Games to watch today (10 scheduled)

New York Mets (Niese, 0-0) at Philadelphia (Halladay, 0-0), 3:05 p.m.

Defending NL Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay continued his dominance in his first start of 2011. He gave up only one run and five hits in six innings, striking out six and walking none against the Astros. The Phillies (4-1) won 5-4, but Halladay didn’t get the decision. Mets starter Jon Niese also pitched well enough to win in his opening start. He gave up two early runs, but settled down and allowed only four hits in seven innings in a game the Mets (3-2) eventually won, 6-4, over the Marlins.

Boston (Lester, 0-1) at Cleveland (Carmona, 0-1), 12:05 p.m.

The Red Sox (0-5) were picked by many as the favorites to win it all this season after landing Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez in the offseason. But they are in danger of being swept in their first two series of the season if they lose in Cleveland (3-2) today. Boston pitchers have an 8.33 ERA and have given up 14 home runs in five games. Jon Lester was roughed up in Boston’s opener, surrendering three home runs and five runs in 5 1 / 3 innings of work in 9-5 loss to the Rangers. Cleveland’s starter, Fausto Carmona was hit even harder in his first start, giving up 10 runs on 11 hits in just three innings of a 15-10 loss to the White Sox.

Hagerstown at Rome, 7 p.m.

The minor leagues open Thursday and much-hyped No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper plays his first game as a professional. At this point, though, his first official at-bat is really a mere formality after he slugged his way through the Arizona Fall League (.343/.410/.629 in 35 at-bats) and spring training (.389 in 18 at-bats). The game will be broadcast on MiLB Gameday Audio.

Games you should have seen

White Sox 10, Royals 7, 12 innings

The Royals (4-2) had won four straight games in their final at-bat, but this time were the victims of the late rally. The White Sox (3-2) trailed 6-3 with two outs and the bases empty in the ninth inning but managed to tie the game and eventually win it in the 12th when Brent Morel hit a two-run single off Sean O’Sullivan for the go-ahead runs.

Milwaukee 5, Atlanta 4

Prince Fielder drove in his first three runs this season and scored two more to lead Milwaukee (2-4) over Atlanta (3-3). Fielder had been hitless in 11 at-bats when he singled in two runs with the bases loaded in the first against Mike Minor.

Rangers 7, Mariners 3

Mitch Moreland delivered the tiebreaking double for the undefeated Rangers (6-0) off Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez. Moreland put the Rangers ahead to stay with his RBI double into the right-field corner in the seventh. He then started the next inning with an incredible snag of Adrian Beltre’s bounced throw in the Rangers’ 7-3 win over the Mariners (2-4). The Rangers are the first team since 2003 to win at least six consecutive games to open a season. That year, the Kansas City Royals started 9-0 and the San Francisco Giants were 7-0.

Stat you should know

Detroit’s Justin Verlander is 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA in eight career starts against Baltimore, including 4-0 at Camden Yards, after Wednesday’s 7-3 win.

Star of the night

San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum struck out 13 and walked none in seven innings in an 8-4 win over San Diego.


“It’s disappointing, but it’s for my own good. It’s good for the team, too. — Ubaldo Jimenez, the 27-year-old Rockies right-hander who was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career. The team was worried the cracked cuticle on his right thumb would alter his pitching mechanics