The Lineup: Mets' Daniel Murphy gets it done with glove, bat

Daniel Murphy



Most of the baseball world was focused on Yu Darvish 's debut Monday, C.J. Wilson had a much better game in his first game with the Los Angeles Angels , while the New York Yankees , Red Sox and San Francisco Giants all picked up their first victories of the season.



3 UP

Daniel Murphy , New York Mets . The Mets second baseman ended the top and bottom of the ninth inning in Monday's 4-3 victory over the Nationals. With a man on first and two outs in the top of the ninth, Washington Nationals 's Ryan Zimmerman hit a ground ball up the middle and Murphy made a diving stop for the inning-ending force at second base. When it was his turn to bad in the bottom of the inning, the Mets had runners and second and third and he singled in the winning run to help the Mets improve to 4-0 on the season.

Alfredo Aceves , Red Sox. A real, live save. Seriously. The sky may have been falling in Boston Red Sox 's 0-3, but Monday was a new day and the team's closer closed out a 4-2 victory over Toronto Blue Jays . While there's been plenty of talk (including here) about the Red Sox bullpen, they were excellent on Monday, allowing just one hit in four scoreless innings. Aceves worked a perfect ninth after Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos coughed up his second blown save of the young season.

Chris Sale , Chicago White Sox . After making his debut as a reliever in the same season as he was drafted (2010), the White Sox kept the lefty in the bullpen in 2011, but said all along they saw him as a starter in the long run. The 23-year-old made his first big-league start Monday, allowing just three hits and a run over 6 2/3 innings, picking up the victory for the White Sox. Sale struck out five and walked two. As an odd coincidence, Sale's first win as a starter came in the same place where he picked up his first career save, Cleveland Indians 's Progressive Field.

3 DOWN

Jamey Carroll , Twins. Not only is Carroll 0 for 13 so far this season, he also failed to make a key play in the Twins' 5-1 loss to the Angels on Monday. In the seventh inning, he dove and got a glove on Alberto Callaspo 's grounder, but couldn't make the play. Carroll admitted afterward he should've made the play and gotten a double play out of it. Even though he entered the game 0 for 11, give him a little credit for being patient enough to work two walks in his first two plate appearances on Monday. Carroll signed a two-year deal worth $6.75 million this offseason.

Homer Bailey , Cincinnati Reds . The Reds right-hander lived up to his name, giving up three homers in the first inning of his start against the St. Louis Cardinals . After retiring the first two batters of the game, Bailey gave up homers to Matt Holliday , David Freese and Yadier Molina , digging himself a 4-0 hole. Bailey actually recovered well, allowing just two more hits and no runs in his next five innings, but at that point, the damage was done.

Twins, Braves. With wins by the Yankees, Red Sox and Giants, Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins are the only two winless teams left. The Braves are 0-4 for the first time since 1988, while the Twins have dropped their first four games for the first time since 1969.



• Young guns: Matt Moore is one of the most exciting pitching prospects in the game. Few players with his lack of experience (just one big-league start) are asked to start a postseason game. And even fewer can perform like he did in Game 1 of last year's ALDS, when he allowed just two hits in seven scoreless against the Texas Rangers . He appeared in Game 4 in relief, but the Tampa Bay Rays couldn't give him another opportunity to start -- until Tuesday. He'll face off against Detroit Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello , who is just six months older than Moore but has 89 big-league starts under his belt. Porcello is also coming off a great spring, where he went 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts. 1:05 p.m. ET

• Kershaw's second start: Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was limited to just three innings in his season debut last Thursday because of illness. The Dodgers think he'll be feeling good enough to start the team's home-opener on Tuesday against the Pirates. Even in his weakened state and looking for places to throw up, Kershaw limited to San Diego Padres to two hits and struck out three. The lefty should be better -- in every sense of the word -- against Pittsburgh Pirates . 4:10 p.m. ET

• To start or not to start, that is the question: Red Sox right-hander Daniel Bard won a spot in the rotation during spring, but with Boston's relievers struggling, there have been questions about whether Bard should return to the bullpen. Despite pitching in 192 games in thee big leagues, Tuesday will be his first start. Bard faces Toronto's Kyle Drabek at Rogers Centre. 7:07 p.m. ET

Tuesday's full schedule



• Training the Wonder Dog: Many Royals fans were worried when the team hired Rex Hudler for its TV crew. Hudler's known for his exuberance, which can rub some the wrong way. Hudler's heard the criticism and is trying to change, he tells Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Royals Star.

• High-tech Topps: Topps, the baseball card company, has jumped into the app game. The company has two apps on the market for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It's part of the brand's fight for survival.

• New Rays stadium made in China?: Could the Rays' new stadium be aided by wealthy Chinese would-be immigrants? It's possible. A program called EB-5 has been integral to the new arena in Brooklyn and could be used to help the Rays get a new stadium.

• Angels remember Adenhart: Monday was the third anniversary of the death of former Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart. His memory is still alive among Angels players.

• Study for those without enough to study: According to an Orange County Register poll, Republicans are more likely to claim Major League Baseball free-agency as party value than Democrats, despite the fact the MLBPA is probably the most powerful union in the country. In the end, this just seems like one thing that didn't need to be studied.

• Minor-league finance: Speaking of the powers of unions, Slate.com asks where the minor-league union is. At the lowest levels, most minor-leaguers make just $1,100 a month, well below the poverty level.

• Uniquely American: It's only fitting that the Negro Leagues Museum and American Jazz Museum are located under the same roof in Kansas City -- baseball and jazz are two of the greatest inventions the United States have given the world. Turns out, the word "jazz" has its roots in baseball.

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