Two home runs from New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge carried his side to a 6-4 road win against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

After the game started with an 11-pitch ground-out from Yankees lead-off hitter D.J. LeMahieu, Judge stepped up next and sent the second pitch he saw – a fastball down the middle from Daniel Lynch – 453 feet over the center-field wall for a 1-0 lead.

That lead held until the bottom of the third inning, when Royals lead-off hitter Michael Taylor smoked the first pitch he saw for a solo home run, igniting a three-run frame for the home side. Kansas City extended their lead to 4-1 after a throwing error from Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson an inning later.

New York grabbed two runs back in the fifth after Isiah Kiner-Falefa brought Miguel Andujar home with an RBI double, before scoring himself from a LeMahieu single to cut the margin back to 4-3.

Two walks and a hit-by-pitch gave the Yankees life in the seventh inning, loading the bases with no outs to allow Judge to drive in a run by grounding out to the pitcher, before Donaldson drove in one more to grab a 5-4 lead.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, clinging to a one-run buffer, Judge let New Yorkers breathe easy as he sent a towering shot over the opposite-field wall for his second homer of the game, sealing the win.

Judge – who will be a free agent at the end of this season after failing to come to terms on a long-term extension with the Yankees – finished with three RBIs, going two-for-five from the plate, and now sits one home run off the major league leader, teammate Anthony Rizzo (nine).

Julio Rodriguez announces his arrival

Seattle Mariners rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez hit his first career home run in a 7-3 away win against the Miami Marlins.

Rodriguez was listed as a top-five prospect in all of baseball before being promoted to the majors at the start of this season, and while he has two more stolen bases than anyone else in the league (nine), he has had some early struggles with the bat.

His big moment came in the sixth inning as he stepped up to the plate with two runners on base and two outs, driving a ball 450 feet over the center-field wall to turn a 2-0 lead into a 5-0 lead. It came after the Marlins opted to intentionally walk the batter before Rodriguez, daring him to make them pay.

The Mariners pitchers finished the job thanks to another strong start from Logan Gilbert, who after conceding just one earned run in five-and-two-thirds is now second in the majors for ERA at 0.68 – giving up two runs through five starts and 28 innings.

Mets give Max some runs

The New York Mets gave ace pitcher Max Scherzer some handy run-support to take a 10-6 win against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Sunday night primetime fixture.

New York's 15 hits set a new season-high for the club, and 10 runs also equalled the Mets' most, as Dominic Smith starred with four hits from four plate appearances.

Smith drove in three runs, as did teammate Starling Marte, giving Scherzer a buffer when he left the game after six complete innings, allowing four runs from five hits and a walk while striking out nine.

Five New York Mets pitchers combined on Friday to throw the franchise's second ever no-hitter, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.

Tyler Megill got things started for the Mets, pitching five innings for three walks and five strikeouts before being withdrawn after 88 pitches.

Megill was replaced by Drew Smith, who struck out four of the five batters he faced, issuing one walk before he was then replaced by Joely Rodriguez for the seventh frame.

Seth Lugo came in to finish off the eighth inning, setting the table for closer Edwin Diaz to finish the job. The Mets' second no-hitter comes nearly 10 years after their first, when Johan Santana did it by himself in June 2012.

Diaz struck out all three batters in the ninth inning, becoming the first player to ever strike out every batter he faced to close out a no-hitter. It was also the first time since 1990 that the first no-hitter of the season was a combined effort.

It was a scoreless game on both sides until the fifth inning when Jeff McNeil's base hit brought home Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha, with Pete Alonso's solo home run an inning later giving the Mets their winning margin.

Aaron Nola was no slouch on the mound for the Phillies, with nine strikeouts through six complete innings to go with three earned runs from seven hits and no walks.

The win moves the Mets' record to 15-6 – the best in the MLB.

Showtime for Shohei in Chicago

Just one game back in the standings from the Mets, the Los Angeles Angels claimed another stylish win as they defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-1.

It was a terrific pitching performance from the Angels staff as starter Jimmy Herget was pulled after just three innings, with six relievers combining to hold the White Sox scoreless the rest of the way.

With the bat, Shohei Ohtani made sure fans did not have to wait long to get their money's worth, sending a high fastball on a 3-1 count back over the pitcher's head and over the center-field wall. It was the Angels' second homer of the opening frame after Taylor Ward hit a lead-off bomb to start the game.

