Dodgers open new season with a bang
Joc Pederson belted the first grand slam of the new Major League Baseball season on Monday as the Los Angeles Dodgers launched their campaign with a 14-3 rout of the San Diego Padres.
Pederson drove in a career-high five runs and former Padre Yasmani Grandal homered twice, once from each side of the plate for the Dodgers, who also got a homer from Corey Seager.
“This was super fun,” said Grandal, who went 2-for-5 in his first opening day start. “To be able to do it here at Dodger Stadium makes it that much more special.”
The four Opening Day home runs are a Dodgers club record.
Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs — one earned — and two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in seven innings.
He improved to 5-0 in seven straight Opening Day starts.
“I think it was a great game. We scored a lot of runs, we had Kershaw going, he did his thing and we got ahead early and we didn’t take our foot off the gas pedal,” Pederson said. “We’ve been working extremely hard this whole spring training, so to come off and hit the road running like that is a great feeling.”
The game was one of a dozen that continued the Opening Day festivities that began on Sunday with three games.
But there was no presidential first pitch for 2017 as US President Donald Trump reportedly declined an invitation to make the ceremonial toss at the Washington Nationals’ home game against the Miami Marlins.
Trump, who played youth baseball, met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday.
Trump’s presence was felt, however, as protesters unfurled a massive “Impeach Trump” banner at the stadium after the Nationals rallied for a dramatic 4-2 triumph over the Marlins.
Adam Lind, making his Nationals debut after playing last season for the Seattle Mariners, hit a two-run pinch-hit home run with two outs in the seventh inning to lift the Nationals.
Bryce Harper also homered and Daniel Murphy added a run-batted-in single for the Nats, who are 4-0 when hurler Stephen Strasburg starts Opening Day.
Strasburg allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings before Lind pinch-hit for him.
He got the Opening Day start because Cy Young Award-winner Max Scherzer was dealing with a broken finger from Spring Training. Scherzer is scheduled to start on Friday against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Trumbo homer lifts Orioles
In Baltimore, Mark Trumbo hit a solo home run off Jason Grilli with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Orioles to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Designated hitter Trumbo crushed a 1-2 pitch into the left-field seats for the sixth walkoff homer of his career.
Trumbo, who led the major leagues with 47 homers last year, was re-signed by the Orioles in the off-season.
The Cleveland Indians — out to return to the World Series after falling to the Chicago Cubs in seven games in baseball’s championship showcase last year — erased a four-run deficit to beat the Texas Rangers 8-5.
Cleveland withstood a two-homer night from Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor. After building a 5-1 lead through three innings, the Rangers wouldn’t score again.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish struggled with his command, walking five and surrendering four runs in 6 1/3 innings.
The Indians had leveled the score at 5-5 after eight innings, then pummeled Rangers closer Sam Dyson for three runs in the ninth.