Yeah, we're heading into the first weekend of the season. But Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is playing some white hot baseball right now. Yesterday, he homered in his fourth straight game to start the year, a grand slam in the eighth inning that put Baltimore ahead 9-5. Through four games, Davis has 16 RBI to go along with those four homers, and is hitting .600/.611/1.600. That's just wonky. And in case you think he's striking out a ton, which has been a major demerit against him in the past, Davis has struck out just once this season. He's not going to keep up this torrid pace, but it's pretty fun to watch.
PIC OF THE DAY
Mike Schmidt and George Brett watch batting practice prior to throwing out the first pitch before the Royals-Phillies game Friday in Philadelphia (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports).
Game of the Night: Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 4. John Farrell's return to Toronto resulted in a win for his Red Sox, though it didn't come easily. Boston led 4-1 after their half of the fifth, but Toronto cut the lead to 4-3 in their half of the inning after a solo homer by Mark Derosa and an RBI double by Jose Reyes (though Reyes was thrown out at third on the play). In the seventh, the Jays tied it after Reyes hit a solo homer, his first of the year. But the Red Sox pulled ahead late, taking the lead in the eighth after an RBI groundout from Mike Napoli and getting some breathing room in the ninth after a Will Middlebrooks solo homer. Joel Hanrahan preserved the win in the ninth to pick up his second save as a member of the Red Sox.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Zack Greinke, welcome to Los Angeles. The Dodgers' big free agent threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings in LA's 3-0 win over the Pirates, allowing two hits while striking out six without a walk. Matt Moore shut down the Indians in Tampa Bay's 4-0 win, throwing six shutout frames and giving up two hits, two walks, and striking out eight. Barry Zito shut down the Cardinals in the Giants 1-0 win, throwing seven shutout innings and giving up just three hits, three walks, and tallying four strikeouts. I'd like to give a special nod to Dan Straily of the A's, who led Oakland to an 8-3 win over Houston. Straily allowed two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 and struck out 11 hitters without a walk, but perhaps more amazing was the 25 whiffs Straily induced on 102 pitches. That's simply amazing.
Hitting Lines of the Night: The Reds pounded the Nationals 15-0, and the left side of their infield was a huge reason why. Todd Frazier went 4/5 with three runs, four RBI, two homers, and a stolen base, while Zack Cozart went 2/5 with five RBI and two homers. Yikes. In Detroit's 8-3 win over the Yankees, Prince Fielder went 2/4 with two RBI and five homers. Jose Reyes was awesome in Toronto's loss to Boston, going 4/5 with two RBI, two doubles, and a homer. Coco Crisp did a great job for the A's to give Straily some run support, going 3/5 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, two doubles, and a homer. Franklin Gutierrez led the Mariners to an 8-7, ten inning win over the White Sox, going 3/5 with three runs, three RBI, a double, and a homer. Eric Hosmer torched the Phillies in the Royals' 13-4 win, going 4/5 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and a double.
Other Games: Mike Minor and the Braves shut down the Cubs 4-1. The Rangers beat the Angels 3-2, but the real stories were Josh Hamilton's return to Arlington and a frisky fan in the crowd. The Rockies beat the Padres 5-2 as the San Diego offense continues to struggle. The Marlins beat the Mets 7-5 thanks to a series of miscues in the seventh by New York. Kyle Lohse was solid in his Brewers debut, but the Diamondbacks prevailed 3-1 thanks to two runs scoring on a seventh inning Michael Gonzalez wild pitch.
What You Missed: Brian Roberts will be out three to four weeks for the Orioles after rupturing a ligament in his leg. Cirque du Soleil threw out the first pitch at Citi Field on Thursday, and it was…weird.
Today's Games: John Lackey makes his first start for the Red Sox in a year and a half in Toronto. Felix Hernandez makes start numero dos this year, against the White Sox. Braves Rookie of the Year contender Julio Teheran will start against the Cubs. Phil Hughes is ready to roll for the Yankees, and will take on Max Scherzer of the Tigers. Ricky Nolasco and Jon Niese will battle in New York. Another Rookie of the Year contender, Shelby Miller of the Cardinals, makes his season debut against Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants. Chris Tillman looks to build on a solid end to his 2012 for the Orioles against Vance Worley and the Twins. Matt Harrison makes his second start of the year, against Tommy Hanson in his first start for the Angels. Bartolo Colon returns from a PED suspension for the A's to take on Bud Norris and the Astros. Trevor Bauer makes his Indians debut against Alex Cobb and the Rays. AJ Burnett and Clayton Kershaw will duel in Los Angeles.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.