MLB scores: Christian Yelich is the MVP of March; Blue Jays' Trent Thornton strikes out eight in MLB debut

All 30 MLB teams are in action for our first Sunday of the 2019 season. Most teams will be wrapping up their first official series of the season, with the Philadelphia Phillies looking to complete a sweep over the Atlanta Braves. Sunday's full slate of games included the MLB debuts for two starting pitchers -- Toronto Blue Jays' Trent Thornton (5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 8 K) and San Diego Padres' Chris Paddack (5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 7 K, 1 BB) -- as well as Washington Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin's (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) team debut.

We'll be keeping this post updated with scores, news and happenings as the Sunday games get underway, so you don't miss a thing from the first weekend of 2019 baseball. For everything you need to know about Sunday's MLB action, check back throughout the day.

Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

Baseball scores for Sunday, March 31

1. Yelich homers again, then hits walk-off

Christian Yelich continued his hot start to the season on Sunday where he hit his fourth home run in as many games. For good measure, he blasted a two-run double in the ninth to complete a Brewers comeback, as they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4. With Yelich's fourth home run on the season, the 2018 National League MVP became the sixth player in MLB history to start a season with homers in four straight games. 

Here's how Yelich began his day:

And how he ended it:

Yelich at-bats are already must-watch baseball, and it's not even April yet.

2. Orioles take series from Yankees

The Orioles are widely regarded as the worst team in baseball. The Yankees, meanwhile, have a real chance at winning the World Series. Naturally the Orioles found a way to take two of their three season-opening games against New York -- on the road, at that.

Renato Nunez and John Means were the biggest contributors for the O's on Sunday. Nunez drove in three runs on two hits (including a home run) and a walk. Means, on the other paw, threw 3 ⅓ innings in relief, permitting a walk and striking out five.

It's worth noting that Means was particularly effective with his changeup. Though his fastball topped out in the low-90s, he coerced 12 swinging strikes on 35 changeups -- that's an absurd ratio. O's starter Dylan Bundy, for instance, generated nine whiffs on his 93 pitches.

Yankees fans shouldn't panic and we shouldn't all rush to proclaim the Orioles better than expected, obviously, but it did make for a fun weekend for the Baltimore faithful.

3. Rangers upend Cubs on walk-off wild pitch

The Cubs and Rangers concluded their opening weekend series on Sunday with a wild affair that saw the Rangers walk off with an 11-10 win.

By "walk-off" we really mean run-off -- the Rangers won on a wild pitch:

That highlight alone doesn't do the game's wildness justice. Let's recap the contest in brief: the Cubs were up 4-0 early, then the Rangers stormed back with a five-run fourth. The Cubs would regain the lead later on to go up 8-6 before Texas once more took over with a four-run seventh inning. The Cubs pulled even at 10 in the eighth inning before the above play went down.

The Rangers, then, will walk away from opening weekend 2-1. The Cubs are 1-2.

4. Blue Jays' Thornton has 8 K's in MLB debut

Trent Thornton set a Blue Jays franchise record when he struck out eight in his Major League debut against the Tigers. The previous record was seven, jointly held by Matt Boyd and Marc Rzepczynski.

More on his impressive numbers:

The right-hander was acquired from the Houston Astros in November, and worked his way into Toronto's starting rotation with his performance this spring where he racked up 16 strikeouts in 15 innings.

5. Stat of the day: Teenager Luciano debuts

The Blue Jays raised eyebrows when they plucked teenager Elvis Luciano in the Rule 5 draft. On Sunday, he made his big-league debut, and did something that hadn't been done in decades: record at least four outs in a scoreless first outing.

Luciano threw 23 pitches, with his fastball topping out around 96 mph. He generated three whiffs, two of his which came on his slider.

The Jays are 2-2 after the loss.

6. Highlight of the day: Nats avoid sweep with Turner's walk-off homer

The Nationals took a 5-2 lead into the eighth, but gave it up, then avoided a Mets sweep with Trea Turner's second home run of the game. Turner's two-homer game saw him finish 2-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBI. He's also leading the league in stolen bases, with four.

Patrick Corbin, in his first start for the Nationals since arriving on a six-year, $140 million contract, allowed two earned runs on seven hits over six innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Mets starter Zack Wheeler underwhelmed and allowed four runs in his five-inning outing, but finished his start by retiring nine of 11 Nationals with four via strikeout.


Quick hits 

  • Carlos Correa took the field for the first time this season since injuring his neck at the end of spring training. Correa batted cleanup (0 for 3) and played shortstop for Houston in the team's 3-1 loss against the Rays on Sunday.
  • The Rockies called up infielder Pat Valaika to fill Daniel Murphy's roster spot. Murphy fractured the tip of his left index finger in Friday's game while making a diving stop at first base. Valaika, 26, will most likely take on a bench role for the infield as Ryan McMahon is expected to take over as the starting first baseman. Colorado does not have a timetable for Murphy, and he is set to see a hand specialist on Monday to check on the severity of the injury.
  • After throwing a 50-pitch simulated game on Saturday, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is tentatively scheduled to make a minor league rehab start on Thursday as he continues his recovery from left shoulder inflammation.
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