Guardians win back-and-forth thriller

In a game with five lead changes, the Cleveland Guardians prevailed 9-8 against the Oakland Athletics.

A Jose Ramirez solo home run gave the Guardians a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but it was short-lived as the Athletics responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame, with three coming home on a 407-foot Sean Murphy home run.

The momentum shifted again in the third inning as an Andres Gimenez grand slam pushed the Guardians back ahead 5-4, but once again the Athletics answered straight back, scoring the next four runs to lead 8-5.

Cleveland had the last laugh in the seventh inning, as a Ramirez double brought two runs home to trim the deficit to one, before a two-run Josh Naylor homer made it 9-8, allowing Emmanuel Clase to close things out with the save.

Tensions between the St Louis Cardinals and New York Mets boiled over on Wednesday as the benches cleared for a brawl, before the Cardinals won 10-5.

J.D. Davis had to leave at the top of the eighth inning after he was hit in the foot by a Genesis Cabrera pitch, making for the 19th time a Mets hitter has struck by a pitch this season, the most in MLB so far.

Mets reliever Yoan Lopez retaliated against Nolan Arenado later in the eighth inning, launching a fastball near the Cardinals DH's head. Arenado demanded he do it again, before the benches cleared, and he was ejected from the game.

The 31-year-old nine-time Gold Glove winner had an otherwise great day out for the Cardinals, claiming three hits and three RBIs in as many at-bats.

Mets starter Carlos Carrasco had one to forget, though, giving up eight hits and as many runs in 78 pitches, not making it past the fourth inning.

Stanton propels Pinstripes to victory

Giancarlo Stanton hit his 350th career home run, as well as the go-ahead sacrifice fly, with the New York Yankees defeating the Baltimore Orioles 5-2.

Stanton ended a 14-game drought with a two-run drive off Tyler Wells in the first inning, while Joey Gallo notched his third straight game with an RBI, and homered for the second consecutive game.

Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery gave up four hits and two runs over 71 pitches, before making way for Michael King in the sixth inning.

Gallen gives Diamondbacks a shock win

Zac Gallen pitched six scoreless innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks claimed an upset 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 26-year-old starter allowed only two hits and managed five strikeouts with 90 pitches in those six innings.

D-Backs short stop Nick Ahmed homered in the fifth inning, while Mark Melancon claimed his fourth save, not giving up a hit in the final frame.

A Bo Bichette grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning propelled the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-2 home win against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

It was a quiet game offensively early on as both clubs had their ace pitchers working on the mound, with only one combined run through the first six innings.

Toronto's Jose Berrios finished with two earned runs and four strikeouts from just six baserunners in seven complete innings, while Nathan Eovaldi also pitched seven innings for two earned runs, allowing five hits and no walks with his five strikeouts.

The deadlock was broken in the fifth inning through a Lourdes Gurriel Jr solo home run for the Blue Jays, hooking it over the left-field wall, before Matt Chapman doubled the advantage with one swing in the seventh inning.

Chapman's 422-foot bomb to center-field was the biggest hit of the game, but not the most important, as the Red Sox manufactured two runs in the top of the eighth inning to set the table for Bichette.

After three consecutive hits from Santiago Espinal, Bradley Zimmer and George Springer – who took one of the catches of the year earlier in the game – up stepped Bichette with bases loaded and one out in a tie game.

Bichette connected with a sinker over the heart of the plate and sent it to the opposite-field corner, clearing the wall for a grand slam and giving the Jays a 6-2 lead and the win.

Mets rally in the ninth

With a runner on first base and two outs in the ninth inning, the New York Mets trailed 2-0 – and ended up beating the St Louis Cardinals 5-2.

After the Cardinals allowed the runner on first to take second base unopposed, he came around to score after nine-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado committed a rare throwing error in a play that would have finished the game.

Down 2-1, Jeff McNeil doubled to put runners on second and third, setting up pinch-hitter Dominic Smith to drive them both in with an infield hit after he won the race to first base due to some poor fielding from pitcher Giovanny Gallegos.

Brandon Nimmo put the icing on the cake as the next batter, driving in Smith with a two-run homer.

Gonzalez wins it with first career homer

Luis Gonzalez was the hero for the San Francisco Giants in their 4-2 win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Giants' win was in spite of the best efforts of Brewers ace Corbin Burnes, who pitched a gem, with 11 strikeouts, no earned runs and only four base runners through six-and-two-thirds innings.

