MLB scores and highlights from Sunday featured an old man doing a lot of damage, a young two-way star having a a lot of damage inflicted upon him, and every single team ending play for the opening weekend with at least one win and at least one loss. So much for perfection. Or total incompetence.
Here are the scores. here are the highlights:
Marlins 11, Phillies 6: Big win for the Marlins with Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas each hitting three-run homers and the Miami bullpen giving them five and two-thirds innings of one-run ball while the Fish rallied from an early 4-0 deficit. That’s the good news. The bad news: starter José Ureña and outfielders Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramírez were all scratched before the game with positive COVID-19 tests. Catcher Jorge Alfaro was lost to COVID over the weekend as well. As a result of all of the positive tests, the Marlins are delaying their flight back to Miami, scheduled for last night, until later this morning while they wait for more test results to come back. There’s a non-trivial chance the team has an outbreak on its hands.
In related news, Jayson Stark of The Athletic spoke to an epidemiologist earlier this month who said that “four cases in a week, or three in five days, should sound alarms” for a baseball team, the sort of which might risk the season. So that’s a thing.
Pirates 5, Cardinals 1: Mitch Keller pitched five solid innings and Colin Moran and Jose Osuna homered to give Pirates manager Derek Shelton his first career win. Shelton also gave us, I think anyway, unless I missed one on Saturday, our first on-field manager-umpire argument in the COVID-19 era. He came out onto the field to beef with home plate umpire Jordan Baker after Baker ejected Derek Holland for beefing about balls and strikes from the dugout. Shelton wore a mask at first but then lowered it from his mouth once he started jawing. Baker held a mask over his face and put it on fully as the argument wore on. They didn’t quite stay six feet apart, but they were farther apart from each other than you are at the grocery store when one of those Instacart shoppers rolls by not knowing what the hell they’re doing, blocking half the aisle while reading labels and, inevitably, picking the wrong item for their client. No, Kyle, the puff Cheetos are NOT an acceptable substitute for crunchy. Were you raised by wolves?!
As for arguing with Jordan Baker: probably a bad idea. He instinctively avoids clever, shrewd men, and this is because he feels safer on a plane where any divergence from a code would be thought impossible.
Yankees 3, Nationals 2: Gleyber Torres homered in the seventh and hit a go-ahead single in the eighth to help the Yankees rally from a small deficit to allow them to take two of three in the opening series from the defending champ Nationals. Luke Voit homered as well. Fun thing: Miguel Andújar started in left field which is definitely nothing I ever would’ve guessed he’d do given that third base seemed to almost eat him alive a couple of years ago.
Another fun thing: all the Yankees fans I follow on Twitter were fretting pretty greatly about Saturday’s loss and were worried about going to 1-2 before the rally. I don’t know what it is about Yankees fans, but they all seem to forget over the offseason that baseball teams don’t go undefeated and that one loss, even in a 60-game season, is not really a big deal. Almost no other fans I follow get into that college football state of mind like that, but boy howdy Yankees fans do.
Tigers 3, Reds 2: Niko Goodrum homered early and C.J. Cron hit a two-run shot in the ninth to help the Tigers take two of three from the Reds. The 2019 Tigers won seven of their first ten games and then lost 111 of their final 152, so don’t get too excited. Didn’t stop my Tigers fan father-in-law from texting me “ABOVE .500! WOO!” but who am I to tell anyone not to enjoy something small in this hellscape of a year? In less-than-great news, the Reds lost second baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Nick Senzel before the game, the former because he was not feeling well, the second for undisclosed reasons, which obviously means a positive COVID test.
Indians 9, Royals 2: Carlos Carrasco made his first start since May 30, 2019 and he did a damn fine job, allowing two runs over six and striking out ten against just one walk. Meanwhile, José Ramírez homered twice and drove in four, which is a great sign for Cleveland, who had to be worried that he’d start cold for the first couple of months like he did last year which, this year, simply can’t happen given we really don’t have more than a couple of months as it is.
Rays 6, Blue Jays 5: Kevin Kiermaier hit a walkoff two-run triple in the bottom of the 10th inning to bring the Rays back from one down. It was their second comeback, as the Rays scored twice in the ninth to force extras in the first place. Kiermaier’s triple broke an 0-for-11 skid to start the season. Ji-Man Choi hit a homer from the right side of the plate. Which is a hell of a thing given that he has been a lefty his entire career. Really, he just started farting around with switch hitting in spring training and summer camp. His first at bat in the game was the first time he had ever set up in the right-handed batter’s box in actual game action. Then the dinger. If you asked me to cut a piece of fruit with my left hand right now I’d probably whine for a while and then injure myself. Choi is out there launching bombs with his off-hand. Ballplayers, man.
Orioles 7, Red Sox 4: In case you wanted to know how the Red Sox’ rotation was doing, the Orioles probably have one of the worst lineups in the game yet they lit up Sox starter Ryan Weber for six runs in three and two-thirds. Rio Ruiz and Anthony Santander each hit two-run home runs and José Iglesias had four hits. The Orioles, as we speak, are sleeping in their Miami hotel room in advance of their series against the Marlins. The Marlins are up in Philly still and will fly in, same day, and hopefully have enough guys to field a lineup for tonight’s game.
