Baltimore Orioles fans have been looking forward to the 2010 season because of the hopes that management put into them. They have good young talent in the pitching staff, the outfield, and behind home plate. The Orioles added veterans at the corner infield spots, to anchor the starting rotation, and a closer. Opening Night for the Orioles came a day later than everyone else in Tampa. Kevin Millwood, the veteran signed to anchor the rotation and who struggled throughout spring training, allowed just two runs in his five innings of work. He left with a 3-2 lead courtesy of three Orioles homeruns (Adam Jones, Luke Scott, and Matt Wieters). However the veteran brought in to close out games, Mike Gonzalez, gave up a walk-off two-run single to the Rays Carl Crawford to lose the game 4-3. Prior to Crawford’s game-winning hit, Gonzalez gave up a hit to Sean Rodriguez and a double to pinch-hitter Kelly Shoppach before intentionally walking Jason Bartlett to lead to the heroics. Gonzalez said he was “disgusted” by his outing, but complimented the Rays by saying, “They grinded.”
The NY Yankees, despite a subpar performance from AJ Burnett, held on to beat the Boston Red Sox 6-4 in Game Two of their opening series. Reliever Alfredo Aceves picked up where he left off in 2009 (he won 10 games out of the bullpen) and picked up his first win of the 2010 season.
In LA, the Angels set the Guinness Book of World Records of most people wearing a fleece (or snuggie as they are now called) for five minutes. The Angels gave out Hideki Matsui snuggies to all fans and even TV and radio guys like the Angels’ Victor Rojas and the Minnesota Twins’ Bert Blyleven were wearing them. However the Angels could not convert the fans’ energy into a win. Starter Joe Saunders gave up homeruns to Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and JJ Hardy. Newly named Twins closer Jon Rauch worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record his first save. He struck out two while throwing 11 of his 16 pitches for strikes.
In Oakland, A’s second baseman Mark Ellis delivered a walk-off two out RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning off of Seattle Mariners rookie reliever Kanekoa Texeira, who was making his Major League debut. The A’s won the game 2-1 as Dallas Braden provided a solid starting pitching performance. He went seven innings of four hit baseball. He also struck out ten, using a great changeup. The A’s bullpen also pitched solid with new reliever Edwar Ramirez earning the win with a perfect tenth inning. For the Mariners, Ian Snell gave up just one run (a homerun by catcher Kurt Suzuki) on three hits through six innings.
In Houston, the SF Giants pitching continued its dominance over the Astros hitters. In the first game, it was Tim Lincecum. Last night it was Barry Zito (and the bullpen). Zito pitched six shutout innings while allowing just three hits and he struck out five. The Giants offense put up three runs in the sixth inning off of Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez to win 3-0. Closer Brian Wilson picked up his second save in as many chances, while throwing just 13 pitches.