Another rare feat for Stephen Drew
D-backs shortshop hits Opening Day inside-the-park home run
Clearly enjoying the moment, Stephen Drew ranked his inside-the-park home run in the same category as his previous rare baseball feats, which include hitting for the cycle and helping to turn a triple play.
"It's up there," Drew told the The Arizona Republic.
"I was telling [first baseman Adam] LaRoche, 'I've seen it on TV, but I've never been a part of it on the field.' To actually do it, it was exciting.
Drew circled the bases during the fourth inning of Arizona's 6-3 win over San Diego at Chase Field on Opening Day.
"With the roof open, the wind was kind of swirling all around, and the ball just kept carrying and going left. ... It hit [off the wall], and I got a good bounce. It was unexpected. You don't think about it. You're just running hard, and you see the ball do that and nobody's near the ball, you get a chance to score so, it's pretty neat."
Lincecum's hat works well: Tim Lincecum's beat-up Giants cap already has 91 starts in the Majors and two Cy Young Awards, so he's not about to switch now. He began another season with it on Monday night, going seven scoreless innings for the win.
"It's just something I always did," Lincecum told the San Francisco Chronicle. "In high school, I got a cap, and I stuck with it all year. In college, I wore the same hat until I had to change hats because they changed brands. I like keeping the old hat. I like the worn look. Plus, it means something to me. I don't want to throw it away.
"If I had one superstition," he said, holding the cap that he takes home for the winter, "it would be this guy."
Marcum makes grand entrance in return: Shaun Marcum threw 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball in his first game back following a season lost to ligament replacement surgery. The Blue Jays' ace settled in after a first-pitch fastball for a strike.
"That helped me calm down," Marcum told MLB.com of his first pitch. "Then it was just stick to the game plan."
"Watching Shaun pitch, he's where he wants to be," Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells said. "This early, looking that good, throwing strikes with everything, I think that's the most encouraging thing about this game."
Gomez a smashing success in Milwaukee debut: Carlos Gomez got four hits, including a double and a home run, in his first game as the Brewers' center fielder.
"It was a great day, and I'm happy because I put the ball in play five times," Gomez told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I'm trying to be consistent every at-bat. I'm working on staying on the ball and not doing too much."
"It's huge for him to get off to a good start," Craig Counsell said. "He's in an important spot in the lineup. Batting second, if he gets on base like this, he's going to score a lot of runs."
Stairs ties record with 12th team: With a simple fly ball to center field in the eighth inning of Monday's season opener against Milwaukee, Matt Stairs began his tenure with the Padres and became just the second position player to appear for 12 clubs.
Deacon McGuire, who retired after the 1912 season, is the only other position player to play for 12 Major League teams.
"I would like to thank the Padres, my offseason hockey program and NutriSystem," Stairs jokingly told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Stairs was a rookie with the Montreal Expos in 1992. In addition to the Expos and Padres, he has played with the Phillies, Tigers, Blue Jays, A's, Brewers, Rangers, Royals, Red Sox, Cubs and Pirates.
Beckett signs four-year extension: Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a four-year contract extension.
"This is a very special place, and I think everyone who plays here knows it," Beckett told the Boston Herald.
Heyward arrives in the Majors: Derek Lowe says rookie sensation Jason Heyward compares favorably to a young Alex Rodriguez.
"I think he is a lot better than Alex was at that point," Lowe told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "What Alex has done to this point, you can't really compare to anybody, but you look at the raw strength that that the guy [Heyward] has. ... His plate discipline -- you don't see that every day."
Nolasco wants to keep walks to bare minimum: After walking just one batter during Grapefruit League play, Ricky Nolasco has set an ambitious goal for limiting his walks total this season.
"Obviously, I want to be as low as possible, but walks are going to happen," Nolasco told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It's part of the game, part of being a pitcher. My goal is no more than 25 walks. I want to throw over 200 innings. I think 25 is a good number to be at."
Chavez adjusts to DH duties: Eric Chavez, once considered one of the game's top third basemen, is adjusting to being a designated hitter.
"There's no doubt that just having to DH, I can play more games," Chavez told the Oakland Tribune. "Having not to throw a baseball gives me the best opportunity to be productive. It's up to me whether that happens or not."
"I have a job. I'm employed. I have a uniform," Chavez said. "I said from Day 1, I'll do whatever they want me to do."
Rasmus starts second season with a bang: Colby Rasmus got his sophomore season off to a good start with an Opening Day home run.
"Last year was a long year, and I learned a lot," Rasmus told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. "I learned how hard you have to work if you want to be great. Last year I didn't know what I needed to do to get ready. This year I feel like I'm working smarter."
Pujols begins with a pair of homers: Albert Pujols started where he left off, getting four hits, including two homers, in the Cardinals' opener.
"I went to Spring Training and did what I always do, get myself ready for Opening Day," Pujols told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. "Obviously I had two weeks where I couldn't do too much, but I didn't have to rush. I just had to make sure that I was prepared and ready to go. It's just one game. ... We take it one game at a time. It's always good to come out with the win, but it's a long season. One win won't get you in the playoffs."
Polanco hits grand slam, stays grounded: Back in Philadelphia for a second tour, Placido Polanco hit the second grand slam of his career on Monday.
"I'm OK. I feel good," Polanco told MLB.com. "This is a career high for me in RBIs. You can't beat that. I know how hard the game is. You try to stay humble because the game can turn around at any time."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.