Thursday, April 6, 2017

Richards exits with biceps cramping, Angels blank A's 5-0

Garrett Richards felt some cramping in his biceps, as if someone had punched him in his pitching arm.
The Los Angeles Angels are taking no chances after going without him most of last season, yet manager Mike Scioscia still hopes the right-hander can make his next start.
Richards pitched beautifully while making his first appearance in 11 months after an elbow injury cut short his 2016 season, but left abruptly in the fifth inning with biceps cramping before the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-0 on Wednesday night.
"Nothing serious. My arm feels good. I felt good tonight, elbow feels fine, shoulder feels fine," he said. "It was just kind of a long inning and it just kind of stiffened up a little bit. There's no red flags or anything, just something that flared up. ... Everything kind of moves on as planned."
Scioscia and the training staff rushed to the mound after Richards threw a 94 mph called strike to Matt Joyce with two outs in the fifth. Richards was removed from the game, one out shy of being eligible for the win, and slugger Albert Pujols put an arm around the pitcher in the dugout.
The team announced he came out for precautionary reasons. Afterward, Richards went through strength tests with no issues. He will be examined by team doctors back in Southern California.
Richards struck out four and walked one, allowing three hits in 4 2/3 innings. JC Ramirez (1-0) worked 2 2/3 innings for the victory.
"That's a great first step for Garrett," Scioscia said.
Mike Trout hit an RBI single to back Richards, the Angels' opening day starter a year ago. He pitched for the first time since last May 1.
Danny Espinosa hit a two-run single one night after delivering a deciding three-run homer, and Andrelton Simmons doubled home a run in the second against Jharel Cotton (0-1).
The 25-year-old Cotton, who came to the A's in a trade-deadline deal last year that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers, can feel good about striking out Trout twice on seven pitches.
"He's got such a wide gap between his fastball and his breaking stuff," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "At times you almost have to guess with him a little bit, especially when he's spotting his fastball and he's got decent velocity with it."
Cotton allowed eight hits and five runs, struck out four and walked two in 4 1/3 innings. This marked his first major league loss after going 2-0 over five starts in 2016.
Frankie Montas - who arrived in the same trade as Cotton - pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his A's debut.
The AL West rivals had split the first two games of the season.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker came out fine from Tuesday's outing, his first in exactly seven months since being struck in the head by a line drive and needing surgery. "I think it's good he can exhale. He got the first one out of the way," Scioscia said. "I think like any starter, your first start is like opening day. It's probably, obviously, more focus on it to what happened to Matt last year. He was fine." ... Scioscia plans to start Carlos Perez behind the plate in the series finale Thursday afternoon to spell starting catcher Martin Maldonado.
Athletics: RHP John Axford was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained right shoulder. He experienced tightness after throwing a curveball warming up Tuesday night. Axford had no issues leading up to the injury. "None, zero," Melvin said. "It was a complete surprise not only to us but to him." RHP Jesse Hahn was recalled from Triple-A Nashville and will be used "for a little bit more length to have a starter back there," Melvin said. ... A's starter Chris Bassitt threw to hitters for the first time since Tommy John surgery last May. He threw 25 pitches, all fastballs, after his warmup. "The first time you had nerves and the first time you had adrenaline in nine months. Good feeling to have," said Bassitt, who threw about 10 bullpens before Wednesday's session. Bassitt is scheduled to pitch to hitters again Sunday at Class A Stockton and expects to be pitching in rehab games next month.
UP NEXT
LHP Tyler Skaggs makes his third career start against the A's and first since 2014, opposing Andrew Triggs as the Oakland right-hander begins his second major league season after making his first opening day roster.

