Nine innings and nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.
1. Your lead is safe... for now: The Detroit Tigers are guaranteed to retain the AL Central lead this weekend after taking game one from the Cleveland Indians, 4-1. Max Scherzer was a workhorse on the mound, throwing a career-high 127 pitches to get through seven innings. He allowed only one run and benefited from Austin Jackson, Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta home runs in the victory.
2. Going Air-Bourn: The Atlanta Braves used three home runs ?�including Michael Bourn's second of the season on Daniel Hudson's fourth pitch of the game ?�to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-2. Brian McCann and Chipper Jones also went deep in support of Derek Lowe, who was able to keep the ball down for five scoreless innings. Atlanta's overpowering bullpen took it from there.
3. Wandy does it all: All right, so the San Francisco Giants were just a bit short-handed again, but Wandy Rodriguez was still dominant in the Houston Astros 6-0 win. That dominance included eight shutout innings on the mound, with eight strikeouts to match, and even carried over to the offensive side where Rodriguez broke the game open with a two-run single in the sixth.
4. Elvis Night at the Cell: No, not Elvis Andrus Night, though he was in attendance (0 for 4), but Elvis Presley Night. Keeping with the theme, I'm not sure if Mitch Moreland is a fan of the King, but he definitely sent Jake Peavy and the Chicago White Sox to Heartbreak Hotel with two big home runs and five RBIs in the Texas Rangers 7-4 victory.
5. Eventful day in Wrigleyville: Hours after owner Tom Ricketts formally announced the decision to fire general manager Jim Hendry, the Chicago Cubs rallied from a three runs down to defeat their arch rivals from St. Louis, 5-4 in 10 innings. A crowd of 42,343 was on hand for the afternoon battle ? the largest attendance at Wrigley Field since 1978 ? and most went home singing as Tyler Colvin singled home Geovany Soto with the winner.
6. There's no place like home: Here's a record you don't want to be associated with: According to STATS LLC, with their 6-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the New York Mets became the first team in major league history to lose the opening game in their first ten homestands of a season.
7. Tonight they're saying "Huuuughes": That's because New York Yankees starter Phil Hughes tossed 7 2-3 innings ?�his longest outing of the season ?�and allowed only two hits in an 8-1 win against the Minnesota Twins. Hughes' battery mate Russell Martin connected for his 14th and 15th home runs.
(And yes, if you're keeping score at home, Russell Martin had more Target Field home runs in this game than Joe Mauer does in his career. Sorry, I had to.)
8. Felix dethroned: The Tampa Bay Rays offense took its time, but eventually overthrew King Felix Hernandez with two runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Seattle Mariners, 3-2. Evan Longoria tied the game with his RBI single, and Ben Zobrist knocked in the game-winner with his own RBI single.
9. It's Torii with two I's and two bombs: Red-hot Torii Hunter extended his hitting streak to 17 in the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles. Hunter connected for two of the Angels four homers and drove in five. Recently recalled Mike Trout also homered, while Dan Haren picked up his seventh win in eight decisions on the hill.