The Braves officially opened their new stadium, SunTrust Park on Friday and did so with a memorable 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.
The celebration began pregame, as the club honored the legends that have donned the Braves' jersey in the past, including the ceremonial first pitch being thrown out by legendary slugger Hank Aaron to Hall-of-Fame manager Bobby Cox.
In front of a sellout crowd of 41,149, ace hurler Julio Teheran spun six innings of two-run baseball for the Braves while Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis did the heavy lifting on offense. Jim Johnson worked a scoreless ninth inning preserving a three-run victory and sending the Braves' faithful home happy.
Ender Inciarte became the first player to record a hit in the new stadium and came around to score the first run as well. He also recorded the first putout defensively in the top half of the first inning. Later in the contest, he also became the first person to hit a home run in the new ballpark.
Also of note, as an unbelievably obscure trivia question that you may hear some day, who was the first opposing player to drive in a run at SunTrust Park? You guessed it: Jhoulys Chacin.
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Gray skies in Colorado
Rockies' ace Jon Gray was forced to make an early exit from his start against the Giants on Thursday due to what the team initially thought was an aggravation of his toe injury. The club wanted to be sure though, so the big right-hander was sent for precautionary X-rays after the game and the results were discouraging.
Gray has now been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot and is expected to miss at least a month's worth of action. It sounds as though he's going to be completely shut down for the next month before he's re-evaluated and only then will the team determine a course of action.
If that's the case, Gray could be looking at an absence that extends close to the All-Star break by the time that he builds his stamina back up and appears in several minor league rehab games.
It's a very tough break for fantasy owners who invested an early-round selection in the high-strikeout potential that Gray possessed. It's also a big blow to the Rockies who are off to a surprising 7-5 start and boast perhaps the best bullpen in the National League. That bullpen will need to be leaned on even more now that their top starter is shelved.
Chris Rusin seems like the most likely candidate to assume Gray's spot in the starting rotation against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The 30-year-old southpaw owns a career 4.75 ERA and 1.46 WHIP and isn't a recommended fantasy option in any format.
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By the Finger of Thor
Noah Syndergaard caused a bit of a scare amongst Mets fans and the fantasy baseball community on Friday when he was lifted from his start against the Marlins due to what was initially reported as a recurrence of his blister issue.
After the game, it was announced that it was actually his fingernail that got torn back and not the dreaded blister returning, which is certainly encouraging news.
Even with the fingernail issue, Syndergaard still pitched well on Friday, allowing just two runs (one earned) on six hits over his six innings of work. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter in the ballgame and now owns an outstanding 20/0 K/BB ratio and 0.95 ERA through across 19 innings in his first three starts.
The Mets are optimistic that their star right-hander will be able to take his next turn in the rotation on Thursday against the Phillies.
American League Quick Hits: Josh Donaldson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right calf... Dylan Covey allowed just one run over 5 1/3 innings in his MLB debut against the Twins... Brian Dozier swiped his league-leading fifth base in a loss to the White Sox... Danny Duffy struck out six over seven innings of one-run ball to beat the Angels... Garrett Richards underwent a cervical MRI on Thursday which ruled out any cervical disc issues... Rick Porcello was slaughtered for eight runs in a loss to the Rays... Logan Morrison slugged a grand slam in that one... Miguel Cabrera homered for the second consecutive game and looks to be breaking out of his early-season funk... Daniel Norris fired six shutout innings to beat the Indians... Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, Seth Smith and J.J. Hardy left the yard in a win over the Blue Jays... The Blue Jays are now off to a league-worst 1-9 start... Zach Britton scuffled, but escaped with his fifth save of the year... Starlin Castro's two-run homer powered the Yankees past the Cardinals... Mike Moustakas clubbed his fourth home run in a win over the Angels... Dallas Keuchel punched out seven over seven innings of one-run ball against the Athletics... Jose Altuve reached base in all five plate appearances in that win... Felix Hernandez picked up his first win after allowing just one run over 7 1/3 innings against the Rangers... Nelson Cruz belted his first home run in that victory... Matt Davidson clubbed a go-ahead homer in the seventh to beat the Twins... Jackie Bradley Jr. (knee) could return to the Red Sox lineup as soon as Wednesday when he's first eligible... Andrew Cashner will return from the disabled list to start against the Mariners on Saturday... Steve Cishek (hip) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment in the next couple of days... The Orioles acquired Paul Fry from the Mariners for International signing bonus money... Logan Morrison clubbed his first career grand slam in a win over the Red Sox... Matt Bush (shoulder) is expected to return to action this weekend... The Mariners are optimistic that Jean Segura (hamstring) will return when first eligible on April 21... Russell Martin will not be in the Blue Jays lineup on Saturday... Melky Cabrera is away from the White Sox on paternity leave...
National League Quick Hits: Clayton Kershaw carried a shutout bid into the ninth inning, finishing with one earned run on four hits over 8 1/3 innings while striking out eight... J.T. Realmuto delivered a walk-off RBI double to beat the Mets... Daniel Murphy, on his own bobblehead night, came through with a walk-off RBI double to beat Jeanmar Gomez and the Phillies in the 10th inning on Friday... Stephen Strasburg fanned eight over seven innings of two-run ball in a no-decision... Jonathan Villar swiped three bases and Ryan Braun nabbed two in a victory over the Reds... Eric Thames crushed his third home run of the season in that win... Matt Carpenter launched his first homer in a loss to the Yankees... Gerrit Cole picked up his first win with six innings of two-run ball against the Cubs... David Freese went 3-for-4 and plated two in that contest... Johnny Cueto improved to 3-0 with a win over the Rockies... Chris Marrero clubbed his first career home run in that one... Buster Posey (concussion) is optimistic that he'll be ready to rejoin the Giants when he's first eligible on Tuesday... Rich Hill (blister) confirmed that he's healthy and ready to make his scheduled start on Sunday against the Diamondbacks... Yoenis Cespedes received a day of rest on Friday due to flu-like symptoms... Matt Kemp is expected to return from the disabled list as soon as he's eligible on Wednesday... Adam Conley will still start on Saturday despite throwing 19 pitches in relief on Thursday... Sal Romano will be recalled from Triple-A Louisville to start in place of the injured Rookie Davis on Sunday... Nationals' top prospect Victor Robles left Thursday's game due to leg tightness... Reds recalled outfield prospect Jesse Winker from Triple-A, though his stay is expected to be brief... Ian Desmond (hand) has begun taking infield practice and there's a chance that he could rejoin the Rockies before the end of April.