Tuesday, October 4 2022

The Major League Baseball regular season officially begins Thursday with seven games on tap after two were postponed in advance due to weather.

The Chicago Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field in the first game of the day at 2:20 p.m. ET with the Houston Astros-Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres-Arizona Diamondbacks matchups the last to begin after 9:30 p.m. ET.

In Atlanta, the Braves kick off their World Series defense against the Cincinnati Reds at 8:08 p.m. ET.

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Keep it here all day Thursday for updates from around the league:

Tyler O'Neill celebrates his three-run homer in the second inning on Thursday.Tyler O'Neill celebrates his three-run homer in the second inning on Thursday.

Tyler O’Neill celebrates his three-run homer in the second inning on Thursday.

Tyler O’Neill homers for St. Louis

Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill’s first home run of the season was a three-run shot in the second inning of the opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The homer gave St. Louis a 4-0 lead an inning after O’Neill had opened the scoring with an RBI single

O’Neill finished eighth in NL MVP voting and won his second Gold Glove in 2021, hitting 34 homers with 15 steals and a .912 OPS.

Chicago shortstop Nico Hoerner hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning against reigning NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead in their season opener.

Milwaukee scored the first run of the 2022 season in the fourth, on an RBI groundout by Lorenzo Cain. Hoerner’s go-ahead homer came after Patrick Wisdom‘s sac fly tied it up.

Albert Pujols gets a standing ovation in Cardinals return

Playing his first game for the Cardinals since 2011, Albert Pujols got a standing ovation from the crowd in St. Louis on Opening Day. Pujols, 42, was the starting designated hitter, batting fifth for the Cardinals.

Seiya Suzuki gets first big-league hit

The Cubs inked Japanese star Seiya Suzuki to a five-year, $85 million contract in March and the 27-year-old made his debut Thursday, starting in right field and batting sixth for Chicago.

Suzuki drew a walk in his first big-league plate appearance (second inning) and then singled leading off the bottom of the fifth against Corbin Burnes.

Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts can opt out of his contract after this season and said Thursday that he and the team weren’t going to get an extension done before Opening Day.

Bogaerts is entering the third year of a six-year, $120 million contract that he signed with the Red Sox at the beginning of 2019. If he opts out, the 29-year-old would be one of the top players available on the free agent market.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates agree on big extension

The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to issue the largest contract in franchise history, agreeing to an eight-year, $70 million extension with third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes ahead of the 2022 season opener.

Jason Kendall’s six-year, $60 million deal signed in 2000(!) had been Pittsburgh’s biggest contract to date.

Hayes burst onto the scene in 2020, batting .376 in 24 games to earn Rookie of the Year votes, but wrist injuries limited him to 96 games last season.

Royals’ Bobby Witt Jr. set for debut

The top prospect in baseball, Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. is starting at third base and batting second on Thursday in the season opener against Cleveland. Witt was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft and is the son of 16-year MLB veteran Bobby Witt.

Zack Greinke gets the Opening Day start for the Royals, his first appearance for the team since 2010 after signing a one-year, $13 million deal to go back to where his career began.

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Opening Day tickets easy to find; rain delays other games

Of the seven openers on Thursday, just two – Astros-Angels at Anaheim and Pirates-Cardinals at St. Louis – are sold out. The Atlanta Braves, the defending World Series champions, have standing room only tickets available for both Thursday’s opener and Friday and Saturday’s games against Cincinnati.

The weather also hasn’t cooperated, with rainy conditions already booting the Red Sox-Yankees opener in the Bronx and the Twins’ game against Seattle to Friday. Fortunately for all teams involved, those games were regularly scheduled home openers and will utilize Friday rain dates to get the games in – though that still didn’t guarantee a full house.

– Gabe Lacques

Padres, Twins make opening day trade

The Minnesota Twins acquired right-handed pitchers Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagán from the San Diego Padres for All-Star left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers and outfielder Brent Rooker.

The Twins also will receive a player to be named later and the Padres will get $6.6 million in cash under terms of the deal announced Thursday.

Associated Press

After ugly winter, Rob Manfred is ‘thrilled’ to get 2022 started

Major League Baseball players openly chastised him. Frustrated fans solely blamed him. He was a living piñata for the media.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred might have been the most hated man in all of sports during the 99-day lockout.

Here we are, with Opening Day arriving a week late on Thursday, and a day even later for the latest chapter of the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry. Their season-opener, with Manfred scheduled to be in attendance, was postponed until Friday at Yankee Stadium.

“I have never anticipated a season as much as this one,’’ Manfred told USA TODAY Sports in a wide-ranging interview. “I think given the last two seasons, the idea of having normal, unrestricted fans in the ballpark is a really exciting thing for me.

“I can’t wait for this one to get going.’’

– Bob Nightengale

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB Opening Day live: Updates, scores, highlights from around baseball

Source: Yahoo Sports

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