Hill starts strong, Puig homers and Dodgers beat Padres 3-1

 Rich Hill endured a rocky spring, struggling with command and not exactly sailing smoothly into the first season of a $48 million, three-year contract.
He said he wasn't worried. Seems he was right.
Hill pitched five innings of two-hit ball, Yasiel Puig hit his first home run of the season and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Hill (1-0) struck out five, walked three and allowed Hunter Renfroe's homer in his first start since returning to the Dodgers on a free agent deal. Hill said throughout the spring that despite his struggles, he was confident he'd be on track by the start of the season.
"I only threw 75 pitches and I made one mistake on the home run, but it's early, and I felt good tonight," Hill said. "I made some mechanical adjustments, and I feel good about it."
Relievers Sergio RomoAlex Wood and Kenley Jansen shut the Padres down the rest of the way, and Jansen pitched the ninth inning for his first save of the season.
The left-handed Hill was hit by a pitch in his right hand while batting in the second inning. After a short delay, he remained in the game.
"He said he's fine, but we're going to take a few pictures to make sure," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "When we got out to check on him, the first thing he said was that his on-base percentage was 1.000."
Trevor Cahill (0-1) allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings in his first start with San Diego. Cahill was a reliever last season with the world champion Chicago Cubs but signed a one-year deal this winter to start for the Padres. He allowed five hits and three walks and struck out seven.
"I gave up two runs in the first, but after that I settled in and felt good, but unfortunately things didn't go exactly as I wanted them to," Cahill said. "They have a tough lineup and Rich Hill doesn't let you put many up on the board."
Puig drilled a two-out, 1-2 pitch deep over the left field wall to put Los Angeles ahead 3-1 in the fourth inning. Puig, batting eighth after struggling in 2016, and Justin Turner each had two hits for the Dodgers.
"I'm trying to make better swings," Puig said through an interpreter. "I'm not used to batting that low in the order, but it keeps me in the lineup so I have to do my job."
In the first inning, Adrian Gonzalez's ground-rule double to left scored Corey Seager. One batter later, Gonzalez scored when first baseman Wil Myers misplayed a throw from third baseman Ryan Schimpf.
Myers had two of the Padres' three hits in the game.
Los Angeles improved to 39-20 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium since the beginning of 2011.
TATIANA-MANIA
Dodgers broadcaster and former pitcher Fernando Valenzuela caught the ceremonial first pitch from his granddaughter, Tatiana.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Padres: RHP Cater Capps, who missed last season following Tommy John surgery, is expected to throw a bullpen session Thursday and a simulated game Saturday at Petco Park before the Giants-Padres game.
Dodgers: Dave Roberts said that outfielder Andre Ethier (on DL with a slight disc herniation in lower back) "felt normal soreness after running yesterday while continuing his rehab. He's aggressively trying to rehab, but he's still a ways from returning."
UP NEXT
Padres: RHP and ex-Angel Jered Weaver makes his Padres debut in Thursday's series finale.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy goes for LA, completing the four-game homestand.

