Atlanta pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval drove a two-run homer to the deepest part of Nationals Park off a Washington reliever who took over after Stephen Strasburg’s six scoreless innings Wednesday, lifting the Braves to a 2-0 victory over the Nationals and a doubleheader sweep.
In the opener, Ronald Acuña Jr. led the way with a double and a pair of singles to help Atlanta snap a season-starting four-game losing streak by edging Washington 7-6.
Sandoval, who hit three homers in one game while earning World Series MVP honors for the San Francisco Giants in 2012, signed a minor league contract in January with the Braves, setting him for a one-year, $1 million deal if he made the 40-man roster.
The guy affectionately known as Kung Fu Panda sure looks like a bargain right now at 34, especially after driving a 96 mph fastball from Tanner Rainey (0-1) more than 400 feet following Dansby Swanson’s two-out single in the seventh and final inning.
Reds 11, Pirates 4: Tyler Naquin hit another leadoff home run and the high-scoring Cincinnati Reds kept rolling, backing Luis Castillo to rout the Pittsburgh Pirates in Cincinnati for their fifth straight win.
The Reds have started a season 5-1 for the first time since 2016. They outscored the Pirates 30-8 in the three-game series sweep.
Their 56 runs are the most in Reds franchise history through the first six games of a season. The 1976 Big Red Machine with Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez scored 51 en route to a second straight championship.
Twins 3, Tigers 2: Jorge Polanco hit a two-run double in the sixth inning and the Minnesota Twins held off Akil Baddoo and the Detroit Tigers in Detroit.
Baddoo hit an RBI triple and threw a runner out from left field — another impressive day in this stellar start to his big league career. But the rookie was doubled off third after his big hit — it was a rough day on the bases for the Tigers, who also ran into two outs at home in the sixth.
Wilson Ramos homered for Detroit, and Matthew Boyd (1-1) allowed three runs in seven innings.
Red Sox 9, Rays 2: Christian Vázquez homered, Xander Bogaerts had three hits and J.D. Martinez went for extra bases for the seventh game in a row to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays and complete a three-game sweep in Boston.
Nathan Eovaldi (1-1) allowed one run, three hits and three walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts. The Red Sox, swept by lowly Baltimore in their opening series, beat the defending AL champion Rays in three straight by a combined 26-9.
Rangers 2, Blue Jays 1: Kyle Gibson rebounded from a horrendous opening day start for Texas by striking out eight over six scoreless innings, and the Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays in the rubber game of their three-game series in Arlington.
Gibson (1-0) scattered six hits with one walk while throwing 55 of 82 pitches for strikes.
Nick Solak homered off left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (0-1), who struck out seven without a walk over seven innings.
Marcus Semien hit his third homer for the Blue Jays, a leadoff shot in the eighth.
Brewers 4, Cubs 2: Lorenzo Cain hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the 10th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs in Chicago.
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff had a no-hit bid going until Ian Happ led off the seventh with a clean single. It was scoreless until then — after that, the ball began to fly.
Athletics 4, Dodgers 3: Mitch Moreland hit an RBI single with one out in the 10th inning and the Oakland Athletics rallied to beat the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers in Oakland for their first win of the season.
The A’s were in danger of falling to 0-7 for the first time in franchise history before tying it in the ninth off Kenley Jansen when Matt Chapman scored on Elvis Andrus’ sacrifice fly. Chapman also hit a solo homer earlier in the game.
Oakland then won it in the 10th when Moreland’s line-drive single to center off Jimmy Nelson (0-1) scored Mark Canha from third. Canha started the inning on second base and had advanced on a flyout.
Phillies 8, Mets 2: Alec Bohm and J.T. Realmuto each hit a three-run homer, Rhys Hoskins had a solo shot and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets in Philadelphia.
The Phillies took two of three from their division rivals after opening the season with a three-game sweep of three-time defending NL East champion Atlanta.
Phillies ace Aaron Nola lasted only four innings, pitching out of trouble the final two. He allowed one run and six hits, striking out five.
Mariners 8, White Sox 4: Kyle Seager slapped an opposite-field, bases clearing double for the big blow in Seattle’s seven-run sixth inning, and the Mariners avoided a sweep with a win over the Chicago White Sox in Seattle.
Seager had three hits and his two-out liner down the left-field line cleared the bases as the Mariners posted their highest scoring inning of the young season. Taylor Trammell, J.P. Crawford and Jose Marmolejos all had RBI singles in the inning, and Mitch Haniger added a sacrifice fly.
But the key at-bat was Ty France’s walk ahead of Seager’s double. France fell behind 0-2, fouled off four two-strike pitches and walked on the 11th pitch of the at-bat to keep the inning alive for Seager.
Giants 3, Padres 2: Alex Dickerson scored on Donovan Solano’s sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres in San Diego to take two of three.
Dickerson started the 10th on second base and advanced when Mike Yastrzemski beat out a nubber down the first base line for an infield single. Reliever Tim Hill (0-1) let the ball roll, thinking it would go foul. Solano followed with a flyball to right to bring in Dickerson.
San Diego’s Jurickson Profar reached third in the 10th on Kim Ha-seong’s grounder before Wandy Peralta struck out Jorge Mateo and got rookie Tucupita Marcano to fly out to end it for his first career save.
San Diego’s Wil Myers tied the game at 2 with a homer in the eighth off Tyler Rogers (1-0).
Orioles 11, Yankees 5: Orioles right fielder Anthony Santander threw out Gio Urshela trying to score on a fly ball in the 11th, moments after pinch-hitter Chance Sisco’s go-ahead single in the top of the inning, and Baltimore beat the New York Yankees 4-3 Wednesday night.
Brett Gardner bunted Urshela, the automatic runner, to third to open the inning. DJ LeMahieu then ripped a liner to right. Santander set his feet, caught it and delivered a perfect throw home, a couple steps ahead of Urshela, who slid face first into catcher Pedro Severino’s tag.
Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 0: Antonio Senzatela pitched eight electric innings on a cool evening, Chris Owings had three extra-base hits before leaving with right leg soreness, and the Colorado Rockies snapped a four-game skid by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-0 on Wednesday night.
Senzatela (1-1) scattered four hits by mixing in a sizzling slider with a fastball that was moving all over. He walked two and struck out three. Senzatela was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eight after throwing 96 pitches.