By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Let the games begin!

Richard Bleier picked up the win for the Baltimore Orioles, who beat the visiting Minnesota Twins, 3-2, in 11 innings thanks to a walk-off home run by cleanup hitter Adam Jones. Bleier gave up one hit in his single inning of work. Danny Valencia appeared as a pinch hitter for the Orioles, drawing a walk. He remained in the game and was o-for-1 as the DH.

Kevin Pillar homered in three at-bats, accounting for the only run (and half the hits) for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 6-1 loss to the visiting NY Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton homered twice for his new club. Before the game, the Jays paid tribute to Roy Halladay, who died in the off-season in a plane crash.

Alex Bregman (see article) doubled and walked in three official at-bats as the Houston Astros beat the host Texas Rangers, 4-1.

Ryan Braun (see article) was 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout as the Milwaukee Brewers also won in extras, 6-5, over the host San Diego Padres in 12.

Joc Pederson grounded out as a pinch-hitter to end the game as the LA Dodgers were shut out by the visiting San Francisco Giants, 1-0.

Ian Kinsler sat out the first game of his LA Angels career, due to a groin injury. The Angels lost to the host Oakland As, 6-5, in 11 innings. Kinsler is expected to play tonight.

Gabe Kapler lost in his first game as an MLB skipper when Nick Markakis hit a three-run walk-off homer to give the host Atlanta Braves an 8-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Cincinnati Reds saw their home opener with the Washington Nationals postponed by weather, so we didn’t get a chance to see the possible debut of the newest JMLer, pitcher Zack Weiss, who was a last-minute addition to the club. Weiss was 9-16 but had a 2.66 ERA in four minor league seasons (he missed the 2016 campaign due to injuries). Welcome aboard.

Ron Kaplan (@RonKaplanNJ) hosts Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. He is the author of three books, including The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games and Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

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