Owings, Diamondbacks erase 3-run deficit to beat Giants 8-6

Save for a 48-game stint as interim manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2015, Torey Lovullo is new to the job.
But the Arizona Diamondbacks' first-year skipper made the right call in the sixth inning Wednesday night when he sent up Jeremy Hazelbaker to pinch hit for starting pitcher Taijuan Walker. Hazelbaker delivered a one-out double that gave his team the lead, and the Diamondbacks rallied for an 8-6 win over the San Francisco Giants.
"The big blow was Jeremy Hazelbaker. He put up a quality at-bat with a good approach," Lovullo said.
Chris Owings reached safely four times and stole two bases, and the Diamondbacks scored seven consecutive runs in coming back from a three-run deficit.
A.J. Pollock went 3 for 5 with an RBI and Yasmany Tomas had two hits and an RBI to help Walker win his Diamondbacks debut despite allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings.
"We've had a lot of clutch hitting. We're going to have to keep that going," Pollock said.
Arizona has taken two of three in the four-game series.
Walker (1-0) struck out seven before the Diamondbacks turned the game over to their bullpen. Jorge De La Rosa fanned two in one inning on his 36th birthday and Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his first save with Arizona.
"Started off a little rough. Nerves. A little frustration. First start of the season," Walker said. "Just nerves. I was kind of amped up. The last three innings I thought were really good.
"The offense did a great job of picking me up," he added. "We have a really good offense, one of the best in the league."
Owings, with a run-scoring single in the third, has an RBI in six straight games dating to 2016, extending his career high.
Brandon Belt homered and tripled for San Francisco. His fifth-inning solo shot gave the Giants a 4-1 lead, and he scored in the third after hitting a sinking fly to center field that Pollock misplayed into a triple.
Hunter Pence singled in Belt for one of his two hits, including a triple.
Giants starter Matt Moore, who shined in his last meaningful start before Wednesday - two-hit ball over eight innings in the NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs - allowed three earned runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. An error by Belt at first base in the fifth allowed two runs to score, and the Diamondbacks tied it at 4 in that inning.
"If you can on those plays, you want to try to get your body there so that if it does bounce, you can knock it down," Belt said. "I got caught in between and didn't think I was going to have enough time to get in front of it. I tried to backhand it and just couldn't come up with it. It changed the momentum and it changed the whole ballgame for us."
Hazelbaker came through against Giants reliever Cory Gearrin, and the Diamondbacks added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh off Neil Ramirez.
The Giants scored twice in the eighth on three singles, a walk and a wild pitch, but Tom Wilhelmsen got Chris Marrero to fly out with runners on second and third, ending the rally.
"They scored seven runs in three innings. That's not going to work, usually," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I felt good in the eighth. Bases loaded there, had some good hitters up there, they get out of it. Just couldn't get that one more hit to get us over the hump and get back to tying the game."
Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt got his 100th career stolen base, becoming one of five first basemen in major league history with 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases. He joined Jeff Bagwell, Andres Galarraga, Derrek Lee and Dan Driessen.
STUBBS SIGNED
The Giants confirmed the signing of veteran OF Drew Stubbs to a minor league contract. Stubbs was released by the Minnesota Twins late last month after spending most of spring training with them. He'll provide outfield depth at Triple-A for the Giants.
TWO-SPORT STAR
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is scheduled to take batting practice and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Thursday's series finale. Johnson was a first-team NFL All-Pro selection last season.
AWESOME, BABY
Longtime ESPN basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale attended the game, waving to the crowd as he was introduced.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Giants outfielder Denard Span missed his second straight game with left hip tightness and is day to day. Gorkys Hernandez took Span's place in center field again. ... Bochy said Aaron Hill will make his first start of the season at second base Thursday.
UP NEXT
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija, who was 12-11 last year, makes his season debut in the finale of the four-game series.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray, who last season became the fourth pitcher in Arizona history to have 200 strikeouts, faces the Giants.