When Burnes was eventually pulled after 106 pitches, the Giants' offense woke up, with a two-run Joc Pederson home run in the eighth inning, before Gonzalez's first career home run brought home another two runs to break the 2-2 tie, allowing Camilo Duval to clean up the save.

Miguel Cabrera will have to wait for another day to reach 3,000 career hits, as the Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 3-0 on Thursday.

Cabrera was intentionally walked in the eighth inning and it was received with a loud chorus of boos at Comerica Park, forcing the 39-year-old and Detroit fans to wait, with the future Hall-of-Famer on 2,999 career hits.

Detroit led 1-0 and had runners on second and third when Yankees manager Aaron Boone motioned for reliever Lucas Luetge to walk Cabrera. Austin Meadows then scored with a two-run double to put the Tigers 3-0 up and secure the win.

Michael Pineda conceded just three hits in 60 pitches over five innings in his home debut for the Tigers, with Gregory Soto claiming the last four outs for his third save of the season.

Jordan Montgomery conceded three hits and one run in 86 pitches through six innings.

Guardians sweep White Sox

The Cleveland Guardians claimed early bragging rights in the AL Central, completing a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 6-3 victory.

Only making his return this week from a fractured leg sustained last June, Josh Naylor had two hits and two RBIs, scoring an RBI single in the fifth and a double in the seventh.

Franmil Reyes hit his first home run of the season at an ideal time for the Guardians, scoring a two-run shot off Dylan Cease with two out in the third inning.

Carrasco carries Mets over Giants

A day after Carlos Rodon dominated from the mound, Carlos Carrasco answered back for the New York Mets as they defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-2.

The 35-year-old Venezuelan pitched into the eighth inning, giving up only four hits and claiming seven strikeouts in 91 pitches.

Francisco Lindor had three hits from five at-bats including a solo home run, as the Mets notched up three wins from this four-game series with the Giants.

An imposing Shohei Ohtani claimed his first win of the MLB season as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Houston Astros 6-0 on Wednesday.

Ohtani threw 81 pitches on a night where an 85-pitch limit seemed likely, as well as getting two at-bats in a six-run first inning.

The reigning American League MVP pitched perfect into the sixth inning, with a career-best 12 strikeouts, while also getting two hits and two RBIs in the shutout.

With the Astros traditionally providing him trouble, the 27-year-old did not allow a baserunner until Jason Castro hit a single with one out in the sixth.

The Angels moved to 8-5 with the win, leading the Seattle Mariners by a game atop the AL West.

Tapia leads Blue Jays to win over Red Sox

Raimel Tapia hit his maiden home run since joining from the Colorado Rockies, with a two-run slam in a five-run second inning as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 6-1.

Jose Berrios claimed his first win in three starts this season, giving up just one run and eight hits in six innings, with six strikeouts and a solitary walk.

Meanwhile, Nick Pivetta gave up five runs, seven hits and four walks on the way to being pulled before the fifth inning – a second time in as many starts for the Canadian.

Giants ride Rodon to victory

Carlos Rodon broke a franchise record for the San Francisco Giants in their 5-2 win over the New York Mets.

After signing from the Chicago White Sox, Rodon struck out eight over five scoreless innings and moved to 27 over his first three starts, breaking the previous record of 26 set by Cliff Melton in 1937.

While Joc Pederson, Brandon Crawford and Wilmer Flores helped build an early 3-0 lead, Rodon was the star of the show, limiting the National League East-leading Mets to three hits and two walks on 95 pitches.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

After seven consecutive road games to start their season, the New York Mets put on a show for their home crowd at Citi Field in a 10-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Making his second start of the season, Chris Bassitt was lights out again for the Mets, pitching six full innings for six strikeouts while only giving up one run and four total baserunners.

After Pete Alonso drove in the first two runs through two sacrifice-fly balls, Robinson Cano delivered the first big shot of the day with a solo home run in the third inning, before Francisco Lindor bombed a two-run jack in the fifth frame.

Starling Marte would get in on the action in the eighth inning, connecting on a 391-foot three-run homer, before Lindor added his second long ball of the day in the very next at-bat.

 

 

 

Orioles walk-off with a walk

The New York Yankees went down 2-1 in extra innings against the Baltimore Orioles as the winning run was gifted home plate with a walk.

