MLB round-up: Zack Wheeler goes out of his way to beat Phils against Braves

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© Reuters. MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

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Right-hander Zack Wheeler threw seven innings and drove two runs to help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the visiting Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Saturday.

Wheeler (1-0) allowed Travis d’Arnaud only one hit, a harmless single in the second inning, and didn’t go for a punch. He hit 10, two just before his career high, and only threw 90 pitches.

It was Wheeler’s ninth double-digit strike game, his first with the Phillies. He improved to 7-5 in his career against Atlanta.

Wheeler was 2-3 with a double and two RBIs and became the first Philadelphia pitcher to score two hits, two RBIs and 10 strikeouts since Cliff Lee on September 16, 2013.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3

Corey Kluber struggled on a successful debut in New York and Gary Sanchez celebrated his second game in a row at Yankee Stadium in defeating Toronto.

Kluber was limited to one inning with the Texas Rangers last season with a shoulder injury, allowing two runs and five hits in four innings. He hit five and went three in a 74-pitch foray. Kluber threw himself on the base every inning with men, but effectively used his sinker in various places.

Sanchez, who had a disastrous 0.147 average last season, drove a couple of rows into the left field spots to take fourth when he hit a 2-2 slider from Ross Stripling (0-1), to give the Yankees a 2 -1 lead. Teammate Jay Bruce celebrated his 34th birthday with a two-part, base-laden single in the sixth.

Royals 11, Rangers 4

Michael A. Taylor repeated his stellar opening day, running three runs for the second straight game when hosts Kansas City beat Texas and scored double digits in the second straight game.

Taylor’s homerun in the fifth run brought the Royals into their comeback after a 4-0 deficit. His two-part double loaded with bases in the sixth gave the Royals the lead.

Mike Minor (1-0) took the win for Kansas City, allowing four runs with four hits in six innings. Josh Sborz (0-1) lost for Texas after not withdrawing a batsman.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 2

Maikel Franco drove in two races, and teammates Anthony Santander (MC 🙂 and Trey Mancini each added an RBI when a visit to Baltimore defeated Boston.

The Orioles have now played the first two games of the series this weekend with Boston, and they have done it the same way each time – with timely hitting and good pitching.

Matt Harvey started and gave up two runs with six hits in 4 2/3 innings on his Baltimore debut. Harvey was effective but faded a bit on the fifth, and the bullpen took command after that. Adam Plutko (1-0) came and threw 2 1/3 goalless innings to claim victory.

Cubs 5, Pirates 1

Jake Arrieta threw six solid innings to claim victory on his return to Chicago, where solo homers from fellow World Series winners Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward took down Pittsburgh in the middle competition of a three-game series in 2016.

Arrieta (1-0), who returned to Chicago in February after the last three seasons at the Philadelphia Phillies, allowed a six-hit run and one run while scoring five. The 35-year-old right-handed man gave up the run while allowing three base runners in a first inning with 25 pitches, but threw only 59 pitches over the last five innings in which the Pirates got a runner past first base.

Arrieta went down to 68-31 with 2.73 ERA for the Cubs between 2013 and 2017, a period of time he threw two no-hitters, won the National League Cy Young in 2015, and anchored the rotation as Chicago had its first World Series since 108 years ago won 2016.

Astros 9, athletics 1

Yordan Alvarez had a triple home run under three hits, and four Houston pitchers limited Oakland to a total of three singles when the visiting Astros made it straight over the A’s three times.

Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0) scored seven hits in five innings and allowed only one run with two hits to help Houston get off to a 3-0 start for the first time since his 2017 World Series winning year.

Cole Irvin (0-1), a left-hander who won a spot in the A’s opening rotation in spring practice, failed to make it out of the fifth inning, which was burdened with four runs out of seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He went one and turned down two.

Tiger 5, Indian 2

Jeimer Candelario had three hits, two runs and an RBI, Julio Tehran made his Detroit debut and the Tigers beat Cleveland.

Tehran went five innings and allowed a run with four hits. He played for the Los Angeles Angels last season.

Eddie Rosario came home and drove in Cleveland in both races. He reached the base three times when he also drew two walks.

Reds 9, Cardinals 6

Tucker Barnhart hit a third inning in Cincinnati, and Nick Castellanos was thrown after emotions flared in the Reds’ win over St. Louis.

Adam Wainwright (0-1) pulled his first six batters back before getting into trouble in the third when veteran Tyler Naquin left before allowing Barnhart to explode into right midfield. The Reds followed with six singles in the inning, forcing Wainwright’s early exit after Naquin’s single with two outs and two runs gave them a 6-1 lead.

Jake Woodford replaced Wainwright and lit a benches clearing argument after hitting Castellanos in the fourth with a 92 mph fastball. Castellanos stared at the hill before taking his base, and finally met in a wild field. He stared at Woodford after slipping it under his label. Both dugouts were emptied and Castellanos was ejected for the first time in his career, but after a few minutes no punches were thrown and order was restored.

– Field level media

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