Playoff baseball is finally here!
The wild-card round officially began Tuesday, with action taking place all day long. All four opening-round series are in action as eight teams look to win Game 1 of their respective best-of-three series.
In the American League, the Rangers took Game 1 from the Rays in Tampa Bay, shutting them out in a 4-0 victory. Jordan Montgomery pitched seven shutout innings for Texas, striking out six to help move the Rangers a win away from the ALDS.
Meanwhile, the AL Central-winning Twins defeated sixth-seeded Blue Jays for Minnesota’s first playoff win since 2004 and first at home since 2002 — before current manager Rocco Baldelli had even made his MLB debut as a player.
[Game 1 reactions: Rangers-Rays, Blue Jays-Twins]
In the National League, the NL Central-winning Brewers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the No. 6 seed Diamondbacks struck back in a flash with home runs from Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte. to complete a 6-3 comeback. Meanwhile, the Phillies owned their home field, jumping out to a series lead with a 4- 1win over the Marlins.
[WC previews: Diamondbacks-Brewers; Marlins-Phillies]
Here are the top plays from Tuesday’s Game 1s!
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Miami Marlins 1
Philly is ROCKING
It’s time for some more playoff baseball at Citizens Bank Park. Can the Phillies build upon their surprise run to the 2022 World Series?
Rhys Hoskins, a key contributor to last year’s run who tore his ACL in Spring Training, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Alec Bohm struck first for Philadelphia with an RBI double to put his team in the lead.
The Phils took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, and several hitters got their bats going in a big way. First, Bryson Stott plated JT Realmuto on a single to center.
Stott took a second on a throw to the plate, before advancing to third on a wild pitch. That set the table for Christian Pache, who singled to the same spot Stott did for an RBI of his own.
After Bryce Harper singled to left field, Nick Castellanos sent the Philly crowd into a frenzy, as Harper put on the jets to score from first.
Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Brewers legends fire fans up
Who better to commemorate Milwaukee’s return to the MLB postseason than Bob “Mr. Baseball” Uecker himself and 2008 Brewers hero C.C. Sabathia?
Brewers strike first
Milwaukee has a 1-0 lead in front of the home fans thanks to an RBI single from Carlos Santana.
Can’t predict ball
The Diamondbacks have some big base-stealing threats on their roster. Christian Walker is not one of them. And yet…
Outfielder Tyrone Taylor, the Brewers’ No. 9 hitter, CRUSHED a two-run home run to increase Milwaukee’s lead.
Tied up in a BLINK
The Diamondbacks got back-to-back home runs — first from N.L. Rookie of the Year frontrunner Corbin Carroll in his first-ever postseason game, then from veteran Ketel Marte — to tie the game up at three runs apiece.
Moreno for the lead!
Gabriel Moreno’s solo home run, the Diamondbacks’ third longball of the game, gave Arizona its first lead of this wild-card series.
Is this the 27-year-old version of Evan Longoria, or the 37-year-old one? The savvy veteran stopped what would have been two runs for Milwaukee with this amazing diving grab. So much for Father Time.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo inserted Kevin Ginkel to pitch the eighth, and he made quick work of the Brewers, retiring the side with a trio of strikeouts. Ginkel let his emotions roar after the last putout.
The D-backs’ bats weren’t finished, as Arizona tacked on a couple more runs courtesy of this rocket from Christian Walker that very nearly left the yard.
Paul Sewald shut the door on Milwaukee, as Arizona stamped a Game 1 victory.
Minnesota Twins 3, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Royce rounds the bases to give Minny the lead
Royce Lewis hit the first homer of the 2023 postseason when he hit a line-drive homer to left field in the first inning to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.
Rolls-Royce drives another one out
Lewis took his second trip around the bases in his second at-bat in the game, taking Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman deep by hitting a home run the opposite way. The solo shot gave the Twins a 3-0 lead in the third.
The scoreboard operators in Minnesota had some fun at Toronto’s expense in Game 1, dropping some “fun” facts on Cavan Biggio, Alejandro Kirk and Matt Chapman.
Kiermaier keeps it close
The Blue Jays were able to get a rally going in the sixth, getting a pair of runners on base to allow Kevin Kiermaier to score one on a single to left. The base hit cut the Twins’ lead to 3-1 and finished starter Pablo Lopez’s day after 5 ⅔ innings pitched.
Not on Taylor’s watch!
The Blue Jays had a chance to add some more runs after Kiermaier’s single, but Michael A. Taylor made an impressive grab in center field, preventing Chapman from getting an extra-base hit that likely would’ve tied the game.
The Twins were threatening again in the eighth, but it was all love between stars Carlos Correa and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The Twins have won their first playoff game in their past 19 tries — and nearly 19 years, with the last victory coming on Oct. 5, 2004.
Texas Rangers 4, Tampa Bay Rays 0
The rookie delivers
Josh Jung got the first run on the board in Tuesday’s Game 1, giving the Rangers the lead on a sacrifice fly to right to make it 1-0 in the second inning.
Wild pitch = wild run
Rays ace Taylor Glasnow got himself into even more trouble in the fifth inning. After allowing runners to get into scoring position, Glasnow threw a wild pitch that scored Corey Seager from third, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
Seager sends in two — with some help from the Rays
The Rangers were able to double their lead in the sixth inning when Seager hit a single to center that Jose Siri wasn’t able to corral on the hop. One run initially scored off the hit, but a second run scored when Siri’s throw to third landed in the dugout, giving the Rangers a 4-0 lead.
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