Giancarlo Stanton was the lone bright spot for the Yankees on the offensive side of the ball, getting three hits from five at-bats and driving in New York's only run.

The two starting pitchers – Jordan Montgomery for the Yankees and Jordan Lyles for the Orioles – combined for 10 innings of work for only one earned run.

Juan Soto made history with his 100th career home run in the Washington Nationals' 16-4 loss to world champions, the Atlanta Braves, on Tuesday.

Soto, 23, became the youngest player in franchise history to reach 100 career home runs with a moon shot at the top of the sixth inning.

The homer, which travelled 451 feet according to Statcast to right-center field, was the fourth longest of his career.

"It just comes to me. I never tried to hit a homer, or anything like that," Soto told reporters. "I’m one of the guys who just tries to hit singles every day. So for me to become consistent hitting homers, it’s just impressive and it tells how good I’ve been working on my body and everything."

Soto is the seventh active player to blast 100 homers at age 23 or younger, having first homered as a 19-year-old in 2018.

The Braves ultimately got the win after 10 runs in three innings to open up a 10-1 lead after four innings, but Soto finished with two hits, one run, one walk and one RBI.

Ozzie Albies, who finished with three hits, two runs and three RBIs, blasted his first homer of the 2022 season in the fourth inning.

With his one hit and two walks in the Cleveland Guardians' 10-7 away win against the Kansas City Royals, rookie Steven Kwan broke a record that dates back to the early days of baseball.

He became the first player since at least 1901 to reach base 15 times in his first four career games, after also setting the record for most times on-base in his first three games with 12.

While personal accomplishments are always nice, Kwan's record-breaking moment came at the biggest stage in the game as his side led 6-5 in the top of the eighth inning, with two outs and the bases loaded.

Up stepped Kwan with a chance to ice the game, and he did so, sending his hit deep into the right corner of the outfield for a bases-clearing triple to put his side up 9-5 with only six more outs needed to end the game.

It was a less impressive outing for Royals AL Rookie of the Year favorite Bobby Witt Jr, who went hitless in his four at-bats, but scored a run when he walked in the ninth inning and was brought around by an Andrew Benintendi consolation home run.

By the end of Monday's game, Kwan is yet to swing and miss at a pitch in his Major League career, after not striking out at all in Spring Training.

 

Mets meltdown

It was a classic New York Mets meltdown in their 5-4 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets played a near-flawless first seven frames, leading 4-0 going into the eighth inning after Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar batted in runs.

But everything fell apart in the eighth inning as the Phillies collected five hits – including a home run from J.T. Realmuto – to score five runs in the inning and set the table for Brad Hand to close the show with a save.

 

Yankees get shutout 

In a highly-anticipated matchup between World Series contenders and divisional foes, the Toronto Blue Jays shutout the New York Yankees 3-0 to win the opening game of their four-game series.

Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah was at the top of his game, pitching six innings and giving up just one hit and four walks to go with seven strikeouts.

All three runs were batted in by leadoff hitter George Springer, who hit a two-run home run in the third inning and a RBI double in the seventh.

Giancarlo Stanton continued his remarkable home-run hitting form against the Boston Red Sox as the New York Yankees won 4-2 on Saturday.

Yankees slugger Stanton homered for the sixth consecutive game against the Red Sox, hitting the go-ahead two-run homer to left center field in the sixth inning.

Boston had gone ahead in the second inning from Alex Verdugo's two-run homer, before Anthony Rizzo equalled the feat in the fourth inning to level the game up.

The victory means the Yankees have begun the new season with a 2-0 start, ahead of the third and final game of their series against the Red Sox on Sunday.

"I can’t say it’s the rivalry or anything," Stanton said about his record against the Red Sox. "I’m doing my homework and getting the ball over the plate."

 

Dodgers offense shut down

The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled on offense as they slumped to a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, who were sparked by an eighth-inning Connor Joe homer.

Rockies closer Daniel Bard shut down the Dodgers in the ninth inning to round out the win, striking out Justin Turner, Edwin Rios and Cody Bellinger.

Austin Barnes had two hits and an RBI for the Dodgers, while Mookie Betts had an eighth-inning RBI single to tie the game up, before Joe's go-ahead blast.