Peralta, 3 HRs lift Brewers past Rockies 6-1

Colorado manager Bud Black gave Wily Peralta all the credit for the Milwaukee Brewers' latest win over the Rockies.
Peralta pitched five effective innings, and Eric Thames, Travis Shaw and Jonathan Villar each homered to help the Brewers beat the Rockies 6-1 Wednesday night.
"I think it was more him," Black said of Peralta. "You saw his fastball velocity and enough breaking pitches to keep us off balance. As the game went on, he mixed in a changeup to our left-handed hitters."
Peralta threw 90 pitches, 56 for strikes.
"It was about velocity to pretty good spots at the top of the zone and breaking balls to disrupt our timing," Black said. "I think it was more about him for five."
Peralta (1-0) allowed three hits, struck out five and walked one. He's already off to a better start than a year ago when he lost his first three outings and struggled through 10 more before being demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs. He pitched effectively in his final 10 starts after being recalled, posting a 3-4 record with a 2.92 ERA.
"It feels good being able to have my velocity back, especially locating it," Peralta said. "Since coming back from Triple-A, I've been able to define my mechanics and other stuff, and since then it's been good."
Thames hit a 3-1 pitch 450 feet to deep center and Shaw teed off on a 1-0 pitch for a two-run homer job off Tyler Chatwood (0-1) in the bottom of the fourth. The Brewers added the left-handed hitting tandem to rebalance last season's predominantly right-handed lineup.
Villar ended the Colorado bullpen's scoreless streak at 9 1/3 innings this season with a two-run shot in the eighth.
Neftali Feliz came on with two outs and the bases loaded and struck out Charlie Blackmon for his first save of the season and the 100th of his career.
Carlos Torres pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh, working his way around three walks. Corey Knebel handled the eighth.
Mark Reynolds had a run-scoring single off Taylor Jungmann in the ninth.
"It was more about their pitching," Black said. "We just couldn't solve it."
Chatwood, who was 8-1 away from Coors Field and had a franchise-record 1.69 road ERA last season, allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out five in his first appearance at Miller Park.
Hernan Perez doubled home a run in the sixth.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (right oblique strain) throws Thursday at Triple-A Albuquerque. "Hopefully, he'll get to 45 pitches," manager Bud Black said. The plan is to lengthen him out to three innings or the pitch count. ... RHP Chad Qualls (right forearm tightness) threw a bullpen session in Arizona. He is scheduled to throw another one Saturday at Coors Field with a rehab assignment to follow. ... RHP Jairo Diaz (recovering from Tommy John surgery) threw Wednesday and briefly remains in an extended spring-training routine before his rehab assignment.
Brewers: INF/OF Nick Franklin was claimed off waivers Wednesday from Tampa Bay and takes the roster spot of RHP Michael Blazek, who was designated for assignment. . Thames played for the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization the past three seasons and led the league with 40 home runs in 2016.
WHERE'S HOME?
Orlando Arcia's base-running blunder possibly cost the Brewers a run.
Arcia tripled and tried to score on Peralta's soft fly to right. Right fielder Carlos Gonzalez's throw home was late, but Arcia slid past home. Chatwood, backing up the play, yelled at catcher Tony Walters to tag Arcia when he made no effort to come back and touch the base.
"It was a good defensive play right there," Gonzalez said. "That's what you want to do when you're on the field. You want to play for your teammates. You want to play for your pitchers. In the first three games, we've shown some good defense in the infield and the outfield, too."
UP NEXT
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela makes his major-league debut. He spent the 2016 season with Double-A Hartford where he went 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA in seven starts. This spring, he was 0-4 with a 4.61 ERA in eight games (five starts).
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson makes his first start of the season. He went 9-11 (ERA 4.39) in 31 games (30 starts) last season. He is 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA in 10 career starts against the Rockies.

