MLB

MLB Opening Weekend blog: Friday

Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies scored three in the ninth on Friday to beat the Astros.
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Baseball is back, and FOXSports.com has Opening Weekend covered. Keep it right here all weekend long as we take you inside the sights and sounds of MLB's return with our live blog from every series and join the conversation below. And check out the scoreboard to see how your team is doing. All times Eastern.

MIDSUMMER CLASSIC

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Check out Thursday's blog for all of Opening Day's sights and sounds.

1:20 a.m. — Dodgers take first two vs. Giants

The Dodgers made it two in a row to open the season, beating the World Series champion San Francisco Giants 4-3.

Chad Billingsley won with Jonathan Broxton picking up his second save. Jonathan Sanchez takes the loss, and he can put a good portion of the blame on himself. Rolling along after striking out four of the first eight he faced, Sanchez opened the bottom of the third by walking Billingsley, who scored on a Matt Kemp double, putting the Dodgers up 1-0.

Rookie Brandon Belt then erased that with one jolt, his first major league homer, staking the Giants to a 3-1 lead in the fourth. But in the sixth inning, Sanchez and 3B Pablo Sandoval committed errors, and aided by a James Loney sacrifice fly, LA scored three runs and never looked back.

— Joe McDonnell, FOX Sports West

Follow the Dodgers all year long at FOX Sports West. And check out Steve Lyons' Dodgers chat.


1:10 a.m. — Too much King Felix for A's

It's all over in Oakland and in the end, it was just too much Felix Hernandez and too many errors for the Athletics. Seattle took advantage of five Oakland miscues and Hernandez cruised to a 6-2 win after giving up a home run in the first inning.

The A's spent a lot of money and energy in the offseason to upgrade their offense and bolster their bullpen. Ironically, the A's undoing Friday was lack of hitting and five relievers who gave up four runs in 5-1/3 innings.

Hernandez was simply dominant, pitching a complete game with relative ease. Good news for the A's is that they don't have to face King Felix again this series. On Saturday, Brett Anderson and the A's will try to get into the win column against Seattle and Jason Vargas.

— Joshua Russell, Beanes Bunch Blog

Follow the A's all season long at the BeanesBunch blog on Yardbarker.


12:40 a.m. — Dodgers take control vs. Giants

The Dodgers got to Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez for three runs (two unearned) in the bottom of the sixth to grab a 4-3 lead. Then after the Giants loaded the bases in the seventh, Blake Hawksworth struck out Buster Posey with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Matt Kemp led off the sixth with a single up the middle and later scored on a sacrifice fly by James Loney. Then, after a two-out single by Rod Barajas, errors by Sanchez and 3B Pedro Sandoval allowed Barajas to score, and Rafael Furcal singled in Aaron Miles, who had reached on an infield single.

Sanchez left with eight Ks, having allowed seven hits and three walks in 5-2/3 innings, replaced by Guillermo Mota. Hawksworth made his Dodgers debut in the top of the seventh, relieving Billingsley, who gave up three runs on five hits, including rookie Brandon Belt's first home run, to go along with 4 Ks.

— Joe McDonnell, FOX Sports West

Follow the Dodgers all year long at FOX Sports West. And check out Steve Lyons' Dodgers chat.


12:15 a.m. — Say what? Figgy goes yard to give M's lead

The Mariners took the lead in the sixth inning on Chone Figgins' solo home run and added two in the seventh for a 5-2 lead. Last year's Cy Young winner, King Felix is cruising, making A's hitters look like... well, like last year's offensively-challenged ballclub. The A's supposed strengths, defense and pitching, have been a letdown. A's starter Trevor Cahill couldn't get out of the fifth inning and the bullpen has given up four runs. Add to that four errors by the A's (two on third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff), and the energy and momentum have been completely sucked out of the Oakland Coliseum.

— Joshua Russell, Beanes Bunch Blog

Follow the A's all season long at the BeanesBunch blog on Yardbarker.


11:40 p.m. — A's get to King Felix early

Despite some labored innings, Oakland A's starter Trevor Cahill and Seattle Mariners starter Felix Hernandez are keeping their teams close. The A's are up 2-1 in the fourth inning on a two-run home run by new Athletic Josh Willingham in the first.

The A's obtained Willingham this offseason from the Washington Nationals in exchange for pitcher Henry Rodriguez and outfielder Corey Brown. Willingham is one of three new A's inserted into the heart of their batting order. The third hitter is David DeJesus, who the A's acquired from the Royals. Willingham is batting cleanup and Hideki Matsui was signed as a free agent to DH and bat fifth. Last season Oakland ranked 11th in the American League in runs scored and 13th in the league in home runs.

— Joshua Russell, Beanes Bunch Blog

Follow the A's all season long at the BeanesBunch blog on Yardbarker.


