Games to watch today (15 scheduled)
St. Louis (Garcia, 1-0) at San Francisco (Cain, 1-0) 10:05 p.m.
Both the Cardinals and the Giants have stumbled out of the gate, but both teams’ scheduled starters Saturday dominated in their first outings of the season. St. Louis left-hander Jaime Garcia tossed a four-hit shutout Sunday against San Diego, striking out nine Padres and needing only 102 pitches to go the distance. San Francisco right-hander Matt Cain pitched six shutout innings to beat the Dodgers on Saturday, and including the postseason Cain hasn’t allowed an earned run in six of his last eight starts dating back to last season.
Colorado (Reynolds, 0-0) at Pittsburgh (Morton, 1-0) 7:05 p.m.
This game between teams you wouldn’t normally think about watching features an intriguing matchup of young pitchers. Rockies starter Greg Reynolds was the second overall pick of the 2006 draft out of Stanford, but he has an 8.13 ERA in 14 career appearances (13 starts) for Colorado. Reynolds was called up Wednesday when the Rockies placed Ubaldo Jimenez on the disabled list, and he will make his first major league appearance since 2008. Pirates starter Charlie Morton compiled a 7.57 ERA in 17 starts last season, but he held the Cardinals to one run on three hits over 6.0 innings in his first start of the year Monday.
Oakland (Gonzalez, 1-0) at Minnesota (Blackburn, 1-0) 7:10 p.m.
Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez has gotten better in each of his three major league seasons, and in the first start of his fourth big league season on Sunday he held the Mariners to just one run over 7.0 innings. Gonzalez is perhaps the least-known of the A’s unheralded young starters who make up a deceptively strong rotation. Twins starter Nick Blackburn is 0-4 with a 6.64 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland, but he allowed just one earned run over 5.2 innings his first time out this year against Toronto.
Games you should have seen
Aaron Rowand hit a bases-loaded single off the leftfield wall in the bottom of the 12th inning to lead the Giants past the Cardinals. Giants closer Brian Wilson blew his first save opportunity of the season when he allowed a two-out, two-run single to Ryan Theriot that gave the Cardinals a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning. Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI single with two out in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings.
Marlins catcher Brett Hayes caught Jason Bourgeois trying to steal second base for the final out of the game and the Marlins held on to beat the Astros. Ricky Nolasco allowed two runs over 8.0 innings to earn his first win of the season for Florida. Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez left the game with a bruised left leg after Astros infielder Bill Hall tried to break up a double play in the seventh inning.
Denard Span and Joe Mauer hit back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Twins squeaked past the A’s. Twins starter Carl Pavano rebounded from a shaky first start to give up only one run on four hits in 8.0 innings pitched. Oakland starter Brett Anderson allowed two runs on eight hits in 8.0 innings pitched, and was one out away from getting through the eighth inning unscathed.
Stat you should know
Rays outfielder Manny Ramirez announced his retirement Friday after 19 seasons. Ramirez finished his career with a .312 batting average and 555 home runs, the 14th-most all time. Of the 13 players with more career home runs than Ramirez, only Babe Ruth had a higher career batting average (714 home runs, .342 BA).
Star of the night
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones collected his 2,500th career hit with a single in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Phillies. Jones went 2 for 4 with three RBI and Atlanta beat Philadelphia 6-3.
“I was pretty calm until I got through the door and then the place started shaking.” -Twins closer Joe Nathan on how he felt taking the mound Friday before recording his first save at Target Field since 2009.