplished on seven different occasions.

Pirates set to promote top prospect Mitch Keller

Mitch Keller
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MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that the Pirates will promote top pitching prospect Mitch Keller in advance of their doubleheader against the Reds on Monday. Confirmation of the move is still pending an official announcement, but Keller will reportedly face off against Sonny Gray in Game 2.

Keller, 23, is currently listed as the Pirates’ no. 1 prospect and the no. 16 overall prospect in the league, per MLB.com. He was selected in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft and has spent the last six years refining his technique in Pittsburgh’s farm system, where he recently made the jump to Triple-A Indianapolis in 2018. So far this season, he’s 5-0 in nine starts with a 3.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 10.7 SO/9 through 47 innings.

It’s not clear how long of a leash the Pirates will give Keller, though given the current state of their rotation — down to four serviceable starters with Jameson Taillon on the 60-day injured list (right elbow flexor strain), Trevor Williams on the 10-day IL (right side strain), and a handful of replacements yet to impress — they may be inclined to keep him on a little longer than his spot start requires.