11:30 p.m. — Giants rook Belts out his first homer

With two men on in the top of the fourth, Giants rookie first baseman Brandon Belt hit a line drive over the centerfield wall off the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley for a 3-1 lead. It was Belt's first major-league homer.

Matt Kemp put the Dodgers on the scoreboard first with a third-inning double that scored Billingsley, who was walked by Jonathan Sanchez to start the inning. He moved to second on a walk to Ivan De Jesus and third on a fly out by Andre Ethier before coming home via Kemp's hit. 

Security is on high alert after a fan wearing a Giants jersey was attacked in the parking lot after Thursday's opener and ended up in the hospital in critical but not life-threatening condition. But it hasn't stopped many fans from chanting "Let's Go Giants" as often as possible, something very unusual in Dodger Stadium.

— Joe McDonnell, FOX Sports West

Follow the Dodgers all year long at FOX Sports West. And check out Steve Lyons' Dodgers chat.


10:40 p.m. — Royals win on walk-off in 9th

Kila Ka'aihue's solo homer in the ninth lifted the Royals past Angels, 2-1.

Jeff Francis was masterful for Kansas City, allowing on Howie Kendrick's first-inning homer in seven innings. Dan Haren matched Francis for the Angels.

Follow the Angels all year long at FOX Sports West.


10:30 p.m. — Jays' No. 9 hitter has field day

The Blue Jays polished off the Twins 13-3 behind rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia's amazing night: 3 for 4 with two home runs, a triple and five RBI for the Jays' No. 9 hitter. The Jays hit four homers in all, and the 13 runs were the most allowed by the Twins on Opening Day.

By the end of the game, the only drama left was whether rowdy fans in the upper deck would stop flinging garbage and promotional giveaway towels onto the field.

The teams meet again Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. It can't get worse for the Twins, who send Francisco Liriano to the mound against Kyle Drabek.

— Patrick Donnelly, FOX Sports North

Follow the Twins all year long at FOX Sports North.


10:20 p.m. — A's set to open at home vs. M's

As the Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners prepare to kick off their seasons in Oakland, two of the game's biggest international players try to keep things in perspective.

With the Japan earthquake and tsunami still making headlines across the world, Hideki Matsui of the A's and Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners continue to transcend baseball and become international ambassadors for the game.

Matsui signed with the Yankees in December 2002 and has since hit 161 home runs with 681 RBI and a career batting average of .291. In addition, Matsui was named MVP of the 2009 World Series.

Suzuki joined the Mariners one year before Matsui in 2001. He is a 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. He was the AL MVP in 2001 and the MVP of the 2007 All-Star game and has the single-season hits record with 262 in 2004.

As these two international sensations prepare to lead their respective team in the highly competitive AL West, they have personally donated a combined total of $1.85 million to the japan relief efforts.

— Joshua Russell, Beanes Bunch Blog

Follow the A's all season long at the BeanesBunch blog on Yardbarker.


10:15 p.m. — Dodgers-Giants Round 2

Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley takes the mound against Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez in Game 2 of the four-game opening weekend series.

Billingsley, who signed a three-year contract extension earlier this week for a reported $35 million, has made five starts at home against the Giants since 2008. He's 4-1 with an 0.90 ERA and two shutouts. Sanchez was 13-9 last season and set his career high of 12 strikeouts vs. the Dodgers last September.

The Dodgers are coming off a 2-1 in the opener, with Clayton Kershaw besting Tim Lincecum. LA's Opening Day third baseman, Juan Uribe, is out of the lineup after being hit in the elbow by a Lincecum pitch. He'll be replaced by Aaron Miles. Rookie Ivan De Jesus makes his first major-league start, hitting second and playing second base.

— Joe McDonnell, FOX Sports West

Follow the Dodgers all year long at FOX Sports West. And check out Steve Lyons' Dodgers chat.


10:05 p.m. — Johnson pitches Fish past Mets

Thanks to some timely hitting and a stellar performance from ace Josh Johnson, the Marlins won their 19th and final Opening Day game at Sun Life Stadium, 6-2 over the Mets.

Florida’s top pitcher no-hit the Mets for six innings before exiting with two outs in the seventh. Johnson lost his no-hit bid when Willie Harris doubled to open the seventh. The Marlins ace allowed two runs on three hits over 6-2/3 innings.

Most of the Marlins' offense came by way of a John Buck grand slam. The Marlins catcher belted a Mike Pelfrey sinker into the right-field stands to give Florida a 4-0 lead. The Fish added another run on a Gaby Sanchez RBI single in the fifth and scored the final run on a Logan Morrison solo homer in the eighth.

— David Villavicencio, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Marlins all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


10 p.m. — Angels, Royals locked in pitchers' duel

Dan Haren has kept the Royals in check while Jeff Francis has allowed only Howie Kendrick's first-inning homer in a 1-1 tie.

Follow the Angels all year long at FOX Sports West.