Twins 14, White Sox 2: Well that was a butt-whuppin’. Nelson Cruz homered twice, hit two doubles and drove in seven runs and Jake Cave hit a grand slam as the Twins jumped out to a 9-0 lead after two innings. Cruz went 7-for-13 with 10 RBI and three home runs in the series. Cruz is 40. The old man’s still an artist with a Thompson. As for young men, highly-touted White Sox rookie Luis Robert hit his first career home run. It was 10-0 Minnesota when he did it, but it still counts.
Mariners 7, Astros 6: A see-saw game saw the M’s take a lead, lose it, tie it up on a Shed Long Jr. RBI single and then get the lead back for good when Kyle Lewis hit a tie-breaking two-run single later in the inning. The win snapped Seattle’s 15-game losing streak against Houston. The loss was not the worst news for Houston on the day. Justin Verlander heading to the injured list with a forearm strain was. A report in the Houston Chronicle yesterday said Verlander was done for the season. He later disputed that. I tend to believe the earlier report based on the Chronicle having a pretty good track record of sourcing Astros news and Verlander having a pretty good track record of doing that whole “I’m a brave athlete and nothing can stop me” thing, even when the facts on the ground don’t track with his rhetoric, but I guess we’ll see.
Cubs 9, Brewers 1: Willson Contreras homered and hit an RBI double and Tyler Chatwood had a strong start, not allowing a hit until the fifth inning, to help the Cubbies take the opening series. Fun fact: on Saturday these two teams got angry at each other, engaging in a shouting match, after they heard each other chirping back and forth in the empty stadium. Yesterday, to deal with that, the Wrigley Field PA people upped the volume on the fake piped-in noise so they couldn’t hear the smack talk. If I ran one of these teams I wouldn’t take that lying down. I’d sign up the baseball equivalent of Shoresy and up my chirping game.
Yeah, the long offseason gave me a chance to discover and binge “Letterkenny.” If it weren’t for the fact that I’m sort of required to keep this page PG-13, I’d just be copying and pasting all the Shoresy quotes every time two teams start jawing at one another. Light a match and the whole barn’s goin’ up.
Rockies 5, Rangers 2: Corey Kluber lasted less than one inning, tossing only 18 pitches, before shoulder stiffness caused him to leave the game. Not exactly what you want to see from your big offseason acquisition. Of course, he gave the Rangers 18 more pitches than the Indians are gonna get this year out of the guy they got back in the deal, so who’s to say who won that trade? For the Rockies, Story was the Story, with Trevor hitting two bombs: a two-run shot in the fourth that tied the game up and a solo shot in the sixth to extend the lead Colorado took earlier.
Bad day for the Rangers, but check out the new home blue alternates they wore:
Pretty sweet, eh? Though I really do wish the teams doing those light blow throwback-inspired alternates would wear them on the road as God, nature, and history intended.
Athletics 6, Angels 4: Shohei Ohtani gave up three hits, three walks, and five earned runs without retiring a single one of the six batters he faced before he hit the showers. So, nah, not exactly the grand return to the mound he or the Angels were hoping for. Mike Trout hit a three-run homer in the third and then brought L.A. to within one run with a sac fly in the fifth but the comeback would fall short. In other news, they’re still selling the same Mike Trout poster that the Angels have been selling for years.
Diamondbacks 4, Padres 3: San Diego clung to a 1-0 lead until it was late but the Dbacks scored four runs in the final two innings against a Padres pen that is supposed to be a team strength. Ketel Marte‘s sacrifice fly was the go-ahead run. Silver lining for the Padres: a nice start from Garrett Richards (5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 6K). He’s a guy whose comeback the Padres are really counting on if they’re going to go from a merely interesting team to a true contender.
Braves 14, Mets 1: The Rick Porcello era in New York didn’t start out too spiffy, did it? He was tagged for seven runs on seven hits in two innings of work. All of those runs came on singles and doubles. After he left the pen wasn’t any better, as the Braves broke out the bigger lumber with Dansby Swanson hitting a two-run shot and Marcell Ozuna, Austin Riley, and Ozzie Albies all hitting solo homers. Just a proper shellacking, that’s what that was. We’ve already changed the rules to eliminate long extra innings games. Should we add a mercy rule too?
Giants 3, Dodgers 1: Drew Smyly and six relievers held the vaunted Dodgers lineup to a single run while scattering seven hits. Really it was the relievers, authors of five and two-thirds innings of shutout ball, who did the heavy lifting here. They had help, of course, with Dodgers’ batters stranding ten men on base. RBI singles from Darin Ruf, Mauricio Dubon, and Donovan Solano accounted for San Francisco’s runs. L.A. outscored he Giants 22-10 in the four-game set yet both teams leave it at 2-2.
And that’s the MLB scores and highlights for Sunday. On to another week. Here’s hoping we get through it.