Springer's HR in 13 gives Astros 5-3 win over Mariners

 George Springer wasn't quite sure if his towering fly ball was going to have enough distance. Three feet shorter or to the right, and it might be an game-ending fly out.
Instead, Springer's shot narrowly crossed the yellow line for a game-winning three-run homer in the 13th inning, capping a five-RBI game and lifting the Houston Astros to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
"I knew I had hit it OK. I was just glad it went over the line," Springer said.
Springer's shot off Chase De Jong (0-1), who started the inning to make his major-league debut, landed in the farthest seat of the first row of the left-field Crawford Boxes.
Evan Gattis drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on Norichika Aoki's single with two outs, setting the stage for Springer's big hit.
"I just didn't want to walk him, but I need to make a better location down," De Jong said. "He's a pretty aggressive hitter. It was a strike. He just got too much wood on it."
De Jong was called up from Triple-A Tacoma for his first stint in the majors on Monday because fellow reliever Dillon Overton went on the paternity list in anticipation of the birth of his first child.
"Chase handled the situation about as good as he could," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "It doesn't get any tougher than making your major league debut in that spot. It was just one of those crazy games that ended up really crazier than I could've imagined."
In the top of the 13th, Houston reliever Jandel Gustave walked Mitch HanigerRobinson Cano and Nelson Cruz to load the bases to start the inning. He was replaced by Brad Peacock (1-0), who walked Kyle Seager on five pitches to drive in the go-ahead run before getting the next three hitters.
"We certainly had them on the ropes," Servais said. "They gave us a crack and we should've just jumped right through and scored three or four there."
The Astros improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2001, while dropping the Mariners to their first 0-3 start since 2011.
"It's a nice way to start the season," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I'm proud of our guys because we fought through. We haven't played the best in our last two games, and we found a way to win some close games."
Springer also had a two-run double in the seventh to tie the score against Seattle reliever Dan Altavilla.
Houston had at least one baserunner in eight straight innings starting in the sixth. The Mariners used nine pitchers in the game, while the Astros used seven to keep the hitters in check.
Jean Segura homered off Houston starter Charlie Morton to put Seattle up 2-0 in the fifth inning. It was the Mariners' first home run of the season, more than 22 innings into the year. Last season, the Mariners homered in the first inning of the opener.
The Astros struggled against Seattle starter James Paxton, a hard-throwing lefty. If they weren't behind on his mid-90s fastballs, they were chasing off-speed pitches in the dirt. Two Astros batters reached base after striking out on wild pitches that got past Seattle catcher Mike Zunino.
Paxton allowed just two hits, one walk and no runs in six innings, while striking out five.
Morton gave up the two runs and five hits with two walks while striking out four.
Cano - who entered the game as a career .364 hitter with a .420 on-base percentage at Minute Maid Park - went 0 for-5 with three strikeouts. Similarly, Altuve - who won the 2016 American League batting title - was 0 for 6.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Mariners: Ace Felix Hernandez, who left Monday's start after the fifth inning with tightness in his groin, will make his next scheduled start on Saturday night in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.
A LONG DROUGHT
Carlos Beltran's single in the eighth inning was his first hit with the Astros since Game 6 of the 2004 NLCS at St. Louis.
LIGHTS OUT IN RELIEF
Houston RHP reliever Chris Devenski threw four hitless, scoreless innings in relief and had seven strikeouts. Dating back to 1990, Devenski is one of three relievers to have two outings of four hitless, scoreless innings with at least seven strikeouts. The other two were Melido Perez and Randy Johnson.
UP NEXT
Mariners: LHP Ariel Miranda starts in the last game of a four-game series in Houston on Thursday. Miranda was 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts with Seattle and Baltimore last season.
Astros: RHP Joe Musgrove will face the Mariners for the first time in his career. Musgrove was 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA as a rookie in 2016.

Lindor slam gives AL champ Indians opening sweep of Rangers

 Francisco Lindor's go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning off suddenly shaky Texas closer Sam Dyson triggered a litany of firsts for Cleveland's budding star shortstop.
And that list of milestones was a lot more fun to talk about than his botched defensive play that jeopardized the Indians' bid at a season-opening sweep.
Lindor atoned for his puzzling miscue with his first career slam and first multi-homer game - along with a career-high five RBIs - and the defending AL champions rallied for a 9-6 win over the Rangers on Wednesday night.
The Rangers went ahead 4-3 in the fifth when Lindor misjudged Joey Gallo's speed, couldn't beat the slugger to second base on an attempted two-out force play and allowed two runs to score on an error when his throw to try to salvage an out surprised Edwin Encarnacion and skipped off the first baseman's glove.
"I was saying, `Please, Lord, let us tie this game,'" Lindor said of his reaction after the botched play. "I don't want (Danny) Salazar to lose the game and have to talk to you guys about my error. Let us tie the game, and let's see what happens after that."
Dyson (0-2) loaded the bases and walked in a run before Lindor's homer down the right field line during a five-run Cleveland ninth.
The Indians are 3-0 for the first time since 1998, while the Rangers last started 0-3 in 2007.
Dyson blew his first save after giving up three runs in a tie game in an 8-5 loss on opening day. The hard-throwing right-hander has allowed eight runs in one inning for the defending AL West champs after throwing six scoreless innings to help the U.S. win the World Baseball Classic.
"This is a guy that ... was really sharp at the WBC," manager Jeff Banister said. "Doesn't seem to be that sharp right now. Sam's got to find a way to figure it out. This is a guy that's been really good for us. Not going to jump off after two games."
The switch-hitting Lindor homered from both sides, pulling a pitch from Cole Hamels into the seats in left field in the sixth - shortly after his miscue - to get Cleveland within 5-4. The decisive shot off Dyson landed about 10 rows deep.
Shawn Armstrong (1-0) struck out the only hitter he faced, Jonathan Lucroy, for his first major league win. Bryan Shaw pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Nomar Mazara homered, had three hits and drove in three runs for Texas. Elvis Andrus connected on a solo homer in the seventh.
Jose Ramirez hit a tying two-run single for Cleveland in the fourth after Hamels opened with three perfect innings.
SALAZAR'S STRIKEOUTS
Salazar, who led the majors with 37 strikeouts in the spring, struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings, although he walked four and gave up five runs, four earned. The right-hander fanned the side in the first while allowing Mazara's two-run homer, a 439-foot shot into the second deck in right.
SHORT HOPS
Lindor's slam was the first with Cleveland trailing in the ninth or later since Nick Swisher off Ernesto Frieri of the Los Angeles Angels on June 19, 2014. The Indians' last grand slam was by Carlos Santana against the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 18, 2015. ... Texas' Drew Robinson grounded out as a pinch-hitter in his major league debut in the seventh.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Indians: LF Michael Brantley didn't start after being in the lineup the first two games in his return from a right shoulder injury that mostly sidelined him for 17 months. Manager Terry Francona said he was available, and Brantley struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. "I don't think any of us want to lose sight of the fact that he's had a long haul back," Francona said.
Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (right biceps soreness) threw 72 pitches over four innings in a simulated game and said he's ready for a big league start April 15 after one rehab appearance in the minors. However, pitching coach Doug Brocail said the club was likely to prefer two rehab starts. ... Adrian Beltre (right calf tightness) was one of the opposing hitters.
UP NEXT
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40 ERA in 2016) starts Friday at Arizona coming of career highs in wins, starts (29) and strikeouts (118).
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (7-4, 5.07 in 2016) starts Friday at home against Oakland after earning a spot in the Texas rotation for the second straight spring.