9:36 p.m. — Guthrie outduels Price as O's top Rays

 

The Baltimore Orioles have earned a 4-1 Opening Day victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana field.

Jeremy Guthrie earned the win for the Orioles, tossing eight innings and allowing no runs on three hits. Guthrie struck out six, walking just one. David Price took the loss, giving up four earned runs in seven innings.

Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis each had two RBI for the Orioles, and J.J. Hardy scored two runs. Ben Zobrist scored the Rays’ lone run on a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth.

The game took just 2 hours, 8 minutes to complete.

— Sam Gardner, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Rays all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


9:30 p.m. — Pavano chased as Jays waxing Twins

Earlier in the evening we noted that the Blue Jays' new emphasis on speed led to a four-run first inning, and that perhaps this year's version of the Jays won't have to rely on the longball to score runs.

Well, just because they don't have to doesn't mean they can't. Toronto has broken out the boom sticks and knocked Carl Pavano out of the game in the fifth inning. First, No. 9 hitter J.P. Arencibia hit a two-run homer to center in the fourth. Then Jose Bautista and Adam Lind led off the fifth with back-to-back monster shots — Bautista's to the second deck in left, Lind's to the upper tank in right.

It's 8-0 Toronto in the fifth and the Twins have turned to Jeff Manship. The Blue Jays are 13-5 at home against the Twins in their past 18 games, and that trend appears destined to continue.

— Patrick Donnelly, FOX Sports North

Follow the Twins all year long at FOX Sports North.


9:20 p.m. — Price chased as O's blanking Rays

David Price’s day is done for the Rays, and the AL Cy Young candidate can’t be happy about his Opening Day performance. Price gave up four runs, all earned, on five hits in seven innings and is on the hook for the loss as Tampa Bay trails Baltimore 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth.

Price, who was 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA last season, threw 103 pitches (65 for strikes) with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie threw a gem. The 31-year-old right-hander scattered just three hits in eight innings and kept the new-look Rays off the scoreboard. In 2010, Guthrie won a career-high 11 games but also lost 14 decisions in 32 starts.

Guthrie, who had 119 strikeouts in 209 innings last season, struck out six Rays and walked none.

— Sam Gardner, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Rays all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


9:10 p.m. — Marlins' Johnson loses no-no in 7th

Josh Johnson tossed six no-hit innings against the Mets before allowing a leadoff double by Willie Harris in the seventh. He then lost his shutout, giving up Carlos Beltran's RBI double.

Johnson got a big boost from his battery mate. John Buck, brought in to provide some offense at the catcher position, did just that in the fourth inning. Buck battled Mets starter Mike Pelfrey for seven pitches before smashing the eighth into the stands beyond the right-field fence for a grand slam.

The blast earned Buck his first curtain call as a Marlin as he became the fourth Marlin to hit a grand slam on Opening Day. He joins Preston Wilson, Juan Encarnacion and Hanley Ramirez, who hit his in 2009 against the Nationals.

Hall of Famer Bob Feller is the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter on Opening Day, when he blanked the White Sox in 1940. The last Marlin to throw a no-hitter is Johnson’s teammate Anibal Sanchez. The Venezuelan right-hander no-hit the Diamondbacks on Sept. 6, 2006.

Scott Cousins replaced Marlins phenom Mike Stanton in right field prior to the start of the sixth inning. Stanton doubled in his first at-bat, walked in his second and hit a ground ball to short his final at-bat in the fifth inning. No reason was given for his early exit.

— David Villavicencio, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Marlins all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


8:30 p.m. — Oops! Twins don't look ready for opener

Well, 2011 couldn't have started much worse for the Twins — or better for the Blue Jays. After three mostly feeble ground outs in the top of the first, the Twins put together a bottom half that included a botched rundown, a run-scoring error, a bases-loaded hit batsman, a double steal and a balk.

On the flip side, Toronto showed it can score without relying on the longball — at least for one inning. The Jays put an emphasis on speed in the offseason, and new leadoff hitter Rajai Davis paid immediate dividends. Davis beat out an infield single, then wiggled out of a rundown after being picked off by Carl Pavano. Davis and Yunel Escobar executed a double steal that helped lead to a four-run inning.

— Patrick Donnelly, FOX Sports North

Follow the Twins all year long at FOX Sports North.


8:15 p.m. — Marlins, Mets aces on their game

Opening Day always showcases teams’ top starters, and the Marlins and Mets aces have lived up to expectations early.

Josh Johnson and Mike Pelfrey have thrown three scoreless innings. Johnson has not allowed a hit yet while Pelfrey has allowed just Mike Stanton's double to left.

— David Villavicencio, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Marlins all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


8:06 p.m. — O's scratch first vs. Price, Rays

The Orioles got on the board first against the defending AL East champion Rays with a run in the top of the third.

