Nocturnal Omissions: AL
No rain-outs, no snow-outs, so let's get to it, starting with a feature that I'll probably trot out as I see fit: the Quote of the Night. We'll see if I can find enough material, of course managers like Ozzie Guillen and Jim Leyland could keep me rolling. Case in point...
AL Quote of the Night
"I don't drink beer, particularly not during the game."
-- Tigers Manager Jim Leyland on how Toronto's alcohol ban affected him. He might have sung a different tune had the ban included Marlboro Reds.
Jim Thome's three-run homer in the eighth inning off of Kyle Farnsworth was the difference in the delayed Opening Day for both teams. Chicago starting pitcher Mark Buehrle labored through five innings, nearly reaching 100 pitches in that time. Royals ace Gil Meche was much more effective in his debut, striking out six while allowing just one run in seven strong innings but ended up with the same result as Buehrle: a no decision. Being in Chicago, winds blew through the stadium at 20 mph but the lack of precipitation made Tuesday much more bearable for baseball than Monday.
Boston prevails in a rematch of last year's ALCS. Dustin Pedroia may not be able to hit the high and inside fastball, but the reigning AL MVP liked what he saw early, blasting the second pitch he saw of the season over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox an early lead they would not relinquish. Josh Beckett overpowered the Rays in a makeup of Monday's rainout, striking out 10 in seven innings of work while fitting Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena for a Golden Sombrero.
Edwin Jackson, who has spent the better part of his major league career not living up to expectations, pitched very well in his Tigers debut but was undercut by his bullpen. In his first appearance since coming to Detroit from Arizona, Tigers closer Brandon Lyon got roughed up, yielding three runs and two walks in one inning of work as the Blue Jays rallied to win. Perhaps more important than the game was the fact that Toronto fans were not allowed to enjoy their Labatts and Molsons. Alcohol was banned from Tuesday's game, one day after unruly fan behavior put a brief halt to Monday's game.
Minnesota took advantage of a Brandon Morrow meltdown to steal a win from Seattle. Staked to a three-run lead, Morrow, the Mariners' closer, got out the first two batters he faced then walked the bases loaded which led to him being told to walk back to the dugout. Coming in relief of the reliever was Miguel Batista who gave up two hits that brought in Morrow's mistakes. The late-inning drama overshadowed a strong pitching performance by Seattle's Erik Bedard. Bedard missed time last year with hip, back and shoulder ailments and was shelved briefly this spring with a sore butt but looked strong Tuesday, tallying eight strikeouts despite going only five innings.
Oakland's bats woke up Tuesday against the Angels, as the A's amassed 16 hits in their first win of the season. Ryan Sweeney, Jason Giambi and Jack Cust each had three hits. Oakland needed the firepower to help out Trevor Cahill who struggled in his major league debut, as the 21-year-old needed 103 pitches to make it through five innings but still failed to factor into the decision. Matt Holiday sat out Tuesday's game due to illness, which made Nomar Garciaparra the team's clean-up hitter.
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