(Gray News) – Bryce Harper is in Philadelphia, Manny Machado is in San Diego, and baseball is back in full swing with teams celebrating Opening Day from coast to coast on Thursday.
The game returned after an offseason that saw a pair of big-ticket free agency sagas drag on for two of the best young players of their generation. It ended with Harper moving to the Phillies for $330 million over 13 years, and Machado joining the Padres for $300 million over 10 years.
Harper and Philadelphia are hosting the Atlanta Braves in his debut, while Machado and San Diego welcome the San Francisco Giants for their first game.
Harper, in his first at-bat, grounded out to first base.
Things kicked off in New York and Washington, where the Yankees are hosting the Baltimore Orioles and Harper’s ex-club, the Washington Nationals, are playing the New York Mets.
Mets second baseman Robinson Cano hit the first home run of Opening Day, a first-inning solo shot off Nationals starter Max Scherzer, the 2017 NL Cy Young award winner. In New York, Luke Voit hit a three-run homer in the first to pace the Yankees.
The reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox will play in Seattle in a prime-time game later.
The Major League season technically began last week, with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s playing a pair of games in Japan. The Mariners won both contests, which played out during the middle of the night back home.
For the full slate of games, check out MLB.com.