LEADING OFF: Fenway opener; Strasburg vs deGrom; Dozier hot
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
David Price gets a new opportunity to win over Boston fans when the Red Sox play their home opener against Tampa Bay. The $217 million left-hander held the Rays scoreless for seven innings when he started the second game of the season. Rookie manager Alex Cora said his mother will be in the crowd to see his first game in Boston. Ceremonies for the 107th opener at Fenway Park will include an F-16 flyover by the 134th Fighter Squadron in Vermont’s Air National Guard, known as ”The Green Mountain Boys.” Clear skies were expected but forecasts called for a strong wind and temperatures in the low 40s. ”Opening day is always fun,” Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts said, ”although it’s not fun when it’s 40.”
PAIR OF ACES
Washington’s home opener against the NL East rival Mets features an outstanding pitching matchup. Stephen Strasburg (1-0) starts for the Nationals vs. Jacob deGrom (1-0). New York is off to a 4-1 start, while Bryce Harper and the Nationals are 4-2. Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy, a former October star for the Mets, remains out following knee surgery. New York, however, could get All-Star outfielder Michael Conforto back from shoulder surgery for this one.
Brian Dozier, a career .225 hitter in April, has homered four times in four days for Minnesota. The slugging second baseman will try to extend his streak when the Twins open their ninth season at Target Field with a visit from James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners. Kyle Gibson pitches for Minnesota after throwing six shutout innings in his 2018 debut last week against Baltimore.
Veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright is scheduled to come off the disabled list to start St. Louis’ home opener against Robbie Ray, Paul Goldschmidt and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Wainwright began the season on the 10-day DL with a strained left hamstring. ”I think they invented tests for me to try and pass to prove to them that I was ready,” he said. Wainwright has 1,583 career strikeouts, second in Cardinals history behind Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (3,117).
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