Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw Hurl Mariners, Dodgers to Opening Day Victories

Players of the Day for Monday, April 1, 2013

American League

Felix Hernandez
After Texas and Houston kicked the 2013 regular season off on Sunday night, nine more AL teams took to the fields across America. Four more - Cleveland, Toronto, Baltimore, Tampa Bay - will open their seasons on Tuesday.

In Oakland, Felix Hernandez got off to a strong start, notching his first win with a strong starting performance in the Mariners' 2-0 win.

The 2010 Cy Young award winner was in mid-season form, throwing 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball on three hits, striking out eight, issuing one walk. A trio of relievers followed Hernandez to the mound, keeping the A's hitless over the final 1 1/3 innings.

Disappointing as the loss was for the hometown fans, they can take solace in the fact that they won't be seeing Mr. Hernandez again on Seattle's trip to the bay area. The A's will try to even up the score on Tuesday at 7:05 pm PDT.

National League
Kershaw: 0ER, CG, 7K

All fifteen NL teams opened their regular seasons on Monday (the Reds hosted the Angels in an interleague game).

While there were some stellar performances, such as Stephen Strasburg's seven scoreless innings or Bryce Harper's two home runs in Washington's 2-0 win over Miami, but nobody had the kind of day that Clayton Kershaw did, as he led the Dodgers to a 4-0 victory over NL West rival, San Francisco.

The NL 2011 Cy Young winner, Kershaw was in top form, dueling with the Giants' Matt Cain in Los Angeles. Both starters were putting up goose-eggs, but after six innings and 93 pitches, Cain was done. George Kontos came on the the Giants and set down the Dodgers in order in the seventh, but, in the eighth, Kershaw led off with his first major league homer, a towering 414-foot blast to dead center field that unknotted the scoreless tie.

After the Dodgers scored thee more runs in the inning, Kershaw returned to the mound and continued to mow down the Giants, finishing up with a four-hit, complete game win, fanning seven without walking a batter.

Kershaw threw 65 of 94 pitches for strikes. The Giants and Dodgers renew their rivalry on Tuesday, at 7:10 pm Pacific time.

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