The AL Wrap Up, or as We'll Call It...
This will be our morning, league-specific roundup for the previous night's games, you know, the stuff you forget about or miss out on while you were sleeping.
Now that the introduction's out of the way, let's revel in the glory of yesterday's Opening Day American League slate.
Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox - PPD, rain
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox - PPD, snow
Both games will be made up today. Seems like the weekend weather was decent in both locales but when it came time for baseball, Mother Nature stepped in.
Expect to see plenty of "PPD, snow" starting next year when Minnesota opens its new outdoor stadium that does not feature a retractable roof.
In his first start since winning last year's Cy Young, Cleveland's Cliff Lee is decimated by Texas' potent offense, giving up seven runs in five innings. Meanwhile Kevin Millwood, in his fourth straight Opening Day start for Texas, gave up one run over seven innings to earn the victory. Every member of the Rangers' lineup got a hit except for first baseman Chris Davis. He will be mocked. Travis Hafner accounted for the Indians' only run, scoring on a wild pitch in the seventh inning.
New York's $161 million ace CC Sabathia was out-dueled by Baltimore's $650,000 man Jeremy Guthrie. Sabathia struggled with command all day and failed to make it through the fifth. The Orioles nearly squandered a 6-1 lead before coming up with a four-run eighth inning that featured a Cesar Izturis home run that reminded many of the Jeffrey Maier-aided homer from the 1996 playoffs. Baltimore-area product Mark Teixeira returned to Camden Yards for the first time since spurning the Orioles (and several other teams) to sign with the Yankees this offseason and was pelted with boos all afternoon.
Justin Verlander picked up where he left off last season. This was not good news for the Tigers. Verlander got battered for eight runs before getting yanked in the fourth inning. Adam Lind was largely responsible for Verlander's rough outing, going 4 for 5 while driving in half of the Blue Jays' runs. Toronto outfielder Travis Snider also got an early jump on what many think could be a Rookie of the Year campaign by blasting a solo shot in the fourth inning. Roy Halladay wasn't his typical dominating self but his seven-inning, five-run performance was good enough to get the win.
Ken Griffey Jr. turned back the clock, hitting his record-tying eighth Opening Day home run as his return to the Mariners got off to a good start in Minnesota. Felix Hernandez collected the win, striking out five over eight solid innings while allowing only one extra-base hit. Despite catching the loss, Francisco Liriano had a decent outing, giving up no walks while allowing just four hits, unfortunately for Liriano and the Twins, all four scored.
Springfield, Va.'s own Joe Saunders is out to prove last year was not a fluke as Saunders, pressed in to Opening Day duty because of an injured John Lackey, pitched a scoreless 6 2/3 innings for the win. Saunders and the Angels' bullpen handcuffed an A's lineup that is supposed to be infused with power, allowing just three hits. Oakland's biggest acquisition, Matt Holiday, was responsible for one of the hits, registering a single in the second inning.
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