After Rays starter David Price struck out Matt Wieters to begin the frame, J.J. Hardy hit a double off the wall in right-center and advanced to third on a wild pickoff throw by Price. Two batters later, Nick Markakis singled to left-center, driving in Hardy.

This will be the third full MLB season for Price, who has six strikeouts through four innings. He was 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA in 2010 and is a popular pick to compete for this year’s AL Cy Young Award.

— Sam Gardner, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Rays all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


7:50 p.m. — Rays set to open at home vs. O's

It was an eventful, bittersweet start to Opening Day for the Tampa Bay Rays and their fans.

Before David Price stepped to the mound to get the season started, the team held a number of pregame events, starting with the ceremonial first pitch.

Much to the displeasure of the vocal Tampa Bay fans, it was Florida Gov. Rick Scott who did the honors. Amid a chorus of boos, Scott took the mound, and apparently the fans got in his head — his pitch missed the plate by two feet.

After Scott left the field, the team held a moment of silence to honor Thomas Baitinger, Jeffrey Yaslowitz and David Crawford, three St. Petersburg police officers killed in the line of duty since the beginning of 2011. It was a classy move by the Rays and a nice moment, as the silence was enough to give you goosebumps.

Just before the first pitch, the mood picked back up as the Rays raised their 2010 AL East champions banner high above the left field bleachers —an exciting moment for a raucous, sold-out crowd that has seen its team become one of the AL's best.

— Sam Gardner, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Rays all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


7:45 p.m. — Feliz closes door on BoSox as Rangers win

Rangers closer Neftali Feliz strikes out Jarrod Saltalamacchia, gets a groundout to first by Marco Scutaro and fans Jacoby Ellsbury to end the game, a 9-5 win over Boston for the defending AL Champs.

The biggest question mark for the Rangers is the bullpen. Today they held the best offensive lineup in the majors to one run on one hit over the last three innings. Nice way to silence critics to start the season.

The teams will meet again Saturday night when ALCS hero Colby Lewis takes the mound against John Lackey.

— Ben Rebstock, FOX Sports Southwest

Follow the Rangers all year long at FOX Sports Southwest.


7:35 p.m. — Hall of Fame class on hand in Toronto

All three members of the 2011 Hall of Fame class are in Toronto for Opening Day vs. Minnesota. Former Blue Jays executive Pat Gillick and second baseman Roberto Alomar were joined on the field by Twins broadcaster Bert Blyleven (the pride of FOX Sports North!) for a pregame ceremony at the Rogers Centre.

— Patrick Donnelly, FOX Sports North

Follow the Twins all year long at FOX Sports North.


7:30 p.m. — Tribe's comeback falls short in 15-10 loss to ChiSox

The Indiana scored one in the ninth but needed six to force extra innings as they fell to the White Sox 15-10. Matt LaPorta drove in the ninth-inning run with a single off Jesse Crain. With two on, Jack Hannahan couldn't collect his fourth hit and struck out to end it.

— Zach Davis, FOX Sports Ohio

Follow the Indians all year long at FOX Sports Ohio.


7:25 p.m. — Rangers batter BoSox bullpen to break tie

No sooner had Boston's David Ortiz tied Texas at 5 in the eighth than David Murphy pinch hits in the bottom half and catches the chalk down the left-field line for a two-run double off Daniel Bard. Elvis Andrus follows with a gapper between Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury for a double, scoring Murphy and pushing the Rangers' lead to 8-5.

Then, chants of "MVP" as Josh Hamilton stepped to the plate and doubled in another run...

— Ben Rebstock, FOX Sports Southwest

Follow the Rangers all year long at FOX Sports Southwest.


7:15 p.m. — Special opener for Marlins

Opening Day is special for every player, coach, manager and fan, but today’s opener between the Marlins and Mets is extra special because it is the last Opening Day at Sun Life Stadium.

The Marlins are set to move into their new ballpark in 2012, but before they do, they will play 78 more games at the stadium that has been their home since their inaugural season in 1993.

While this Opening Day is the last for the organization at Sun Life Stadium, it is the first for several of the team’s players and manager, Edwin Rodriguez. Outfielders Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton will make their first Opening Day starts, while backup catcher Brett Hayes, fourth outfielder Scott Cousins and relievers Mike Dunn and Brian Sanches also are celebrating their first Opening Day.

— David Villavicencio, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Marlins all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


7:03 p.m. — Catcher's error allows Rockies to tie in 7th

What goes around comes around. When Arizona catcher Miguel Montero overthrew first base on a strikeout by Ty Wigginton to set up a two-run rally that enabled the Rockies to tie the game at 6 in the seventh inning, it brought to mind the exact same play in the D-backs’ 1999 run to the NL West pennant.

The D-backs were down to their last out Sept. 5 in Atlanta when Kelly Stinnett struck out against John Rocker for what would have been the final out of the game. But the pitch was not handled cleanly, catcher Javy Lopez did not step quite far enough into the field of play, and his looping throw to first went over Randall Simon’s head into right field to enable Stinnett to reach first.

