Blowouts reigned supreme in Major League Baseball Sunday, with just four of 14 games—the Royals and Tigers game got postponed—decided by two runs or less. The first full week of the season is in the books and teams are beginning to show their true colors.
Marlins 11, Phillies 3
The biggest number of the day came courtesy of the Miami Marlins. The Fish struggled on offense on their opening road trip, producing just 14 runs in their first five games. Something must have been in the water once they got home because Miami broke out in a big way against Philadelphia.
Sunday was especially impressive as they put up seven runs in just four innings on Zach Wheeler. They got started in the second, notching two triples in the same inning.
Marlins starter Elieser Hernandez pitched six innings for the first time since 2019 and allowed just one run, a home run by Bryce Harper. The Marlins were already up 7-0 at that point, and it was the second time Harper went deep in a blowout against Miami this weekend.
Kyle Schwarber would do the same, and he picked up two hits as he tries to turn around his brutal start.
The Marlins used plenty of small ball to score in this one, an encouraging sign for their offensive potential. They did not homer in this game and put up a season-high 13 hits.
Taking three-of-four from a potent offense like the Phillies is a massive result for the Marlins. They have to hope that this weekend will spark their offense, and not be just a flash in the pan. If it is not a fluke, the Marlins quickly become an incredibly interesting ball club. They were also not the only team from Miami that had a very happy Easter!
Cubs 6, Rockies 4
The Cubbies led wire-to-wire in this one and took a much-needed split from the Rockies. Their star catcher, Willson Contreras, jump-started the offense in the first inning with a two-run blast.
Chicago would add on again in the second, third and fifth, opening up a 5-0 lead. Colorado got right back in it with a three-run sixth inning, capped off by a mammoth jack from Ryan McMahon. The 447-foot home run was the longest of the day around the league.
The Cubs struck right back to put the game away in the seventh. They have to be thrilled about signing Seiya Suzuki, who launched his fourth home run of the season to put the Cubs up 6-3.
The Rockies got another in the bottom of the seventh, but never got any closer. The win has Chicago just above .500 nine games into the season.
Brewers 6, Cardinals 5
The Brew Crew opened up a 3-0 lead off the jump as they searched for a series split with the Redbirds. However, that lead evaporated in the third inning thanks to a three-run homer by Albert Pujols. It pulls the legendary Cardinal within 19 home runs of the elusive 700 mark.
Milwaukee retook the lead in the fourth thanks to a bases-loaded walk, then Tyrone Taylor added some much-needed insurance in the seventh.
Devin Williams struggled again as he allowed two runs in the eighth to get the Cardinals back in the game. Luckily for Milwaukee, they also have Josh Hader at the back of the pen to save the day.
The electrifying southpaw struck out two in a perfect inning and picked up the 100th save of his career. Despite the early concerns about Milwaukee, they are sitting at 5-5 through their first 10 games.
Orioles 5, Yankees 0
Bet you did not see this coming.
The O’s took two-of-three from the Yanks this weekend after losing five of their first six. The Bronx Bombers mustered up just one run in their two losses and looked lost at the plate at times. The game was actually scoreless until the eighth inning when Baltimore scored all five of their runs.
There is no way to say that dropping two-of-three to the Orioles is not concerning for the Yankees. They look very similar to last year, where bats go quiet far too often in big spots. The strikeout of course is always a plague for this lineup. One bright spot for the Yankees on the day was this tremendous catch by Tim Locastro.
Giants 8, Guardians 1
Nothing new from the Giants. A solid pitching performance supplemented a very good offensive game. San Francisco held Cleveland to just one run twice in the series, and allowed two runs in the other game. They have held their opponent to one run four times in their first nine games. Brandon Belt put a stamp on this one with a two-run bomb and the Giants swept the Guardians with ease. Just like that they are off to a 7-2 start.
Dodgers 9, Reds 1
The only other sweep of the weekend came from the other best team in the league in 2021. Los Angeles cruised once again over the Reds as they took all four games this weekend. They outscored Cincinnati 26-7 in the series and imposed their will on the lowly Reds.
Andrew Heaney was tremendous, pitching six shutout innings while striking out 11. The Reds are really bad, and the Dodgers are really good. Tell me if you have heard this one before, but the Giants and Dodgers are tied for the best record in the league.
Mets 5, Diamondbacks 0
The other team to match the Giants and Dodgers win total is the New York Metropolitans. They have one more loss than the other two, but picked up another rousing win Sunday. Their +26 run differential is second-best to the Dodgers and shows how great their offense has been.
Eduardo Escobar had two hits in this one and it was a stress-free Sunday for the Mets. Pete Alonso crushed a baseball as he usually does to put a fork in it.
Mariners 7, Astros 2
This was quite the important early-season rubber match for both sides. Neither team wanted to drop two-of-three to a division foe, but apparently the Mariners wanted the win a whole lot more. They bombarded the Astros, posting 10 hits on the day. It was the second time they blew out Houston this weekend, following an 11-1 victory Friday. Julio Rodriguez picked up his first-career RBI, Matt Brash allowed just two runs despite issuing six walks, and Ty France went deep to reel in a victory.
Rays 9, White Sox 3
The Rays needed a win in the worst way Sunday, having lost five of their last six since sweeping the Orioles to open the season. They managed to salvage a game from the series in the most Rays way possible: playing small ball and using a bunch of pitchers.
They used five pitchers and surrendered just three hits, while picking up 12 of their own. Wander Franco continues to be incredible, reaching two more times Sunday to bring his average to .381 on the young season. His fifth double of the year helped put the game on ice.
The play of the day came on this fantastic home run robbery of Tim Anderson by Tampa Bay left fielder Josh Lowe.
Blue Jays 4, Athletics 3
The Jays scored in each of the first three innings to get out to a 3-0 lead. However, none of the scoring plays were exactly highlight worthy. The A’s cut the lead to one on this long home run by Stephen Vogt, a fan favorite in Oakland.
However, the Jays added the next half inning to open up a two-run lead. The A’s got one back in the eighth but it was not enough as the Jays took the series win.
Angels 8, Rangers 3
The Angels cruised to a third-straight victory over the Rangers and took three-of-four from this series. Matt Duffy was the man for Los Angeles in this one, going 3-for-5 with a double. The game took a backseat to the health of the best player in the league.
Mike Trout took a pitch off the hand and looked to be in a good amount of pain. He exited the game and we have since learned that X-rays came back negative and his status is day-to-day.
Red Sox 8, Twins 1
The Sox rolled once again over Minnesota, taking two wins from the Twins by a combined score of 12-1. Not a whole lot doing in this one, Michael Wacha pitched five shutout innings and the Sox scored eight without leaving the yard.
Raffy Devers had two hits, but it was Xander Bogaerts who carried the load with three hits. This was actually a close 2-1 game until the eighth when the Sox poured six on the Twinkies. I imagine most Boston fans had their eyes on the epic battle at TD Garden rather than this snoozer.
Pirates 5, Nationals 3
There was one (1) extra-base hit in this game and a runner got thrown at home on the play. It was that kind of weekend in Pittsburgh. It actually proved to be vital because it kept the Nationals at three, and helped launch a Pirates comeback.
Down 3-0 in the sixth, the Buckos put up two in that inning then three more in the seventh to take the victory. Believe it or not, the Pirates find themselves at over .500 nine games in.
A new week in Major League Baseball begins Monday with 11 games on the slate. It is Marathon Day in Boston, so the action begins with the Red Sox and Twins facing off at 11:10 a.m.