 

Alonso hits career-first grand slam

Pete Alonso clubbed a fifth-inning grand slam to lead the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 5-0. That marked 27-year-old's first career grand slam and comes after Alonso had been left with a bloodied lip after being struck by a Mason Thompson fastball earlier in the series.

The benches cleared in the Chicago Cubs' 9-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers after tempers flared between the division rivals when right-hander Keegan Thompson hit Andrew McCutchen in the hip with a fastball.

Dylan Cease stepped in for the Chicago White Sox with eight strikeouts across five innings in their 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cease remarkably boasts a 9-0 record against the Tigers in 10 starts.

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 6-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs 9-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Texas Rangers
Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 Oakland Athletics
Miami Marlins 2-1 San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees 4-2 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 1-0 Cleveland Guardians
New York Mets 5-0 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies 3-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres 5-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Angels 2-0 Houston Astros

 

Astros at Angels

The Los Angeles Angels take on the Houston Astros in the final game of their thrilling four-game series, with Shohei Ohtani potentially back on the mound after being rested for the past two games.

Baseball's best rivalry delivered once again on Friday as the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings at Yankee Stadium.

In the first game of the season for both sides, sparks flew in the opening inning as Rafael Devers hit a two-run bomb over the fence, before J.D. Martinez made it 3-0 for the Red Sox with a RBI double.

The Yankees wasted little time striking back as Anthony Rizzo launched a 414-foot two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, and three innings later a Giancarlo Stanton solo shot tied proceedings at 3-3.

After the Red Sox manufactured a run in the sixth inning to take the lead, the Yankees tied things up once again with another solo home run, this time from D.J. LeMahieu in the eighth frame to take things to extra innings.

Boston scored first in the 10th inning through a Xander Bogaerts RBI single, only for Gleyber Torres to extend the game a further inning with a sacrifice fly, setting the table for Yankee debutant Josh Donaldson.

In his first game for New York, Donaldson delivered the game-winning walk-off base hit to bring Isiah Kiner-Falefa around to score in the bottom of the 11th inning.

AL Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole was disappointing for the Yankees, getting pulled after four innings and 68 pitches after allowing three earned runs from four hits and a walk, while Michael King was credited with the win for pitching both extra frames.

Dodgers make winning start

The most expensive team in baseball, and World Series favorites, the Los Angeles Dodgers received strong contributions from their big names in a 5-3 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

Mookie Betts and Trae Turner collected RBI knocks, while new signing Freddie Freeman had one hit, one walk and scored a run from his four at-bats.

Dodgers ace Walker Buehler pitched a solid outing, giving up two runs from four hits and two walks, while racking up five strikeouts in five innings.

 

Blue Jays mount massive comeback

In the top of the fourth inning, the Toronto Blue Jays trailed the Texas Rangers 7-0, before the home side caught fire and stormed back to win 10-8.

Blue Jays starter and ace pitcher Jose Berrios was only able to record one out before getting pulled as the Rangers scored four runs off him, before the bullpen took over, only giving up one run in the last five innings.

Vladimir Guerrero had a pair of RBI base hits, Bo Bichette also had a multi-hit game and the duo of Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen both blasted long home runs.

Angels off to slow start

Boasting arguably the best two players in the league – Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout – the Los Angeles Angels are off to a disappointing start after getting blown out by the Houston Astros 13-6.

The Astros used an eight-run seventh inning to blow the game open as Jeremy Pena and Kyle Tucker both hit home runs in the frame, while Jose Altuve, Aledmys Diaz and Alex Bregman all finished the game with multiple RBIs.

For the Angels, Ohtani registered a hit and scored a run, while Trout was withdrawn for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

 

Friday's results

New York Yankees 6-5 Boston Red Sox

Detroit Tigers 5-4 Chicago White Sox

Philadelphia Phillies 9-5 Oakland Athletics

Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Baltimore Orioles

Colorado Rockies 3-5 Los Angeles Dodgers

Minnesota Twins 1-2 Seattle Mariners 

San Francisco Giants 6-5 Miami Marlins

Washington Nationals 3-7 New York Mets

Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 Texas Rangers

Atlanta Braves 7-6 Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Angels 6-13 Houston Astros

Arizona Diamondbacks 0-3 San Diego Padres

 

Red Sox at Yankees

Boston versus New York remains the biggest rivalry in the sport, and the Red Sox will look to even the ledger in the second of the three-game series.

