Scores, updates and highlights from around baseball

Baseball fans, rejoice. The 2021 Big league Baseball season formally starts Thursday in ballparks that will in fact hold (some) fans throughout the routine season, a departure from the 60-game project MLB played in 2015.

This year, the strategy is to play all 162. And on Day 1, all fans – no matter the expectations or forecasts – hold that sense of guarantee that comes with every brand-new season.

2 video games have actually currently been held off: one due to weather, the other due to COVID-19 issues, a tip the pandemic will still factor into the 2021 season. Follow along here for the current updates and highlights from the very first “real” Opening Day given that 2019.

Who’s closing where?

A Few Of the most carefully safeguarded tricks this spring needed to do with a number of groups’ choices at the back of the bullpen. Naturally, one video game definitely does not ensure how things go all season, however a minimum of a number of those closer concerns were responded to in Thursday’s openers.

The San Diego Padres had 3 possible prospects — and supervisor Jayce Tingler utilized them all in an 8-7 triumph over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Emilio Pagan pitched a scoreless seventh, Drew Pomeranz started out the side in the 8th and Mark Melancon covered things up in the ninth.

Pittsburgh Pirates supervisor Derek Shelton stated Richard Rodriguez would not always keep the closer’s job he took control of late last season. Nevertheless, Rodriguez did pitch the ninth and get the conserve in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The Minnesota Twins indicated they’re planning on using Taylor Rogers and Alex Colome as co-closers. Rogers worked a scoreless seventh against the Milwaukee Brewers, but Colome yielded two hits and three unearned runs in the ninth in an eventual 6-5 loss in 10 innings. However, the runs were unearned because of Colome’s throwing error. Keep a close eye on this situation.

Gregory Soto picked up the conserve in a 3-2 Detroit Tigers win, despite giving up a two-run homer to Cleveland’s Roberto Perez in the ninth.

Greg Holland posted a stellar 1.91 ERA with six saves last season for the Kansas City Royals. He got out of a bases-loaded situation in the eighth versus the Texas Rangers to protect a four-run lead, however ran into trouble in the ninth. Former closer Wade Davis picked up the save by getting the final 2 outs of a wild 14-11 win.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said before his team’s opener that hard-throwing Jordan Hicks would be eased into the closer’s role after missing all of last season. Giovanny Gallegos pitched the eighth and Alex Reyes had the ninth, despite it not being a save situation, in the Cards’ 11-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

And the Tampa Bay Rays set an MLB record last year — during the short season, no less — with 12 different players recording at least one save. In their season-opening win over the Marlins, Diego Castillo secured their first one of 2021.

Meadows’ home run the difference for Rays (7:13 p.m.)

Outfielder Austin Meadows broke up a scoreless tie with a solo homer in the top of the eighth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Miami Marlins 1-0 in the Battle of Florida.

The game was a classic pitcher’s duel between the Rays’ Tyler Glasnow and the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara. Both tossed six shutout innings before turning things over to their bullpens.

Glasnow struck out six and allowed only a first-inning single to Jesus Aguilar before retiring the final 16 batters he faced. Alcantara yielded two hits and two walks, striking out seven. Meadows’ homer came off Marlins reliever Yimi Garcia.

Diamondbacks rally back against Padres (6:30 p.m.)

Trailing 6-1, Arizona scored six runs – on four home runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead. After Ketel Marte and Asdrubal Cabrera homered, pinch hitter Tim Locastro’s two-run shot tied it at six and Stephen Vogt followed with a solo home run to take the lead.

Dodgers’ oddity costs Bellinger a HR

Blue Jays beat Yankees in extra innings

Leading off the 10th inning with a man on second (it’s still weird), Randal Grichuk hit an RBI double to break the tie game and Toronto held on to win 3-2 in the Bronx. Julian Merryweather struck out the side to get the save for the Blue Jays.

Cardinals open with a bang (4:35 p.m.)

St. Louis scored six runs in the first inning against Reds ace Luis Castillo, capped off by rookie Dylan Carlson’s 3-run homer. Prized offseason acquisition Nolan Arenado singled in his first at-bat with the Cardinals, coming around to score earlier in the frame.

Rangers jump out on Royals (4:30 p.m.)

Texas scored five runs before Kansas City starter Brad Keller even recorded an out, getting an RBI single from Nick Solak, a three-run double from new addition Nate Lowe and an RBI single from designated hitter Eli White. The Rangers sent 10 batters to the plate and had seven hits in the inning.

Pirates phenom goes long (2:35 p.m.)

Pittsburgh third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, among the favorites to win the NL Rookie of the Year award, hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks. The 24-year-old, son of MLB veteran Charlie Hayes, hit .376 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 24 games last season.

Cabrera gets campaign started (1:40 p.m.)

Playing in a snowstorm in Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit the first home run of the 2021 MLB season, a two-run shot in the second inning off reigning AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber. It was Cabrera’s 488th career home run and 2,867th hit, a great start for the 37-year-old looking to reach the 500 and 3,000 milestones this season.

Play ball! (1:10 p.m.)

With the first pitch of the Yankees-Blue Jays game in the Bronx, the 2021 MLB season is officially underway. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole set Toronto down in order in the top of the first.

Nationals-Mets postponed due to COVID issues (11:15 a.m.)

Washington was set to be without five players for Thursday’s game after one player tested positive for COVID-19 and four others were in quarantine due to contact tracing. Now, the game won’t be played and regardless of a scheduled day off Friday, the earliest the teams will play is on Saturday.

Red Sox-Orioles postponed (9 a.m.)

Thursday’s video game at Fenway Park in between the Red Sox and Orioles was cancelled due to rain and will be used Friday, which is the specific factor for the integrated off-day following opening day.

This post initially appeared on U.S.A. TODAY: MLB opening day 2021 live: Ratings, updates, highlights around baseball

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.