A wild day of action saw the slugging Mariners make history while moving to an MLB-best 13-2, the Cardinals get a four-game sweep against the Dodgers (who were previously 8-2), the Red Sox stare down the barrel of a 3-10 start and a Mets rookie continues to pay dividends after the club decided to not suppress his service time.
Also, there were some clutch starts from expected contenders that needed them and the Davis boys in Baltimore had decidedly different days. That and so much more coming up in our daily roundup. Get some.
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Baseball schedule/scores for Thursday, April 11
Red Sox claw back to avoid 10th loss
The 3-9 start was embarrassing enough from the defending champs, but they saw ace Chris Sale get tattooed by a hapless Blue Jays offense in their home opener, before which they received their rings.
Things were almost a new level of embarrassing on Thursday. The Blue Jays entered the game ranking 14th in the AL in runs, 12th in home runs, 14th in average, 15th in on-base percentage and 13th in slugging.
Through 2 1/2 innings, the Red Sox were losing 5-0 and facing the very real possibility of falling to 3-10. Going back to the day before the season started and looking at the schedule to this point that included the Mariners, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays, this would have been unheard of. Yet here they were.
The Red Sox battled back for three in the third and tied it in the seventh, only to see Freddy Galvis homer and put the Jays up again in the eighth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Mitch Moreland — who has been one of the few bright spots to this point — came through again to tie it with an RBI double. It should be noted Moreland also tied it back in the seventh with a homer. He’s been all kinds of clutch.
Anyway, Rafael Devers walked it off and the Red Sox can breathe easy, temporarily.
The big takeaway here is that while the Red Sox still haven’t won a series, they split this one. It’s the first series this season they didn’t lose. They now have the 11-game West coast trip firmly in the rearview along with the home opener and ring ceremony and head to a weekend series after a win that had to make them excited. Now it’s the Orioles coming to town for a four-gamer. A good bet here would be the Red Sox taking at least three.
Cardinals sweep Dodgers in four
Heading into the week, the Dodgers had the best record in the NL at 8-2 while the Cardinals were under .500 at 4-5. Fast-forward to Thursday night and the Cardinals have a better record now. Early season baseball, guys. It’s why we shouldn’t overreact. Let the season breathe a little bit. For now, the Dodgers could sure stand to see their starters get a bit deeper into games. For more on that,.
Pete Alonso continues to lead Mets’ offense
Remember that whole suppression of service time thing? The Mets, along with the Padres and Fernando Tatis Jr., decided against it with Pete Alonso.
After going 2 for 4 with a homer and two RBI in a win over the Braves Thursday, Alonso is now hitting .378/.451/.911 with six homers and 17 RBI while the Mets are 8-4. Check out this prodigious shot to dead center in SunTrust Park:
That is some serious, natural power. What a beautiful cut.
Also, get this: Friday will be the day that the Mets could have called up Alonso and still had an extra year of team control over him. Instead, they elected to go all out for wins from the get-go and it could be argued he’s already helped them win multiple games they wouldn’t have won without him while they sit in first place. That’s pretty fun, huh?
Bieber steps up for Tribe
Quintana steps up for Cubs
Cubs starters this season came into Thursday night with a 6.52 ERA and 1.86 WHIP. Yes, I know. Horrifying. The bullpen wasn’t much better, either. Sure, there were games — such as Wednesday night — when the offense could’ve mustered some more runs, but the bulk of the blame for the 3-8 record fell on the leaky shoulders of the Cubs’ pitching staff.
Facing the possibility of losing their fourth straight series to start the year and falling to 3-9, the Cubs rode Quintana on Thursday. He was in control from the get-go. In seven scoreless innings, Quintana allowed just four hits (all singles) and a walk while striking out 11.
With Jon Lester (1-0, 2.57 ERA in 14 IP) on the IL, the Cubs sure could use the rest of the rotation to step up in his absence. Quintana took the lead Thursday. Perhaps now someone from the Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish group follow suit. The Cubs host the Angels for a three-game series this coming weekend. The Angels bring in a six-game winning streak but a balky groin on superstar Mike Trout.
- Per Jon Heyman, the Nationals‘ potential minor-league deal with RHP Bud Norris is now off the table. According to Heyman, the Nationals want a bullpen arm who can help out sooner than Norris would be able to.
- Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) will make his 2019 debut on Monday at home against the Reds.
- The Braves have signed 2B Ozzie Albies to a seven-year contract extension that can be described only as .
- The Phillies have .
- Blue Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the top prospect in baseball, is in the lineup Thursday night for Triple-A Buffalo. He had been sidelined with an oblique injury, which he suffered in spring training.
- In the A’s win over the Orioles, Oakland’s Khris Davis had a two-homer game for the second straight day. He’s now got nine for the season. The other Chris Davis, meantime, extended his record hitless streak to 61 straight plate appearances. As for the first Davis:
- The Cardinals win over the Dodgers on Thursday means the Dodgers have suffered a four-game sweep in St. Louis for the first time since 2010. Starters Walker Buehler and Michael Wacha combined to allow 12 runs in 7 2/3 innings.