Leon homers to end Boston's 3-0, 12-inning win over Pirates

 Sandy Leon prolonged the game with a baserunning mistake in the third inning.
When Boston's catcher came up in the 12th, he ended it.
Leon hit a three-run homer - the first walkoff of his career - and Chris Sale pitched seven innings of three-hit ball in his Red Sox debut to lead Boston to a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
"It's nice to get the win. All the better to walk it off. It's special," said Sale, who was Boston's big acquisition of the offseason. "If you told me tonight it was going to be 0-0 in the 12th, I probably would have given you a crazy look."
Leon also doubled in the third inning but got thrown out at the plate after running through third base coach Brian Butterfield's stop sign. It was scoreless into the bottom of the 12th, when Antonio Bastardo (0-1) walked Jackie Bradley Jr. and Pablo Sandoval with one out.
Leon followed with a drive over the Green Monster to end a cold night for the Red Sox, who also beat Pittsburgh in the season opener on Monday.
"He certainly redeemed himself with the final swing tonight," manager John Farrell said.
Joe Kelly (1-0), the sixth Red Sox pitcher, earned the victory with two innings of one-hit relief as the Red Sox won their seventh straight interleague game at Fenway Park. The Pirates did not get a runner past first base.
"I'm not going to overcook this thing," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "That one swing makes it look bigger than it was, but there wasn't a lot of separation."
SALE OF THE CENTURY
Sale, who walked one and struck out seven, was acquired from the Chicago White Sox for a package of minor leaguers that included No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada. He gave the Red Sox a rotation that included two Cy Young winners and three All-Stars.
"He was nasty," said Leon, who had three hits. "He was mixing his pitches, getting ahead in the count. He was fun to catch."
CLOSE CALLS
Jameson Taillon matched Sale's shutout for seven innings, allowing five hits while walking three and striking out six.
The Red Sox did threaten against him in the third, when Leon was thrown out at the plate by Andrew McCutchen, who had moved from center field to right this season. Newly acquired first baseman Mitch Moreland also hit a ball deep in the fourth, but McCutchen caught it at the short bullpen wall.
"I knew the wall was close," he said. "But I didn't realize how close until I hit it."
Boston loaded the bases with two outs in the 10th, thanks in part to a single by Leon, but Pirates closer Tony Watson retired opening day hero Andrew Benintendi on a weak grounder to second to end the inning.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Red Sox: OF Mookie Betts missed the game with the flu. Brock Holt and Robbie Ross were also stricken with a bug. ... David Price threw long toss from 100 feet and also made about 25 pitches from a mound. "The most encouraging thing is every throwing session he goes through, he comes out feeling good physically," manager John Farrell said. ... Bradley clutched his left leg after getting spiked on a stolen base in the 12th, but he remained in the game. Afterward, he said his leg was "great."
UP NEXT
Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (5-4 in 2016) will pitch the series finale.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7 last season) makes his 2017 debut in the matinee game.

