With a built-in weather contingency offday on Friday, Yankees fans had an extra 24 hours to soak in the good vibes of the nearly flawless victory on Opening Day. There were only four games in total, with three of the Yankees’ AL rivals — Astros, Guardians, and Mariners — seeing action. All three teams leveled their respective season-opener series at a game apiece.
Chicago White Sox (1-1) 3, Houston Astros (1-1) 6
The White Sox were surprise winners over the defending champion Astros on Opening day, but the Houston avenged the defeat with a come-from-behind victory on Friday. Lance Lynn faced Cristian Javier — a pitcher who many expect to vault himself to the top of the Cy Young conversation this season — and neither had their A-plus stuff. Lynn allowed two runs on three hits and four walks in 5.2 innings while Javier allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings. Both men struck out six.
Chicago jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to an Eloy Jiménez RBI double in the first and back-to-back RBI doubles by Jiménez and Yoán Moncada in the sixth. Kyle Tucker immediately answered with a two-run home run in the bottom-half to cut the deficit to 3-2.
An inning later, Yordan Alvarez followed up his mammoth home run on Opening Day with a bases-clearing double after the Astros loaded them up on a Martín Maldonado walk, Jeremy Peña single, and Alex Bregman walk, all with two outs.
Houston added a final insurance run in the eighth on a David Hensley RBI single while Phil Maton, Seth Martinez, Bryan Abreu, and Rafael Montero each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to seal the Astros’ 6-3 victory. The two teams face off tomorrow afternoon, with Lucas Giolito taking on José Urquidy.
Seattle Mariners (1-1) 4, Cleveland Guardians (1-1) 9
The Opening Day showdown between the Mariners and Guardians saw a matchup of two of the best starters in baseball, with Luis Castillo and Shane Bieber each twirling six scoreless innings before the Seattle bats got to the Cleveland bullpen en route to a 3-0 victory. This game was much more offense oriented, with multiple lead changes before the Guardians really poured it on to put this one out of reach.
Robbie Ray got the start for Seattle while Hunter Gaddis deputized for the injured Triston McKenzie. Neither pitcher made it out of the fourth, with Ray surrendering five runs (three earned) against Gaddis’ four. Kolten Wong struck first for the Mariners, singling home Julio Rodríguez after the reigning AL Rookie of the Year’s double to leadoff the first. Cleveland responded with three runs in the second, the first two coming on a succession of throwing errors from new outfielder Teoscar Hernández and Robbie Ray after a routine shallow fly ball from Myles Straw. He ended up on third after the little league toss-around, coming around to score on a Steven Kwan sac fly.
Cal Raleigh leveled the scores with a ringing two-run double in the third, but Cleveland quickly grabbed their lead back in the fourth via Kwan’s two-run single. The Gold Glover and third-place AL Rookie of the Year finalist from a year ago had himself quite a night, adding a two-run double in the fifth for a 2-for-4, five-RBI performance.
Amed Rosario would drive in the third run of the frame to extend Cleveland’s lead to 8-4. They would add one final run in the eighth on a Josh Naylor single to plate José Ramírez to complete the resounding 9-4 victory. Game three of four of this season opener series plays out tomorrow night, with Aaron Civale taking on Logan Gilbert.