Rendon homers in season debut, Angels rout Mariners 10-2
ANAHEIM (AP) — Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer and reached base three times in his Angels debut, and Albert Pujols added his 657th career homer in Los Angeles’ 10-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Rendon’s homer to left field in the eighth inning brought home Mike Trout and capped an encouraging home opener for the Angels, who got their second win after losing three of four in Oakland to start the shortened season.
“Whenever you have a game like we just had where the offense is clicking, everyone says that hitting is contagious, and it really is,” Rendon said. “Once you get that one guy going … it just had that tumbleweed effect tonight.”
The Angels’ new $245 million third baseman went 1 for 3 with two walks, two runs and an error. He sat out the Halos’ season-opening series with an oblique muscle injury, but was ready in Anaheim for his first game since leaving Washington for the West Coast.
“It felt good to be out there and actually be a contributor for the team,” Rendon said. “It felt good to get that first one out of the way.”
Max Stassi hit a three-run homer, Shohei Ohtani had a long RBI double and Justin Upton drove in two runs as the Halos won their home opener for only the second time in eight years. The Angels scored 11 runs over four games at the Coliseum, but nearly matched that total in one night at the Big A.
“It’s kind of a tough way to start it on the road with all the day games in Oakland, so it’s nice to get into your own bed,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “In spite of no fans, our guys really played that game as though the place is packed, and I love that. It was nice to put up those runs tonight.”
Pujols’ solo homer to left in the fifth — his first since turning 40 last winter — pulled him within three of Willie Mays (660) for fifth place in baseball history.
Tim Lopes went deep for the Mariners, who lost three of four in Houston to start the season. Lopes went to high school 15 miles from Angel Stadium in Huntington Beach.
Justus Sheffield (0-1) didn’t get an out in the fourth inning of his eighth career start for the Mariners, yielding four hits and four runs.
“Certainly the common theme for us here with our starters is running into that one inning where the pitch count’s getting up there, and tonight was no different,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He was able to get through the third inning and trying to get back out there for the fourth, and he just wasn’t able to get much going there, either. Rough night there.”
Patrick Sandoval pitched four-hit ball into the fifth for the Angels, but the Orange County native couldn’t stick around long enough for his first career victory.
Ryan Buchter (1-0) worked a perfect sixth inning to earn his first win with Los Angeles.
Benches clear as Dodgers beat Astros 5-2
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros are trying to put their sign-stealing scandal behind them.
It seems as if the Los Angeles Dodgers have their own thoughts on the matter.
Benches cleared Tuesday night during the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory over the Astros in the first game between the teams since it was revealed that Houston stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series championship that came at Los Angeles’ expense.
The fracas occurred after Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly threw high-and-tight pitches to Astros stars Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the sixth inning.
“Balls get away sometimes but not that many in the big leagues,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “When you throw a 3-0 fastball over a guy’s head you’re flirting with ending his career.”
The Dodgers had a 5-2 lead after a five-run fifth when Kelly, who was with Boston in 2017 and also faced Houston that postseason, threw behind Bregman for ball four. Bregman grimaced after jumping to avoid being hit, then trotted to first base.
There were two outs in the inning when Kelly threw an errant breaking ball over Correa’s head. Correa, who homered and finished with three hits, took off his batting helmet and stared Kelly down before continuing the at-bat.
Kelly struck out Correa, then stuck out his tongue and made a face in his direction. Correa started walking toward him and the players exchanged words, prompting the benches to clear in the first such incident of this pandemic-delayed season. There was plenty of yelling and crowding — outlawed as MLB tries to play a 60-game season amid the pandemic — but there was no pushing or punches thrown.
Baker said things really got out of hand because of something he said Kelly told Correa after the strikeout.
“What really enraged everybody … is when he told him: ‘Nice swing (expletive),'” Baker said. “What are you supposed to do then?”
Baker was asked if the Astros said anything to provoke Kelly.
“We didn’t say anything,” he said. “We don’t start nothing. But we don’t take nothing either.”
Tatis Jr., Myers hit home runs as Padres beat Giants 5-3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a three-run homer in the third, Wil Myers added a two-run drive an inning later, and the San Diego Padres spoiled San Francisco’s home opener by beating the Giants 5-3 on Tuesday night.
The Giants moved in the outfield walls this season. It might not have mattered for the San Diego sluggers.
“I think Wil’s was gone in a hurricane. Let’s give him the credit. He crushed that one,” Giants starter Jeff Samardzija said.
Zach Davies (1-0) struck out five over five innings to win his Padres debut, allowing five hits and three runs — two earned — as San Diego won for the fourth time in five games this season. The right-hander came over in a trade with Milwaukee last November.
Drew Pomeranz, the Padres’ fourth reliever, finished for his first save.
Manager Jayce Tingler said the Padres decided to give closer Kirby Yates the night off after he made consecutive appearances Saturday and Sunday, first in a non-save situation and then in a tie game in which he took the loss against Arizona. Yates led the majors with 41 saves last season.
“We thought it would be nice to give him the extra day. We’ve got the luxury with some guys in the back end able to do it. It was a nice luxury to have,” Tingler said.
Wilmer Flores hit an RBI single in the first and Tyler Heineman singled home one of San Francisco’s two runs in the sixth. That wasn’t enough support for Samardzija (0-1), done after giving up five runs in four innings.
“We saw our bullpen come out with quite a bit of intensity and dating back to the Dodgers series it was really impressive performances,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “There’s no question that we have to play better baseball to win a game like tonight.”