The Cincinnati Reds swept a doubleheader against the host Detroit Tigers on Sunday, a day that saw plenty of dominating pitching performances — and quite a bit of history, as well.
The day was already set to make history as this was the first doubleheader played under MLB’s new coronavirus-related rules in which each game of a doubleheader during this shortened season would be seven innings.
In the first game, a 4-3 Reds win, Nick Castellanos belted two homers to help Cincinnati win despite committing a three-run error — and despite Detroit left-hander Tyler Alexander setting a major league record for relievers by striking out nine consecutive batters.
In the second game, starter Trevor Bauer took advantage of the shortened-innings rule to go the distance and shut out the Tigers as the Reds won 4-0. Bauer allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked two in his seven innings to earn his first win of the season.
Yankees 9, Red Sox 7
Aaron Judge hit his second homer of the game with two outs in the eighth inning to lift host New York to a three-game sweep of Boston.
Judge hit a three-run homer in the second off Matt Hall and then hit the decisive homer when he hammered a 2-0 curveball from Matt Barnes (0-1) over the visiting bullpen and into the left-center field bleachers to give the Yankees a 9-7 lead. Judge homered for a career-high fifth straight game. He became the first Yankee to homer in five straight since Alex Rodriguez did so in September 2007.
Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a big night for the Red Sox with a pair of homers while tying a career high with four hits. He hit a two-run homer four batters into the game off James Paxton and then slugged a solo drive in the fifth off King. Bogaerts finished with his eighth career multi-homer game. The shortstop also produced at least four hits for the 16th time in his career.
Astros 6, Angels 5 (11 inn.)
Alex Bregman’s one-out single in the top of the 11th inning scored designated runner George Springer from second base, lifting Houston to a win over Los Angeles in Anaheim, Calif.
Astros reliever Blake Taylor survived the bottom of the 11th, getting Brian Goodwin on a fly out to center field with the bases loaded to end it and earn his first career major league win. Michael Brantley had three hits, and Bregman had a home run in addition to his game-winning single.
Albert Pujols gave the Angels a 4-2 lead in the third inning with a grand slam, the 15th of his career. It also was his 658th career home run, two shy of Willie Mays for No. 5 on the all-time list.
Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Clayton Kershaw threw 5 2/3 shutout innings in his season debut to lead Los Angeles over Arizona in the finale of a four-game series in Phoenix.
Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts homered for the Dodgers, who have won five of their past six. Betts departed in the top of the seventh inning with a sore middle finger on his left hand. The injury appeared to occur when Betts fouled off a pitch in the fifth inning. Betts also doubled, and Justin Turner had two hits and scored a run.
Kershaw (1-0), a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, allowed three hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter in 81 pitches. He was scratched from the season opener on July 23 because he injured his back while lifting weights two days earlier.
Orioles 5, Rays 1
Hanser Alberto, Renato Nunez and Jose Iglesias all had run-scoring hits in a three-run seventh inning to help host Baltimore top Tampa Bay for the club’s first series sweep since 2018.
With 10 strikeouts on the day, this was the fifth straight game that Orioles pitchers struck out at least 10 — a team record. The Rays lost their fifth straight game after a 4-1 start to the season.
The game was tied at one in the bottom of the seventh when Cedric Mullins reached on a bunt to start the rally. He then stole second, and Alberto broke the tie with a double to right off Chaz Roe, who had just come on in relief of Jalen Beeks (0-1). Evan Phillips (1-1) earned his first career victory with a solid inning of relief. Cole Sulser got his third save this season.
Twins 3, Indians 1
Mitch Garver homered and six pitchers combined for a two-hitter to propel host Minnesota to its third consecutive victory over Cleveland.
Max Kepler added two doubles and scored twice and Jorge Polanco had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who increased their American League Central Division lead to 2 1/2 games over the Indians.
