Judge blasts Yankees to victory with first homer of season, Ohtani sends down 10 Ks in Angels defeat
After his record-breaking 2022 season, there was no one more fitting to hit the first home run of the 2023 campaign than Aaron Judge as the New York Yankees won 5-0 over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
Judge, who blasted an American League single-season record 62 home runs last season, lit up Opening Day with the first home-run shot of 2023 in the first inning at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees outfielder needed only two pitches before launching Logan Webb's sinker over the center-field wall. Judge's blast had an exit velocity of 109.3 mph and traveled 422 feet according to Statcast projections.
Gerrit Cole did the rest on the mound, recording an Opening Day franchise record 11 strikeouts across six scoreless innings.
Gleyber Torres creamed a two-run blast in the fourth inning to open up a 3-0 lead, while Torres scored again from a D.J. LeMahieu single in the seventh.
Judge chimed in with a broken-bat RBI single in the same inning, with Jose Trevino scoring, securing a 5-0 win and initiating "M-V-P!" chants from the home crowd.
Top prospect Anthony Volpe also got a rousing reception from the Yankees faithful, finishing 0-2 with a walk in his maiden start at shortstop.
Jays edge Cards in 19-run, 34-hit epic
The Toronto Blue Jays edged the St Louis Cardinals 10-9 in a wild 19-run 34-hit Opening Day classic where Vladimir Guerrero Jr played a key role.
Guerrero brought home the decisive run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly for new addition Kevin Kiermaier to score the go-ahead run. Guerrero finished with three RBIs from two hits.
Alejandro Kirk had helped the Jays to a 3-0 first-inning lead with a two-run single on a line drive, after Daulton Varsho drove in George Springer on a double.
The chaotic contest saw the Jays become the first MLB team to allow a go-ahead run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings on the road and still win since the Boston Red Sox in 1938.
Ohtani sends down 10 Ks in Angels defeat
Shohei Ohtani took the unusual step of calling his own pitches, sending down 10 strikeouts, but it was not enough for the Los Angeles Angels in a 2-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
Ohtani threw six shutout innings, allowing only two hits, but the A's capitalized after he exited, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory, scoring two at the bottom of the eighth.
Tony Kemp doubled on a fly ball past Mike Trout in center field with Esteury Ruiz scoring, before Aledmys Diaz's line drive drove in Kemp.
Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe produced a moment of magic in the fifth inning with a no-look catch, leaving Ohtani stunned.