The next batter, Tony Womack, singled to tie the game at 5, and Luis Gonzalez’s two-run single two batters later gave the D-backs a 7-5 victory, enabling them to add a game for a six-game division lead.

“I remember talking about it afterward —that’s the sign,” that good things were meant to be, former D-backs general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said. Garagiola, now working in the commissioner’s office, was in Denver for the season opener Friday.

— Jack Magruder, FOX Sports Arizona

Follow the Diamondbacks all year long at FOX Sports Arizona.


7:03 p.m. — Ortiz goes deep to tie it in the 8th

Hey Papi! Boston's David Ortiz crushes a homer to center off Texas left-hander Darren Oliver to tie the game 5-5 in the eighth.

Another new addition to The Ballpark: The vendors all wear neon yellow shirts now. Amongst the sea of red and blue, buying a beer and peanuts has never been easier.

— Ben Rebstock, FOX Sports Southwest

Follow the Rangers all year long at FOX Sports Southwest.


6:57 p.m. — Marlins set to open at home vs. Mets

The Marlins are making their final Opening Day at Sun Life Stadium a memorable one.

Clarence Clemons, renowned saxophonist and member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to today’s opener against the Mets.

Former Marlins star Mike Lowell is back to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Today marks the first time Lowell has been at a Marlins game since he played against them in 2006 as a member of the Red Sox.

The organization also is honoring radio play-by-play man Dave Van Horne in a pregame ceremony. Van Horne, voted this year’s Ford C. Frick Award winner by the Hall of Fame, also will be honored July 24 during induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y.

— David Villavicencio, FOX Sports Florida

Follow the Marlins all year long at FOX Sports Florida.


6:34 p.m. — D-backs' dingers KO Jimenez

The D-backs knocked out Colorado right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez after six innings, using a three-run home run from Justin Upton in the fifth inning and a two-run homer from Miguel Montero in the sixth.

It is not the first time the D-backs have roughed up Jimenez, who won 19 games last season and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting. In fact, it was the second time in a row that the D-backs had two homers off Jimenez, the first time being in an 8-4 victory on Sept. 22.

— Jack Magruder, FOX Sports Arizona

Follow the Diamondbacks all year long at FOX Sports Arizona.


6:30 p.m. — Rangers rock Sox but can't land knockout blow

The Rangers knocked Red Sox starter Jon Lester out after 5-1/3 innings, sending him to the showers with two on and one out and Texas leading 5-4 after a three-run Mike Napoli home run. But Matt Albers got Ian Kinsler to ground out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

But the real story at The Ballpark in Arlington is the new food offerings, including a battle of new hot dogs. How many MLB owner have a hot dog named after them? Well, I can name one, as the Nolan Ryan all-beef hot dog premiered today in it's own stand down the first-base line. Next to it: bacon-wrapped dogs.

Don't worry, I did the research for you. While the Ryan dog was solid and better than any regular dog I've had here, the bacon-wrapped dog was sinfully delicious, each bite melting in your mouth. Now it's on to find the new three-pound pretzel.

— Ben Rebstock, FOX Sports Southwest

Follow the Rangers all year long at FOX Sports Southwest.


5:56 p.m. — Diamondbacks rough up Jimenez

David Hernandez is the Diamondbacks’ eighth-inning setup man, at least initially, after working his way ahead of Juan Gutierrez this spring. Hernandez, like Gutierrez, touches the mid-90s and a tad above, but he located better this spring.

"He’s got power stuff. He can overpower people," Gibson said of Hernandez, who came over with Kam Mickolio for Mark Reynolds in the winter meetings trade with Baltimore. "It’s just how we're going to do it to start out with. He throws his slider at different speeds, and when he takes a little bit off it, it gains quite a bit more depth."

Hernandez had a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings this spring, although he walked eight. Gutierrez's ERA was 11.70 this spring. Gutierrez might have had a slight edge for the eighth inning role entering spring after converting his final 15 save opportunities in 2010.

In today's opener, the Diamondbacks have touched up Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez for six runs in six innings and lead it 6-4.

— Jack Magruder, FOX Sports Arizona

Follow the Diamondbacks all year long at FOX Sports Arizona.


5:32 p.m. — Pirates wrap up win over Cubs

Sporting a 4-2 lead after the fifth, the Pirates struck again in the seventh. Neil walker continued his assault on Cubs starter Ryan Dempster with a two-out double. Andrew McCutchen followed with a homer to left center to chase Dempster.

Ron Santo, Jr., son of departed Cubs legend Ron Santo, sang the seventh inning stretch and momentarily ignited the crowd and the Cubs offense.

Chicago took advantage of some shoddy Pirates defense as eight-hole hitter Darwin Barney reached on a high pop up that fell safely mere feet from home plate. Barney advanced to second on a wild pitch and Kosuke Fukudome drove him home with a single.

