As fans, it's simply natural for us to declare winners and losers during the offseason. The Orioles were declared a big fat loser after doing nothing to improve their wild card team from 2012, while the Dodgers were declared a winner after adding Zack Greinke to their star-studded roster. Flash ahead to Saturday, when the Dodgers were playing a doubleheader in Baltimore. Of course, the Orioles swept the doubleheader by scores of 7-5 and 6-1, largely thanks to the same players who had such an impact on the team last season (including Nolan Reimold, who missed a lot of time in 2012). The Orioles are now 10-7 with a +13 run differential, and they've done that while playing the fifth-toughest schedule in baseball so far. So maybe, just maybe, Baltimore will be able to make another magical playoff run.
PIC OF THE DAY
The Red Sox and Royals stand for the national anthem before yesterday's game after a difficult week in Boston. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Day: Red Sox 4, Royals 3. It was an emotional day in Boston on Saturday, and the Red Sox added to that emotion with a stirring pregame tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing (which included David Ortiz dropping an F-bomb). The Royals nearly spoiled the fun, leading 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth, but Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer to put Boston in front 4-2. Lorenzo Cain homered in the ninth against Andrew Bailey to cut the lead to a run, but Bailey got Alex Gordon to ground out to end the game with two men on and give Boston an emotional victory.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Garrett Richards might be the Angels best starter. In their 10-0 win over Detroit, Richards allowed two hits in seven shutout innings, striking out eight without a walk. Lance Lynn dazzled the Phillies in the Cardinals' 5-0 win, allowing just one hit over seven scoreless innings, walking three and striking out eighth. Jeremy Hellickson shut down the A's in a 1-0 Rays win, allowing three hits in seven shutout frames, walking one and striking out six. Hiroki Kuroda had a great start for their Yankees in their 5-3, 11 inning win in Toronto, giving up one run on three hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking just one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Bryce Harper carried the Nationals to a 7-6 win over the Mets, going 3/3 with three runs, three RBI, a walk, a double, and two homers. Cain had a great game in Boston for the Royals, putting together a 4/4 line with three runs, two doubles, a stolen base, and a homer. Jason Giambi and Nick Swisher went off for the Indians in their 19-6 win over the Astros, with Giambi going 2/4 with three runs, five RBI, two walks, a double, and a homer, and Swisher going 4/7 with three runs, two RBI, and three doubles. In game two of the Orioles-Dodgers doubleheader, Manny Machado went 3/4 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: James McDonald and the Pirates shut down the Braves in a 3-1 win. The Reds beat the Marlins 3-2 in 13 innings. The Twins edged the White Sox 2-1 in ten innings. The Brewers beat the Cubs 5-1, pushing their winning streak to six. The Rockies slipped by the Diamondbacks 4-3. The Giants shut down the Padres 2-0. The Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0, but lost Nick Tepesch after he was hit by a line drive in the second inning.
What You Missed: Ryan Zimmerman has been placed on the DL by the Nationals.
Today's Games: Josh Johnson starts for the Blue Jays against the Yankees. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals, taking on the Mets. Kris Medlen starts for the Braves in Pittsburgh. Ryan Dempster starts for the Red Sox in game one of a doubleheader with the Royals, while Jeremy Guthrie takes on rookie Allen Webster in game two. Brandon McCarthy starts for the Diamondbacks in Colorado. Doug Fister and the Tigers take on CJ Wilson and the Angels in Anaheim.
National TV: Dodgers-Orioles (1:35, TBS), Cardinals-Phillies (8:00, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.