No fooling around for J.P. on Opening Day

J.P. Arencibia


The Toronto Blue Jays scored 13 runs in their season opener against the Minnesota Twins thanks to a big game from rookie J.P. Arencibia. The 25-year-old catcher who played in 11 games last season went 3-4 with a triple, two home runs and drove in five runs.

Arencibia is the first rookie to hit two homers on Opening Day since Gary Gaetti did it for the Twins on April 6, 1982. On August 7 of last season, Arencibia blasted two homers in his major-league debut. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to start consecutive seasons with multiple-homer games—at any point in his career—was Joe Torre for the Braves in 1965 and 1966.

Jon Lester

LesterMeanwhile, the Boston Red Sox dropped their season opener 9-5 to the Texas Rangers. Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester allowed five runs including three home runs and did not record a strikeout. The last Red Sox Opening Day starter to give up three home runs was Hall-of-Famer Dennis Eckersley back in 1980.

It was the second time in Lester's career and the first since April 9, 2008 that he did not record a strikeout. Bob Stanley in 1987 was the last Boston Opening Day starter to not record a strikeout.

Also, the Philadelphia Phillies overcame a four-run deficit to defeat the Houston Astros Friday afternoon in the season-opening game for both teams. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the third time in franchise history that the Phillies overcame a deficit of at least four runs to win on Opening Day; the last such instance came 106 years ago.

On April 14, 1905, the Phillies trailed Brooklyn, 4-0, entering the fifth inning before rallying for a 12-8 win on the strength of a six-run fifth inning. And back on April 18, 1895, the Phillies trailed Baltimore, 6-0, entering the eighth inning, but scored twice in the eighth and five times in the ninth for the win.

Finally, Cleveland Indians starter Fausto Carmona got roughed up in his first start of 2011 allowing 10 runs, all earned, in three innings pitched against the Chicago White Sox on Friday. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us Carmona is the first starting pitcher in major-league history to allow at least 10 runs while throwing no more than three innings in his team’s first game of a season.