After a Starlin Castro single, the Wrigley faithful rose to their feet two batters later as Aramis Ramirez drove a pitch high to left center for a potential game-tying homer, but McCutchen hauled it in at the warning track.

Pirates pitcher Joel Hanrahan closed out the ninth to begin the 2011 season with a 6-3 Opening Day victory.

— Tony Andracki, IvyReport blog

Follow the Cubs all season long at the Ivy Report blog on Yardbarker.


5:24 p.m. — Indians mounting a rally

Where did that come from? After being battered 14-0 through four innings, Cleveland switched roles with the White Sox in the sixth. After Chicago had relatively no success off Germano in the top of the inning, the Indians scored four runs on six hits off starter Mark Buerhrle, cutting the lead to 14-4. The inning was by no means perfect, however, including one of the longest singles you will ever see. With the bases loaded, Travis Hafner hit the ball off the center field wall. Nearing second base, he realized Carlos Santana was still on the base as Shin Soo Choo inexplicably stopped at third. Just feet from the base, Hafner had to run back to first. It's now 14-7 after seven.

— Zach Davis, FOX Sports Ohio

Follow the Indians all year long at FOX Sports Ohio.


4:52 p.m. — Rangers start 2011 with a pair of HRs

The new video board is not only a welcome addition at the Ballpark, it's getting an early work out with highlights of Rangers home runs. Nelson Cruz homers to left field to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second ... and seeing it over and over again in 1080p makes it even better.

— Ben Rebstock, FOX Sports Southwest

Follow the Rangers all year long at FOX Sports Southwest.


4:46 p.m. — The rout is truly on in Cleveland

Chicago White Sox's Adam Dunn

Adam Dunn figured prominently in the White Sox's offensive assault.

Tony Dejak

Well, that got out of hand awfully fast. Fausto Carmona entered the fourth inning already down 6-0 and let the first three hitters reach base before Adam Dunn plated two with a double.

Carmona's day ended allowing 10 runs on 11 hits with five strikeouts in three innings of work. Justin Germano didn't have any more success in relief, hitting his first batter before giving up a two-run double to Carlos Quentin as Chicago went up 10-0. The White Sox would score four more before the inning's end as the crowd erupted for the loudest cheer of the day as Gordon Beckham flied out to end the eight-run inning. Indians hitters failed to reach base in the bottom of the frame as Chicago took a 14-0 lead to the fifth.

— Zach Davis, FOX Sports Ohio

Follow the Indians all year long at FOX Sports Ohio.


4:24 p.m. — Rangers bounce back quickly in first

After a shaky start, Ian Kinsler goes yard in the bottom of the first and all is well again at the Ballpark. The place is packed, people standing on top of tables in center field just for a peak at the game. And the temperature is soaring. Sure hope the Red Sox are ready for some mid-summer baseball in April. It's 2-1 Boston after one.

Now, if I can only find that new Nolan Ryan hot dog...

— Ben Rebstock, FOX Sports Southwest

Follow the Rangers all year long at FOX Sports Southwest.


4:18 p.m. — Indians ace getting battered in Cleveland

After cruising through the second, Fausto Carmona was hammered in the third by Chicago. The fourth-year starter was tagged by both Adam Dunn and Carlos Quentin with two-run homers and is in serious jeopardy of being pulled in the fourth with the Indians down 6-0. Carmona has thrown 75 pitches through three innings yet has surprisingly struck out five batters. Cleveland's offense isn't giving him much help, with only Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana recording hits through three.

— Zach Davis, FOX Sports Ohio

Follow the Indians all year long at FOX Sports Ohio.


4:11 p.m. — Cubs still trailing Pittsburgh at Wrigley

Amidst a constant light rain, the Cubs trail the Pirates 4-2 after five. Chicago needed just three batters to scrape across a run in the first as young Cubs phenom Starlin Castro reached on a hit and Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez threw the ball away on a Marlon Byrd grounder, allowing Castro to come all the way around from first for the opening run of the season.

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The Cubs pushed across another run in the third after three singles loaded the bases and a Carlos Pena ground out scored Castro again.

The Pirates managed a two-out double from star centerfielder Andrew McCutchen in the first, but Ryan Dempster ended the threat and held the Pirates at bay through four.

Dempster got into trouble in the fifth, loading the bases before Neil Walker laced a grand slam to right to give the Bucs the lead and turn the tide in the game.

— Tony Andracki, IvyReport blog

Follow the Cubs all season long at the Ivy Report blog on Yardbarker.


4:07 p.m. — Drew starts season on bench for D-Backs

Shortstop Stephen Drew did not start for the Diamondbacks, as expected, after suffering an abdominal strain two weeks ago. Drew was in and out of the lineup the last two weeks of spring while attempting to play through the injury, but the D-Backs do not want to run the risk of its worsening. There is a still a small chance the D-Backs could place the durable Drew on the disabled list if the injury does not improve in the next several days,

“We don’t want to lose him for 6-8 weeks,” manager Kirk Gibson said.