Finnegan retires 19 in a row, Reds beat Phillies 2-0

 Waiting for the rain left Brandon Finnegan feeling out of sorts. After one inning to work out his nerves, he was nearly untouchable.
Finnegan allowed only one single in seven innings and Joey Votto homered for his first hit of the season Wednesday night, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies .
The Reds evened a series that concludes Thursday afternoon.
The start of the game was delayed 50 minutes because of storms, a wait that wore on Finnegan.
"I didn't know what to do," he said. "I walked around and talked to guys. I got a little jittery. As soon as I heard we were playing, I ran to the bullpen."
Finnegan (1-0) gave up a walk and Maikel Franco's single to center in the first inning, but escaped the threat while throwing a lot of pitches. Nobody else reached base the rest of the way against him.
The left-hander retired the last 19 batters he faced, fanning nine, and threw 88 pitches overall.
"He had 25 pitches in the first inning and haphazard command," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He survived it and had (68) pitches the rest of the way. He was a completely different kid."
The Phillies didn't do much at all, hitting only four balls out of the infield all night. They got a pair of infield singles off Michael Lorenzen in the eighth. Raisel Iglesias gave up another infield single before completing the four-hitter for his first save.
Votto led off the seventh with a home run against Jerad Eickhoff (0-1), who allowed only two hits through the first six innings. Votto was 0 for 6 when he connected on a curve that forced him to adjust.
"He's a big, strong guy," Eickhoff said. "When I threw it, I almost fooled him. But he was able to keep his hands back. He double-clutched and got the barrel of the bat on it."
Adam Duvall followed with a double and scored on Zack Cozart's single for a 2-0 lead, ending Eickhoff's outing.
EXTRA CHANCE
Odubel Herrera had an infield single in the ninth and was initially called out as he tried to steal second base for what would have been the final out of the game. The call was overturned on review, but Tommy Joseph struck out to end it.
OH, CANADA
Votto's 222nd career homer moved him into a tie with Jason Bay for fourth-most by a player born in Canada. Larry Walker leads with 383, followed by Matt Stairs (265) and Justin Morneau (247).
STINGY STARTS
Eickhoff has allowed three runs or fewer in his last nine starts and 32 of his last 38. He walked one on Wednesday, his fifth straight start of walking one batter or none.
TRAINER'S ROOM
Phillies: Manager Pete Mackanin mixed up his lineup, though not because of injuries. He wants to keep players sharp. Aaron Altherr was in right field and had a single in three at-bats.
Reds: Cincinnati catcher Devin Mesoraco starts a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola on Thursday. He's on the DL while rebuilding his strength after hip surgery last season. The Reds plan to activate him when he's able to catch back-to-back games.
REDS MOVES
Cincinnati claimed utilityman Tyler Goeddel off waivers from the Phillies and optioned him to Triple-A Louisville. Goeddel batted .192 in 92 games for the Phillies last season with four homers and 16 RBIs. The Reds also transferred right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to the 60-day disabled list with a sprained pitching elbow.
UP NEXT
Phillies: RHP Clay Buchholz makes his first career start against the Reds. The Phillies got him from the Red Sox in a trade for Josh Tobias last December.
Reds: RHP Rookie Davis makes his major league debut. Davis is one of two rookies in the rotation. Cincinnati got him from the Yankees as part of the trade for closer Aroldis Chapman after the 2015 season.