As great as Wednesday night was in baseball, Thursday took a somber tone as we may have seen the end of one of the game's all-time greats in Mariano Rivera. Rivera suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee before Thursday's loss in Kansas City. It cast a dark shadow over the rest of the games, but the games go on...
Mike Moustakas, Royals. There was still a game in Kansas City after Rivera hurt himself, and it was Jonathan Broxton who picked up the save as the Royals won their first home game of the season, but it was Moustakas who starred. Not only did Moustakas put the Royals on the board with a solo homer in the second inning, he also singled in two more runs in the fifth. But it wasn't just the bat, Moustakas finished off the game with a sparkling defensive play. With the Royals holding a 4-3 lead with a runner on third and two outs, Moustakas bare-handed a dribbler by Alex Rodriguez and just threw him out at first to end the game and give the Royals their first home victory of the season.
Brandon Marrow, Blue Jays and Joe Blanton, Phillies. Both threw three-hit shutouts. Neither pitcher walked a batter. Marrow struck out eight and Blanton struck out six.
Bryce Harper, Nationals. It's two early to crown the kid yet, but he's making quite the impression in his young career. Batting third for the first time, Harper rose to the occasion, hitting an RBI double off of Ian Kennedy to break a tie game and give the Nationals a 2-1 win. It was his only hit of the night, but he's hitting .375 so far, including four doubles.
The Cubs. It would be easy to blame Thursday's loss all on Carlos Marmol -- and not that he doesn't deserve a large share of the blame -- but it wouldn't be completely fair. Marmol did his part, be sure of that -- walking three of the five batters he faced without recording an out -- but he wasn't alone. After walking the first two batters of the inning, Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart threw the ball away allowing a run to score. After a single by Jay Bruce to load the bases, Marmol walked in another run. In the 10th, pitcher Rafael Dolis gave up a leadoff single to Zack Cozart and allowed him to third when he threw away Chris Heisey's sac bunt attempt before losing on Scott Rolen's sacrifice fly.
Adam Dunn, White Sox. For the 29th consecutive game, Adam Dunn recorded a strikeout, breaking the major-league record set by Jarrod Saltalamacchia from 2008-09. Dunn struck out just once and did record two hits, including a two-run homer in the ninth inning, his seventh of the season.
Mark Trumbo, Angels. Back at third base, Trumbo's sixth-inning error led to two Toronto runs. It was his fourth error in eight starts at third. Trumbo's hitting .298 (and had one of the team's three hits on Thursday), so they need his bat in the lineup, but with Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales, there's no natural spot for him to play everyday.
New guy vs. old guy. Tigers lefty Drew Smyly is the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to allow one or fewer runs in his first four starts as a pro. He has just one win to show for it. Meanwhile, Jake Peavy isn't taking any chances at losing a lead. He threw back-to-back complete games for the first time in his career. He' off to a 3-1 start with a 1.67 ERA. 7:05 p.m ET
Remember me? Before this whole Bryce Harper phenomenon, Washington D.C. had Stephen Strasburg. allowed just one run in five innings on Saturday in Los Angeles, but was handed a no-decision. He has 34 strikeouts in 32 innings this season, while putting up a 2-0 record and a 1.13 ERA. 7:05 p.m.
Still aces? Zack Greinke and Tim Lincecum have three Cy Young Awards between them, but neither has looked dominating so far this season. Since coming to Milwaukee, Greinke is 6-7 with a 5.11 ERA on the road and 13-0 with a 2.90 ERA at home. Lincecum is coming off his best start of the year, giving up just three hits and an unearned run in eight innings against the Padres, but he still has a 5.74 ERA. 10:15 p.m. ET
• Lil Musial dies. Sad news out of St. Louis, where the wife of Stan Musial, Lil Musial, died at the age of 91. Her grandson said she died at 6 p.m., which was fitting because she said six was her favorite number. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
• Perfect timing. Long Beach State just happened to have a Jered Weaver bobblehead promotion in the works and after his no-hitter on Wednesday, the school announced the first 1,500 people at May 19th game against Pacific will get a bobblehead of the former Dirtdog. [Orange County Register]
• Espinosa struggling. While the Nationals are off to a hot start, second baseman Danny Espinosa is not. Espinosa had another 0-for in Thursday's win and is hitting just .182/.277/.239 this season. Desmond isn't just not getting hits, he's not putting bat on the ball much. [MASNSports.com]
• Sounds like a Red Sox-Yankees inning. In 1977, the Padres and Phillies played a nine-inning game in a tidy 89 minutes. MLB.com looks back at the 4-1 Padres victory.
• The amazing Bauer. Diamondbacks prospect Trevor Bauer is the talk of scouts so far early in the season and for good reason. [FanGraphs.com]
• Happy birthday, happy birthday. Thursday's Reds-Cubs game was the first ever featuring two starters celebrating their birthday. Reds starter Homer Bailey turned 26 and Cubs starter Ryan Dempster is 35. Both received no-decisions for their birthday.
• Too much celebration? White Sox outfielder Alex Rios wasn't happy with Indians closer Chris Perez's excitement over recording his ninth save of the season. [MLB.com]
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