LEADING OFF: Peavy faces LA again; Phil Hughes vs O's
A look at what's happening all around the majors Thursday:
Jake Peavy is to start the San Francisco Giants' home opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Peavy is 14-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 29 starts against Los Angeles.
Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes makes his 21st start against Baltimore on Thursday night. The Twins and Orioles met six times in spring training, but Hughes was held out of those games. ''They've seen me a lot over the years so it's not like it's going to make that much of a difference,'' said Hughes, whos 8-5 lifetime against Baltimore.
YET ANOTHER CINCINNATI DEBUT
Six Cincinnati Reds pitchers made their big league debuts last season as the team launched into a full-scale rebuilding. It'll be seven debuts in the past two seasons when right-hander Robert Stephenson starts the final game of their series against the Phillies, filling in while Anthony DeSclafani recovers from a strained oblique. The 23-year-old pitcher was Cincinnati's first pick in the June 2011 amateur draft, the 27th overall. He went 4-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts after getting promoted to Triple-A Louisville for the first time last season.
ROARK GETS HOME OPENER
Tanner Roark will be the somewhat surprising choice to start for Washington in its home opener against Miami on Thursday. Nationals manager Dusty Baker is holding Gio Gonzalez's first start until Monday's game against Atlanta so Gonzalez can slot between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in their second turns in the rotation. Baker said he is trying to protect his bullpen by having Gonzalez, who averaged only 5 2/3 innings per start last season, pitch between the co-aces he expects to pitch deeper into games. Roark was 3-4 with a 4.82 ERA in 12 starts last season and 4-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 40 games overall.