Monday was Opening Day for the majority of major league teams, and, as always, there were several interesting statistics and notes that caught the eye.


Detroit’s Victor Martinez became the first Tiger to hit a home run on Opening Day since Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson did it in 2009. Martinez’s homer came in his first at-bat. Last season, his first round-tripper came in his 113th at-bat.

Salvador Perez had four hits for Kansas City, just the fourth player in team history, and the first since 1979 to do so on Opening Day.

In Pittsburgh’s 1-0 win over Chicago, the Pirates became the first team to win by that score in extra innings in a season-opener since the Mets defeated Philadelphia 1-0 in 14 innings in 1998. The Pirates’ attendance at PNC Park of 39,883 was the largest regular-season crowd in the ballpark’s history. PNC Park opened in 2001.

The 24 runs scored in the Phillies 14-10 win over the Mets tied for the third-most on Opening Day in the past 50 years.

Red Sox center fielder Grady Sizemore played in his first game since Sept. 22, 2011 and hit his first home run since July 15, 2011.

“Today was very exciting,” said Sizemore, who recovered from knee surgery. “I couldn’t wait to get to the ballpark.”

Florida’s Jose Fernandez became the youngest National League Opening Day starter since Dwight Gooden in 1986. Fernandez, 21, struck out nine and allowed one run in six innings of the Marlins 10-1 win over Colorado.

“I didn’t know how I was going to react to Opening Day, but it came out great,” Fernandez said.

Seattle won its eighth straight season opener, 10-3 over the Los Angeles Angels. The Mariners scored six runs in the top of the ninth to seal the victory.

The St. Louis Cardinals beat Cincinnati 1-0 on Opening Day on Monday, with the only run coming on a seventh-inning homer by Yadier Molina. The win at Cincinnati was the Cardinals second 1-0 victory in a season-opening game in franchise history. The other was a 1-0 win over the Pirates in 1980.

Cincinnati lost its first 1-0 game on Opening Day in team history, and it was the first time the Reds were shut out in the season opener since 1953. That ended the second-longest streak of scoring at least one run on Opening Day. Philadelphia wasn’t shut out in an opener in 62 years from 1911-72.

Instant replay debuts: Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria was the first to challenge a play under the expanded replay rules this season. Renteria argued a call at first base in the fifth inning at Pittsburgh and asked for a challenge. Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardziga was attempting a sacrifice bunt but was called out at first to complete a double play. The call stood after a review by the central replay booth in New York.

In the same game, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle challenged a safe call on a pick-off attempt at first base in the top of the 10th inning. Following a replay review, Cubs baserunner Emilio Bonifacio was ruled out as the initial call was overturned. Pittsburgh won the game 1-0.

Washington manager Matt Williams challenged a 10th-inning call and lost. A Nationals’ runner was called out at first, but the review upheld the call. The Nationals beat the New York Mets 9-7.

And in a game at Oakland on Monday night, crew chief Mike Winters became the first umpire to initiate a review under the expanded replay system.

Cleveland’s Michael Brantley slid into home plate and was tagged out by A’s catcher John Jaso in the sixth inning. After Indians manager Terry Francona came out to argue, Winters decided to go to the replay to see if Jaso had illegally blocked the plate. The call was upheld and the A’s went on to win 2-0.

Brewers fans still love Braun: Upon his return to baseball following a 65-game suspension, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun received a standing ovation by Brewers’ fans in his first at-bat. Braun was playing in his first regular-season game since July 21. He was suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. Braun went 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored in the Brewers 2-0 win over Atlanta on Monday.

Diamond Notes: Los Angeles Angels hitting coach Don Baylor was injured before the Opening Day game against Seattle on Monday. Baylor broke his right leg while reaching for the first pitch thrown by former Angels star Vladimir Guerrero…Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins matched Cal Ripken’s major league record by starting at his position for the 14th consecutive Opening Day for the same club. He also hit a grand slam in Philadelphia’s 14-10 win over Texas to become the 19th player in history with at least 400 career doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs…Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes reinjured his left hamstring in Monday’s season opener against Tampa Bay. Reyes injured his hamstring in the last week of spring training. He’ll go on the disabled list…Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino began the season on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain. He suffered the injury in the preseason finale on Saturday.

Copyright © 2014 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.

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