Detroit Tigers reliever Tyler Alexander made history in MLB, while Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw starred in his 2020 debut.
The Tigers lost their doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday – 4-3 and 4-0 – but unheralded pitcher Alexander set a league record.
Alexander struck out the first nine batters he faced in the opening game – tying the American League (AL) mark and setting an MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts by a reliver.
"I normally don't try to strike people out," Alexander, who entered in the third inning, said. "But I would say after the fifth strikeout I was trying to strike people out."
Kershaw impressed in his first appearance of the season as the Dodgers shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0.
After sitting out last month's season opener, Kershaw returned to the mound and allowed three hits, while striking out six across 5.2 innings of work against the Diamondbacks.
Three-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner Kershaw, who retired his first 10 batters, exited the game with the Dodgers leading 3-0.
"It was fun, I missed it," the 2014 NL MVP said. "It was hard to miss opening day and I didn't know how long it would take for my back to get better.
"It bounced back pretty quick, so I was just thankful to get out there today. Felt good, it was awesome."
Judge homers for fifth straight game
New York Yankees All-Star slugger Aaron Judge hit a home run for a career-high fifth consecutive game. Judge became the first Yankees player since Alex Rodriguez in 2007 to achieve the feat as his team swept the Boston Red Sox with a 9-7 triumph.
The Atlanta Braves extended their winning streak to five games after blanking the Yoenis Cespedes-less New York Mets 4-0.
A 9-6 victory over the San Diego Padres saw the Colorado Rockies improve to 6-2 for the season – matching the team's second-best start in franchise history. Colorado opened 7-1 in 1995.
Ohtani leaves Angels sweating
Shohei Ohtani produced another wild performance before being sent for an MRI by the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani – back on the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018 – felt discomfort in his pitching arm. Prior to that, the Angels star issued five walks and only five outs in a difficult outing as the Los Angeles franchise lost 6-5 to the Houston Astros after 11 innings.
Pujols homers… again
Angels star Albert Pujols homered in the third inning, a grand slam. He is now just two home runs shy of matching Willie Mays (660) for fifth all-time.
Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 4-0 Detroit Tigers
Baltimore Orioles 5-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves 4-0 New York Mets
Chicago White Sox 9-2 Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins 3-1 Cleveland Indians
Chicago Cubs 2-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Colorado Rockies 9-6 San Diego Padres
Texas Rangers 9-5 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Oakland Athletics 3-2 Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros 6-5 Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees 9-7 Boston Red Sox
Phillies at Yankees
The Philadelphia Phillies are set to make their first appearance since their opening series of the season following a coronavirus outbreak, travelling to the in-form Yankees on Monday.