After 28 seasons playing indoors at the Metrodome, the Twins opened the franchise's sixth ballpark, Target Field, on April 12 against the Red Sox. Game-time temperature was 65 degrees -- not the customary 72 degrees of the indoor Metrodome but far better than had been feared. Behind Jason Kubel and Joe Mauer's three-hit, two-RBI days and six strong innings from Carl Pavano, Minnesota christened its new home with a 5-2 win over Boston.
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Armando Galarraga needed only 83 pitches to mow down 27 batters in rhythmic succession, and five more to retire Trevor Crowe. When Miguel Cabrera moved to his right to snare Jason Donald's ground ball, and threw to a covering Galarraga at first base, it appeared for all the world that baseball had just seen third perfect games completed in less than a month. All the world, that is, except first base umpire Jim Joyce, who inexplicably called Donald safe, robbing Galarraga of his place in the record books, but cementing the pitcher's legacy in baseball lore. Joyce apologized after admitting he had missed the call, but baseball refused to overturn the umpire's decision.
3 of 13Chuck Solomon/SI
June 8th 2010 was the night that hype became hyperbole for the Washington Nationals' golden child, right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg. The 21-year-old was remarkable for seven innings, racking up 14 strikeouts while walking none. Strasburg mixed a triple-digit fastball with an untouchable curveball, featured a change-up that was clocked at 91 MPH and threw all of them for strikes. It was the most strikeouts without a walk in a MLB debut.
4 of 13Bob Rosato/SI
After months of hype about their highly touted outfielder, Braves fans were waiting to erupt. Heyward gave them reason to do so, belting a 414-foot home run on the first swing of his career off the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano into the Braves' bullpen in right-center field. It was only the fifth time in franchise history that a player had homered in his first career plate appearance.
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Jimenez started off the Year of the Pitcher on April 17, when he fired the season's first no-hitter against the Braves. The first no-hitter in Rockies' history, Jimenez needed a laborious 128 pitches to retire 31 Braves. He walked six -- all in the first five innings -- and struck out seven. With his fastball still reaching 98 mph, Jimenez retired Chipper Jones and Brian McCann to end the game, throwing his arms in the air in celebration.
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His team was 15-39, coming off a string off eight losses and a six-game road stretch in which it was outscored 34-8. And so, on June 5, the Orioles fired manager Dave Trembley and promoted third base coach Juan Samuel to interim manager. Things haven't worked out much better for the Orioles since Trembley's firing: they still own the majors' worst record and could challenge the franchise record for losses in a season . Trembley is one of four managers to be fired this season, along with Trey Hillman of the Royals, Fredi Gonzalez of the Marlins and AJ Hinch of the Diamondbacks.
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With his grandmother in the stands on Mother's Day, Braden took the hill and pitched the 19th perfect game in MLB history. Needing just 109 pitches, Braden retired all 27 Rays in order, including six strikeouts. In stark contrast to Jimenez's no-no, Braden's last pitch was an 87 mph fastball to Gabe Kapler, who grounded out to shortstop Cliff Pennington.
8 of 13Al Bello/Getty Images
What started out as an unfortunate error by Ramirez turned into a three-day long saga during which Ramirez was benched by then-Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez. The star shortstop accidentally kicked a ball that dropped near him about 100 feet into left field, casually jogging to pick it up thereafter. Gonzalez benched Ramirez for not hustling. After originally saying he would not apologize for his actions, Ramirez eventually gave in and cleared the air with his teammates and Gonzalez two days later.
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Flashing an uncharacteristic smile and hugging catcher Carlos Ruiz after recording the last out of his game against the Marlins, Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay celebrated throwing the 20th perfect game in major league history -- just 20 days after Braden's. Halladay needed 115 pitches to retire the Marlins and struck out 11 on the day. After the game, he was congratulated over the phone by Vice President Joe Biden.
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Bryce Harper made a controversial decision to forgo his junior and senior year of high school to enroll at the College of Southern Nevada but it paid off. One year after selecting San Deigo State flamethrower Stephen Strasburg with the 1st overall pick, the Washington Nationals chose the 17-year-old, heavily-hyped, hard-hitting Harper with the top pick.
11 of 13Darren Carrol/SI
The mystifying historical footnote that no No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft has ever been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame was given its five-year notice on June 3rd, 2010. After 22 years that included 630 HR, 1,836 RBI and the 1997 AL MVP award, Ken Griffey Jr. announced he was retiring from baseball via press-release. The first pick in the 1987 draft was enduring a miserable 2010, hitting just .187 with 0 HR and 7 RBI in 2010, and after an incident where a couple of his teammates told a reporter that Griffey had slept through a pinch hitting opportunity, the 13-time All Star walked away.
12 of 13Winslow Townson/SI
Manny Ramirez spent eight years in Boston and helped end the 86-year World Series drought, but after his trade to the LA Dodgers on July 31st, 2008, neither side has wanted anything to do with the other. Manny returned to a mixed reaction of cheers and boos, in an anticlimactic, 1-for-5, first game back at Fenway. The following night, however, he turned back the clock, singling and then stealing second base before scoring on a Garret Anderson single in the second inning, and launched a home run over the Monster in the sixth.
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It wasn't pretty, but Edwin Jackson's no hitter against the Rays certainly counted when the D-backs starter battled around seven walks in the first three innings (eight total) to toss the fourth no hitter in the Major Leagues this season.
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