15 baseball games in a day is a beautiful thing. Yesterday’s full slate didn’t disappoint, featuring dominant pitching, late-inning heroics, and the first hit of an exciting new career. We’ll cover it all in today’s MLB News You Should Know:
J-Rod Doubles for First Career Hit, Scores Game-Tying Run
After being held hitless in his major league debut, MLB’s #3 overall prospect Julio Rodríguez delivered in timely fashion last night. With the Mariners down by one in the top of the ninth, the rookie lined a 94 MPH Tyler Duffey fastball into the left-center gap for his first career hit. The centerfielder showed off his speed, losing his helmet as he pulled into second with a double. He pointed to his family in the stands as the ball was returned securely to the Seattle dugout.
The first of many for @JRODshow44! #SeaUsRise pic.twitter.com/OjkGV6RZQD
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 9, 2022
Two batters later, an Adam Frazier double (featuring an impressive swim slide to avoid the tag) scored Rodríguez, and Ty France promptly scored Frazier with a single of his own, giving the Mariners the lead. Diego Castillo and his 90MPH turbo slider got Alex Kirilloff to fly out before striking out Miguel Sanó and Max Kepler to end it.
While he didn’t get the win, Logan Gilbert pitched well in his first start of the year, striking out seven with just three hits and a walk over five innings.
On the Twins’ side, opposing starter Sonny Gray also pitched well in his Minnesota debut, but superstar centerfielder Byron Buxton stole the show. Down by one in the top of the eighth, Buxton somehow turned around a high, 101MPH fastball from reliever Andrés Muñoz, hitting it 436 feet into the third deck to take the lead. While not enough to hold off the Mariners, it was yet another example of Buxton’s tremendous gifts. Here’s hoping we get the privilege of watching him play a full season.
THE #MNTWINS TAKE THE LEAD AFTER HIS MOONSHOT! pic.twitter.com/iDkfMzl33z
— Bally Sports North (@BallySportsNOR) April 9, 2022
The Twins host the M’s again today, playing at 2:10 EST.
Witt Saves Game, Royals Win in 10th
After hitting a clutch double in his debut, baseball’s #1 prospect Bobby Witt Jr. was again heroic, this time with his glove. After the Royals and Guardians went toe-to-toe on the mound for nine scoreless innings, Cleveland had runners on first and third with one out in the top of the 10th. In a 1-2 count, Oscar Mercado stung a hard ground ball down the third base line. Witt slid to his right and fielded it cleanly – then in a single motion, threw it to Salvador Perez at the plate while falling backwards. Perez picked the throw and and slapped down a quick tag, cutting down the runner and preserving the tie. The Royals went on to win in the bottom of the inning when Adalberto Mondesi slapped a single up the middle to score Kyle Isbel.
Bobby Witt Jr. 👀 pic.twitter.com/7Yl83ir9An
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 9, 2022
After the game, Mondesi was still amazed at Witt’s poise and execution: “What can I say? This guy can do everything.”
The Royals eye a sweep today, playing in Kansas City at 2:10 EST.
Bullpen Spoils Rodón’s Dominant Debut
Carlos Rodón was spectacular in his San Francisco debut, striking out 12 Marlins over only five innings while allowing a run. Signed to a two-year, $44 million deal in the offseason, Rodón seemed almost unhittable at times, hitting 99 on his fastball and generating 24 whiffs in 89 pitches. However, Miami starter Pablo López matched him for five one-run innings of his own, holding the Giants to three hits and a walk.
Both bullpens pitched a scoreless sixth, but San Francisco’s Jake McGee gave up a single to Jesús Sánchez single in the top of the seventh, scoring Brian Anderson. That run proved to be the difference – Anthony Bender got the save as the Marlins won, 2-1.
The two teams are back at it today, playing at 4:05 EST.
Stanton Homers in Sixth Straight Game vs. BOS, NYY Wins
The Red Sox have no answer for Giancarlo Stanton’s otherworldly power. The righty slugger delivered versus Boston yet again last night, hitting a 112 MPH rocket deep into the centerfield seats in the Bronx, marking the sixth straight game that he has homered versus Red Sox pitching (including last year’s AL Wild Card game). This latest rendition sailed 437 feet and broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth. Amazingly, it was only the third-hardest hit ball Stanton had on the night, lacing two groundouts 113 and 116 MPH as well.
I been a G. pic.twitter.com/sOwAyF47AS
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 9, 2022
Boston starter Nick Pivetta took the loss, allowing all four runs, while Yankee reliever Lucas Luetge got the win after starter Luis Severino only lasted three innings.
New York hosts Boston again tonight, playing at 7:08 EST.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)