St Louis Cardinals ace pitcher Adam Wainwright was nearly flawless as he led his side to a 9-0 Opening Day shutout of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wainwright pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and no walks before being relieved to begin the seventh inning, finishing with 81 pitches.

It was far from a stressful game for the home side, scoring in the first inning through a Tyler O'Neill RBI single, before O'Neill smashed a three-run bomb over the wall an inning later to lead 4-0 through two frames.

The middle innings moved quickly as neither team was able to string baserunners together, but the Cardinals gave the home fans some more to cheer for in the eighth inning with home runs to Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado.

J.T. Brubaker took the loss for the Pirates, finishing with four hits, three walks and four earned runs in three innings of work.

Super Suzuki wins debut

The Chicago Cubs' high-profile international signing, Seiya Suzuki, collected a hit and two walks from four at-bats in a 5-4 home win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kyle Hendricks pitched well for the home side, conceding one earned run to go with seven strikeouts before being withdrawn in the sixth inning.

The big moment for Suzuki came as he led-off the fifth inning, sending a base hit to shallow left field for his first career knock after signing a five-year, $85million deal out of the Japanese league this off-season.

The Bobby Witt Jr era begins in Kansas City

While Suzuki is favourite to take home the NL MVP, the Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr is the favourite in the AL, and delivered on debut in his side's 3-1 home win against the Cleveland Guardians.

After three outs from his first three at-bats, Witt delivered when it mattered, finding the gap with a RBI double in the eighth inning to give his side a 2-1 lead, and then came around and scored himself to finish it off.

Ohtani makes history in Angels loss    

It was not a great Opening Day for the Los Angeles Angels, but reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani made history once again.

In the Angels' 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros, Ohtani became the first player to start on the pitchers' mound and lead-off the batting, throwing and facing Los Angeles' first pitch of the season.

He finished with nine strikeouts and one earned run before being withdrawn in the fifth inning after 80 pitches, while going zero-for-four from his plate appearances.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Braves 3-6 Cincinnati Reds

St Louis Cardinals 9-0 Pittsburgh Pirates

Kansas City Royals 3-1 Cleveland Guardians

Chicago Cubs 5-4 Milwaukee Brewers

New York Mets 5-1 Washington Nationals

Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 San Diego Padres

Los Angeles Angels 1-3 Houston Astros

 

Red Sox at Yankees

The two historic rivals will kick off their seasons at Yankee Stadium on Friday in the first scheduled game of the day.

After a chaotic offseason, which included a lockout and pushing back Opening Day, baseball is almost back.

With a new collective bargaining agreement in place, two new playoff spots up for grabs and plenty of big-name player movement, it is shaping up to be an enthralling MLB season.

The defending champion Atlanta Braves may have improved, despite losing star Freddie Freeman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Yankees' position as the best team in New York could soon be under threat. 

With so many storylines, the most logical place to begin is right at the very top.

 

Can the Braves go back-to-back?

As is often the case, the World Series race is wide open, but Atlanta is at least in the mix as far as the pre-season odds go.

Some would consider the Braves' run last season a fluke – they won 88 games in the regular season, while the 91-win Toronto Blue Jays and 90-win Seattle Mariners missed out on playoff berths entirely.

However, they were missing superstar Ronald Acuna Jr for a large chunk of the year, and made meaningful additions at the trade deadline including Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson, and their playoff surge indicated that the record was not an accurate reflection of their talent.

While they lost franchise legend Freeman to the Dodgers, the Braves are arguably getting an upgrade at first base in the form of Matt Olson, who is four years younger and was a two-time Gold Glove winner with the Oakland Athletics before being traded for a four-player package of young Braves prospects.

Max Fried and Charlie Morton comprise a stout top of the rotation while Mike Soroka is out injured, and they have some strong bullpen arms including Tyler Matzek and Collin McHugh.

The Braves are a team without a clear weakness and will be full of confidence, so expect them to be fighting it out at the top of the NL East against the second-most expensive team in baseball, the New York Mets, as they bid to become the first team to win consecutive World Series since the Yankees in 1999 and 2000.

 

Are the Mets the best team in New York?

Since 2001, the New York Mets have only finished with a better record than the Yankees twice, in 2015 and 2016.

During that span, the Mets have never had a more expensive payroll than their local rivals – until this year.

