Opening Day Part 2 was a tough day to be an ace. In Cleveland, Indians ace Fausto Carmona lasted into the fourth inning, while allowing ten runs on 11 hits. Carmona was not falling behind hitters; the hitters were just peppering the field with his pitches. Chicago White Sox ace Mark Buehrle was cruising along until the sixth inning, when the Indians scored four runs on six hits. The Indians got back into the game, but lost 15-10.
In Chicago, Cubs ace Ryan Dempster held a 2-0 lead until Neil Walker of the Pittsburgh Pirates blasted a grand slam to give the Pirates a 4-2 lead (the Pirates won the game 6-3). Andrew McCutchen would hit a two-run homerun off Dempster in the seventh inning. Dempster threw 114 pitches in his first start of the season.
Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester struggled in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. He allowed five runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. He was victimized by the homerun ball, as Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, and Mike Napoli accounted for all of the Rangers runs against Lester. Lester also did not record a strikeout. The Rangers, behind ace CJ Wilson, won 9-5.
Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez allowed two homeruns on Opening Day, a three-run homerun to Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks and a two-run homerun to Miguel Montero. Jimenez allowed six runs (five earned) over six innings. He struck out just one batter. The Diamondbacks won the game 7-6 in extra innings.
Up in Toronto, the Blue Jays got to Minnesota Twins ace Carl Pavano early and often. The Blue Jays scored four runs in the first inning, two more in the fourth, and four more in the fifth against Pavano (and reliever Jeff Manship). Pavano allowed eight runs on six hits and two walks over four innings. Blue Jays catcher JP Arencibia hit two homeruns, while Jose Bautista and Adam Lind went back-to-back in the fifth inning. Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero fared much better, as he allowed three runs (just one earned) in 6.1 innings while striking out seven.
In Tampa, Rays ace David Price struggled against the visiting Baltimore Orioles. Price allowed four runs on five hits and a walk through seven innings (he threw 103 pitches). Price was outshined by Orioles ace Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched eight shutout innings while allowing just three hits (and only throwing 94 pitches). The bad news for the Orioles was that young lefty Brian Matusz is headed to the DL with back pain and will not make his scheduled Saturday start. Chris Tillman will move up to start Saturday and top prospect Zach Britton will make his Major League debut on Sunday.
While Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins flirted with a no-hitter, NY Mets ace Mike Pelfrey was struggling. He allowed a grand slam to John Buck in the fourth inning. Pelfrey lasted just 4.1 innings while allowing five runs on four hits and four walks. He threw 97 pitches in his Opening Day outing. The Marlins won the game 6-2. The bad news for the Marlins was that right fielder Mike Stanton left the game with a tight hamstring and he missed most of spring training with a strained right quadriceps.
Out in Oakland, reigning CY Young award winner Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners struggled at the beginning of the game, allowing two runs in the first inning on a Josh Willingham two-run homerun. He settled in to pitch a complete game, allowing just those two runs on five hits, while striking out five (he did not walk a batter while throwing 108 pitches). Trevor Cahill of the A’s, however, struggled with his command and threw 105 pitches in just 4.1 innings. He walked four though he allowed just one run on four hits. The Mariners won the game 6-2.