Drew did some work in the batting cages before the opener, the first one he has not started since breaking camp with the team for the first time in 2007. The D-Backs would prefer to stay away from Drew completely today, but he is available to pinch-hit if needed.

Willie Bloomquist made his third opening day start, his first at shortstop, in replacing Drew. Bloomquist has started opening days at third base for Seattle and Kansas City in his 10-year major league career. Ryan Roberts is the backup shortstop today, with Geoff Blum (knee) opening the season on the disabled list.

— Jack Magruder, FOX Sports Arizona

Follow the Diamondbacks all year long at FOX Sports Arizona.


3:58 p.m. — Indians looking shaky against White Sox

If the first inning is any indication, the Indians are in for a long season. Starter Fausto Carmona looked shaky, needing 36 pitches to get out of the inning. In his first career Opening Day start, the 27-year-old pitcher allowed two runs on four hits as Cleveland fell behind early. Michael Brantley singled to start the Indians season at the plate, but Asdrubal Cabrera flied out and Shin Soo Choo grounded into a double play to quickly end the inning. It's now 6-0 White Sox in the third.

— Zach Davis, FOX Sports Ohio

Follow the Indians all year long at FOX Sports Ohio.


3:55 p.m. — Phillies walk off with win over Astros

Greg Lucas' ominous warning in his previous blog post proved warranted. A big rally in the bottom of the ninth inning has vaulted the Phillies over the Astros. A John Mayberry hit with the bases loaded gave Philadelphia the 5-4 win.

— Zack Pierce, FOXSports.com editor


3:50 p.m. — Fans piling in to salute AL champ Rangers

First pitch is quickly closing in and the streets around Rangers Ballpark in Arlington are packed. Everyone is being diverted to Cowboys Stadium, where luckily the only thing bigger than Jerry Jones' personal toy are the parking lots that surround it.

But, of all the fans walking to the game, most are wearing Rangers red ... which is not the norm when the Red Sox come to town. It's almost as if this team played in the World Series or something last year.

— Ben Rebstock, FOX Sports Southwest

Follow the Rangers all year long at FOX Sports Southwest.


3:44 p.m. — Pirates hit year's first grand slam

Pittsburgh Pirates's Neil Walker

Neil Walker was the star of the day for the Pirates with a grand slam and two runs scored.

Rex Arbogast

Maybe this is a sign of good things to come for the Pirates. Neil Walker hit a grand slam off Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster in the top of the fifth inning to give Pittsburgh a 4-2 lead in their opener.

— Zack Pierce, FOXSports.com editor


3:32 p.m. — Chicago teams nab early leads

The Cubs scored single runs in the first and third innings and hold a 2-0 lead over the Pirates in the fifth. Ryan Dempter has struck out four in four shutout innings. The White Sox, meanwhile, gave Mark Buehrle a two-run lead right off the bat with a pair of RBI singles in the first inning.

— Zack Pierce, FOXSports.com editor


3:26 p.m. — Astros closing in on Opening Day win

Remember the Brewers, Astros fans. Milwaukee had its opener locked up on Thursday ... until Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run walk-off homer. It's looking good for Houston as they hold a 4-2 lead and just one inning left in Philadelphia. Myers will beat Halladay if Brandon Lyon can nail down the save.

— Greg Lucas, FOX Sports Houston

Follow the Astros all year long at FOX Sports Houston.


3:24 p.m. — Indians honor Feller in pregame ceremony

The Indians are kicking off the 2011 season with a day of remembrance for their recently deceiced former legend. The Bob Feller Opening Day Tribute will take place all day today against Chicago. Cleveland honored Feller emerging from the locker room with each player wearing No. 19, his former number, and special commemorative patches on their uniforms. Decorations around the stadium included blown up photos and a large jersey hanging on the left field wall. Feller passed away on Dec. 10 at the age of 93. He pitched 18 seasons for the Indians, racking up 266 wins and a 3.25 lifetime ERA.

— Zach Davis, FOX Sports Ohio

Follow the Indians all year long at FOX Sports Ohio.


2:47 p.m. — Astros extend lead over Phillies

Wow ... the Astros mastery over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park is continuing. Houston is 16-7 here and now leads 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th. Former Philly Michael Bourn hit a two-run triple and pitcher Brett Myers has tossed six two-hit innings to do the damage.

— Greg Lucas, FOX Sports Houston

Follow the Astros all year long at FOX Sports Houston.


2:30 p.m. — Astros get to Halladay

Roy Halladay has looked more vulnerable in the last two innings. Angel Sanchez led off the sixth with his second hit of the game. Then Hunter Pence ripped a double. A Bill Hall groundout later scored Sanchez. 1-0 Astros.