The Mets are projected to come into Opening Day trailing only the Dodgers with the second-highest payroll in the league at $251million, while the Yankees are third at $239m.

It represents more than just deep pockets for second-year owner Steve Cohen, it shows that the Mets are no longer the 'little brother', and are willing to spend what it takes to be taken seriously against the most decorated franchise in major league history.

Buck Showalter will be the man tasked with turning the money into wins in his first year in the role, the former three-time AL Manager of the Year known for maximising talent on a limited budget with the Baltimore Orioles from 2010 to 2018, a stint that included a playoff series win over the Yankees.

Ultimately, what the Mets' season will hinge on is the health of their starting pitchers, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer (who turns 38 this season) comprising the best one-two punch in baseball after Marcus Stroman left as a free agent to join the Chicago Cubs. DeGrom has already been sidelined for four weeks with a shoulder injury.

The rotation also includes 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker, who tailed off late last season, but showed impressive ability when fresh.

Francisco Lindor remains the young jewel of the franchise – now two seasons into a 10-year, $341m contract extension – and along with power-hitting Pete Alonso and rangy center-fielder Starling Marte, there is plenty of quality stepping into the batters' box.

The Yankees will have one of the highest-ceiling batting line-ups when they roll out sluggers Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo, but they also play in the league's toughest division in the AL East, and could be candidates for regression after losing pitcher Corey Kluber and trading away bats Gio Urshela and Luke Voit.

 

 

Did the best team in baseball not make the playoffs in 2021?

It may be hard to believe, but given the meat grinder that is the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays are bookmakers' second-favourite to win the World Series despite not making the playoffs this past season.

The Blue Jays were top three in runs scored in 2021 and should again be one of the most explosive teams in the league this time around.

Toronto will also be able to enjoy a homecoming season, returning to Rogers Centre after the Blue Jays were forced to play their 2021 home games in Buffalo due to pandemic restrictions.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette are franchise cornerstones, last year's big signing George Springer was enormous in an injury-shortened debut campaign, and they have the luxury of adding Matt Chapman this season, who has two Platinum Gloves to his name as one of the best defensive players in the league.

Pitching remains the question mark in Toronto, with AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray departing for Seattle in a serious blow to a rotation with plenty to prove.

Nobody should be surprised if the Blue Jays jump up from fourth in their division all the way to the top, and are one of the teams with real World Series aspirations this season.

 

Which top prospect will establish themselves as a star? 

There will be some elite prospects finding their way in the majors this season, but will any of them burst onto the scene as a star?

In 2017, Judge did more than just win Rookie of the Year, he led the AL in home runs and finished second in AL MVP voting.

While there is always a chance that an unheralded rookie emerges as the premier prospect, there is a relatively clear top-tier consisting of three players entering the season.

Kansas City Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr, Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez.

Rutschman will hit for average from both sides of the plate while projecting as an elite defensive catcher, Witt is the five-tool stud who will make eye-popping plays with his glove at shortstop, and Rodriguez is the big, power-hitting corner outfielder.

At 24 years old, Rutschman is the senior of the class, while the other two are considerably younger at 21, but all three will have a chance to prove themselves early in the year as franchise-altering stars – and potentially become the biggest story of this season.

The New York Mets believe Buck Showalter is the man who will lead the team back to the postseason after a five-year absence. 

Showalter officially took over as Mets manager on Monday, agreeing to a three-year deal. 

Owner Steve Cohen had announced the hire via Twitter on Saturday. 

"Buck has been one of the best baseball minds for the last two decades and he makes teams better,” Cohen said in a release. "We have a lot of talent on this team and Buck is the right manager to take us to the next level and lead us to sustained success. I am excited he is our new manager."

The 65-year-old Showalter has 20 years of experience managing MLB teams, most recently leading the Baltimore Orioles to three postseason appearances during his stint there from 2010-18. 

He previously managed the Texas Rangers (2003-06), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and New York Yankees (1992-95). 

A three-time Manager of the Year, Showalter has a career record of 1,551-1,517.

He has twice led teams to the postseason after they had lost more than 90 games the previous years, and the Mets will be hoping for a repeat of that magic after posting just one winning campaign since their last postseason trip in 2016. 

He replaces Luis Rojas, who had his contract option declined after going 103-119 the last two seasons. 

Showalter will be the fifth man to manage the Yankees and Mets, joining Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Dallas Green and Joe Torre.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.