The Major League Baseball season began in full swing Monday with two controversial figures receiving vastly different receptions from fans.
President Bush received a loud standing ovation when he took the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in Cincinnati, a Republican-leaning city. He was accompanied by two injured soldiers and a father who lost his son in Afghanistan.
San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds, who is pursuing two legendary home run figures while embroiled in a scandal for alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, was booed when he came to the plate for the first time in the second inning of the Giants' season-opener against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, also a Republican-leaning city. Bonds promptly hit Jake Peavy's first pitch for a double and scored on a two-out single.
In the ninth inning, a fan threw a syringe in the direction of the Giants left fielder, who finished 1 for 4.
Also in San Diego, Mike Piazza, who has more career home runs than any other catcher, hit a homer in his first at-bat in the second inning against the Giants. The Padres won 6-1.
The first game of the season was played Sunday night when the World Series champion Chicago White Sox routed the Cleveland Indians 10-4 in a game interrupted by nearly a three-hour rain delay. The game ended at 2:10 a.m. EDT.
In other opening-day developments Monday:
Bush became the first sitting president to throw a ceremonial pitch in Cincinnati as the Reds lost 16-7 to the Chicago Cubs. The ball to catcher Jason LaRue was high and off the plate, but Bush called it “my best pitch, which was kind of a slow ball.”
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TORONTO (AP) - R.A. Dickey won his second straight start, Edwin Encarnacion hit a tiebreaking, bases-loaded double in the seventh inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-5 Monday.
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