Devin Smeltzer (1-0), the second Minnesota pitcher, picked up the victory, allowing one run on two hits over 2 2/3 innings. Sergio Romo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to garner his second save. Aaron Civale (1-1) took the loss despite tying his career-high with nine strikeouts. Civale allowed three runs on five hits in six innings and didn’t walk a batter.
Rockies 9, Padres 6
Daniel Murphy homered among his four hits, Matt Kemp and Ryan McMahon also went deep, and Colorado beat San Diego in Denver.
Charlie Blackmon had two hits, Antonio Senzatela (2-0) tossed six strong innings and Jairo Diaz got his first save for Colorado.
Manny Machado, Tommy Pham and Wil Myers had two hits each for San Diego, while right-hander Zach Davies (1-1) was tagged for three runs on four hits in his second start for the organization.
Braves 4, Mets 0
Tyler Matzek earned his first major league victory since 2015 as five Atlanta pitchers combined to shut out visiting New York, which failed to score a run while getting at least 10 hits for the first time since 1987.
Matzek (1-0) was out of baseball in 2017 and pitched in an independent league in 2018 before joining the Atlanta minor-league system last year. He last pitched in the majors in 2015 with the Colorado Rockies. The sturdy left-hander struck out four in two innings in relief of starter Kyle Wright for the Braves, who have won five in a row.
New York played without outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who failed to show up for the game then later informed the club he is opting out for the remainder of the season.
Cubs 2, Pirates 1 (11 inn.)
Javier Baez ripped a game-winning single up the middle of the infield to give Chicago an extra-innings win and a three-game sweep of visiting Pittsburgh.
The walk-off hit led to a timely celebration for the Cubs, who surrounded Baez from a distance and offered mock high-fives from several feet apart. Among those celebrating was reliever Jeremy Jeffress (1-0), who earned his first victory with his new team after pitching a scoreless top of the inning.
Pirates reliever Cody Ponce (0-1) drew the loss in his big-league debut. The game was delayed by rain in the middle of the ninth. The delay lasted one hour before play resumed.
Athletics 3, Mariners 2
Ramon Laureano hit a three-run homer to back a strong start from right-hander Chris Bassitt as Oakland won for the second straight day in Seattle.
Bassitt (1-0) allowed one run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven. Right-hander Liam Hendriks struck out the side in the ninth for his third save of the season.
Seattle’s Kyle Lewis hit a solo homer, extending his season-opening hitting streak to 10 games. Mariners right-hander Erik Swanson, making his season debut, came out to warm up in the ninth inning with a white-colored mitt. Umpires ruled it was illegal, potentially making it difficult for batters to pick up the ball out of Swanson’s hand, and he was forced to switch gloves, instead using a black one.
Rangers 9, Giants 5
Joey Gallo capped a four-run seventh inning with a three-run home run, allowing Texas to salvage one of three games against host San Francisco.
Shin-Soo Choo also homered for the Rangers. Evan Longoria and Chadwick Tromp homered for the Giants.
After blowing a 5-1 lead, the Rangers regrouped against the San Francisco bullpen after right-hander Andrew Triggs (0-1), who was added to the 30-man active roster earlier in the day, walked the first three Texas hitters in the seventh. Willie Calhoun greeted Tyler Anderson with a go-ahead sacrifice fly, after which Gallo bombed a 422-foot shot to right-center field for a three-run homer that increased the lead to 9-5.
White Sox 9, Royals 2
Rookie Nick Madrigal scored the first run of the seventh inning and drove in the seventh of the frame, as Chicago completed a three-game sweep of host Kansas City.
Jose Abreu singled to score Madrigal with the go-ahead run to start the big rally, and Madrigal drove in Danny Mendick to finish it as the White Sox won their fourth consecutive game.
Dylan Cease (1-1) picked up the win after allowing two runs and five hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked one. Royals reliever Scott Barlow (1-1) was charged with the first two runs of the seventh while Greg Holland gave up four runs (two earned) and three hits in two-thirds of an inning.
–Field Level Media