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MLB Saturday review: Thompson delivers for Dodgers

The opening weekend of the 2023 MLB season is a wrap, and we've learned a little bit more about some of the supposed World Series contenders.

Thompson stars for Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trayce Thompson hit three home runs, including a grand slam in his first at-bat of the season, and had a career-high eight RBI as the Dodgers - +700 for World Series glory - romped to an easy 10-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday. 

Thompson became the first player to drive in eight or more runs in a season debut since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920. 

Speaking to MLB.com, Thompson said: "It’s just one night, but I felt really good tonight and I felt like I was seeing the ball well. That last week of Spring Training, I felt pretty good. We worked on some stuff and it started to click." 

The Dodgers moved to 2-1 on the season and will finish the series with Noah Syndergaard making his debut in Dodger blue on the mound.

Mariners disappoint and lose Ray

The Seattle Mariners lost the third game of the series to the Cleveland Guardians, 2-0, on Saturday night to fall 2-1 behind in the series. 

They also suffered on the injury front as their Friday night starter, Robbie Ray, was placed on the 15-day injured list because of a left flexor strain. 

After going through the whole of 2022 season with none of their starting pitchers going down with injury, it took two games for the Mariners’ rotation to be impacted. 

Ray had endured a rocky first start on Friday night in a 9-4 loss to the Guardians, failing to make it through the fourth inning after issuing five walks while he struggled badly with his control. 

Seattle, who are +800 To Win MLB American League, will make Chris Flexen part of the rotation in replacement.

Padres secure Cronenworth and first win

Xander Bogaerts hit his first home run of the season with his new team to help the San Diego Padres grab their first win of the campaign with an 8-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies

Manny Machado and Matt Carpenter added two hits each and Jake Cronenworth singled, walked and and scored twice. 

Juan Soto put the game out of reach in the eighth inning with a two-run single, his first hit of the year. 

It was a night of further celebration for Cronenworth as he agreed a new seven-year extension, worth $80 million with $4.23 million this year, through to the 2030 season. 

The 29-year-old was set to become a free agent after the 2025 season. 

The former seventh-round pick remains one of the most valued members of the organization and is slated to eventually bat fifth this season, behind the star-studded foursome of Fernando Tatis Jr., Soto, Machado and Bogearts. 

The Padres, +950 to win the World Series, have been very interested in locking down players after previously securing Machado, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove.

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Red Sox off the mark

Adam Duvall cleared the green monster at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox’s first win of the season in a walk-off victory against the Baltimore Orioles in a 9-8 success. 

The Red Sox are not expected to be up there challenging at the end of the season, but they needed that first victory as soon as possible. 

It was a second homer of the day for the center fielder, part of a 4-5 day in which he managed five RBI, falling just a single hit shy of a cycle. 

Nobody was more thankful for the hit than Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who gave up for seven hits and seven runs, including three homers. 

This was Sale’s first start at Fenway Park since Game 5 of the 2021 American League Championship Series, and it wasn’t the comeback he had wanted after making just two starts in 2022 due to three freak injuries. 

Speaking to the official Boston Red Sox website, Sale said: "I left them completely out to dry to tonight. I was as embarrassed as I've ever been on a baseball field. Bullpen couldn't have come in and done a better job.

"Hell, I was out there throwing batting practice. For them to get through the rest of that game with just one more run, it was amazing."

Angels hit back

After the Los Angeles Angels managed just one run on five hits in Thursday’s opening loss to the Oakland Athletics, the Halos hit back thanks to an 11-run third inning in a 13-1 cruise at the Coliseum. 

The Angels sent 14 batters to the plate in the third, racking up seven hits and four walks in the inning, marking the club’s first 11-run inning since 2016, which came against the Boston Red Sox. 

The Angels are +750 to win the American League West Division.

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