— Greg Lucas, FOX Sports Houston

Follow the Astros all year long at FOX Sports Houston.


2:22 p.m. — Cubs put on a show in pregame ceremony

Actor Robert Redford

Actor Robert Redford threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field.

Charles Rex Arbogast

In brisk Chicago weather more fit for the Bears than the Cubs, the fans flocking to Wrigley Field could only mean one thing: Major League Baseball has reached the Windy City.

Remnants of a flag from 9/11 were brought out to center field on display during the opening ceremonies. There was a moment of silence honoring departed Cubs legend Ron Santo as well as the recent tragedy in Japan.

Robert Redford, star of Hollywood's classic baseball film "The Natural" threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The players and coaches for each team were announced and they lined up in front of their respective dugouts. The Wrigley Field faithful gave Kerry Wood a standing ovation and demanded a curtain call from the man formerly known as "Kid K."

On the mound, acclaimed new face of the franchise Ryan Dempster faced off against new Pittsburgh ace and free agent acquisition Kevin Correia.

— Tony Andracki, IvyReport blog

Follow the Cubs all season long at the Ivy Report blog on Yardbarker.


1:56 p.m. — Astros trying to play small ball

Game scoreless through three, but Angel Sanchez singled to lead off the fourth for Houston and was on a hit and run with Hunter Pence, who grounded out but got Sanchez to second. Before the game, manager Brad Mills said the club would have to try some small ball against Roy Halladay if the opportunity arose. It didn't pay off with Carlos Lee and Bill Hall both retired to end the threat.

— Greg Lucas, FOX Sports Houston

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1:44 p.m. — Halladay, Myers start strong in Philly

Phillies ace Roy Halladay has struck out five, walked none and allowed just one hit in three innings so far. The only hit went to Astros pitcher Brett Myers, who has surrendered two hits. No score after three.

— Zack Pierce, FOXSports.com editor


1:01 p.m. — Top pitchers take the mound in early action

Five early games today with plenty of pitching stars on display. Roy Halladay gets the call for Phillies against the Astros, starting right now. Mark Buehrle leads the White Sox against the Indians at 3:05 p.m. The Rangers open up their AL title defense against the Red Sox at 4:05 with C.J. Wilson squaring off against Jon Lester. And the Rockies send Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound as they host the Diamondbacks at 4:10.

— Zack Pierce, FOXSports.com editor


12:10 p.m. — Chilly but dry for Astros-Phillies

It should be in 40's at game time, but the threat of precipitation is lessened in Philadelphia. All systems go. Astros starter Brett Myers is facing Roy Halladay. Astro skipper Brad Mills says everyone is ready to play games that count, even if facing Hallday is like the first day of school and finding you have drawn the roughest teacher.

— Greg Lucas, FOX Sports Houston

Follow the Astros all year long at FOX Sports Houston.


12:01 p.m. — Day two of MLB season set to begin

After just 12 teams took the field yesterday, the other 18 get their crack at Opening Day today. The action starts at 1 p.m. ET with the Astros taking on Roy Halladay and the Phillies. Other highlights: the defending AL champion Rangers open against the Red Sox and the defending world champion Giants try to bounce back from last night's loss to the Dodgers.

— Zack Pierce, FOXSports.com editor

Tagged: Orioles, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Indians, Royals, Twins, Athletics, Mariners, Rangers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Astros, Dodgers, Nationals, Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Giants, Rockies, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Rays, Brian Roberts, Mark Buehrle, Carlos Lee, Carlos Beltran, David Ortiz, Mike Cameron, Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn, Carl Pavano, Juan Uribe, Ryan Dempster, Rod Barajas, Willie Harris, Willie Bloomquist, Carlos Pena, Brandon Lyon, Ty Wigginton, John Lackey, Brett Myers, Bill Hall, Jeremy Guthrie, Hideki Matsui, John Buck, Dan Haren, Aaron Miles, David DeJesus, J.J. Hardy, Justin Germano, Josh Willingham, Jeff Francis, Carlos Quentin, Felix Hernandez, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Drew, Roberto Hernandez, Jonathan Broxton, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Nick Markakis, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, James Loney, Howie Kendrick, Mike Napoli, Jack Hannahan, Jonathan Sanchez, Matt Kemp, Jon Lester, Ryan Roberts, Mike Pelfrey, Matt Albers, Ben Zobrist, Michael Bourn, Rajai Davis, Miguel Montero, David Murphy, Adam Lind, Angel Sanchez, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew McCutchen, Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence, Mark Reynolds, Juan Gutierrez, David Price, Gaby Sanchez, Matt Wieters, Matt LaPorta, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Brett Hayes, John Mayberry, David Hernandez, Jeff Manship, Starlin Castro, Mike Dunn, Carlos Santana, Scott Cousins, Logan Morrison, Giancarlo Stanton, J.P. Arencibia, Neil Walker, Michael Brantley

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