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Mookie Betts, Pablo Sandoval among players to kneel for national anthem on Opening Night

Mookie Betts, Pablo Sandoval among players to kneel for national anthem on Opening Night

On Thursday night, the 2020 MLB season got underway with an Opening Night doubleheader that culminated with the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the San Francisco Giants.

Before first pitch, a video recorded by players in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was played on the scoreboard followed by the national anthem, during which several players knelt to protest racial injustice.

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, Giants players Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence and Mike Yastrzemski were among several players who were joined by their manager Gable Kapler in taking a knee.

Players were permitted to wear “United For Change” and “Black Lives Matter” patches on their uniforms and the pitcher’s mound was painted with a black “BLM” block text below an MLB logo.

RELATED: NATIONALS AND YANKEES KNEEL FOR MOMENT OF SILENCE, THEN STAND FOR NATIONAL ANTHEM

Betts decided to kneel before his first game as a Dodger since being acquired in a trade with the Boston Red Sox. On Wednesday, the former AL MVP reportedly signed a 12-year, $365 million extension to effectively spend the rest of his career with Los Angeles.

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Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Nationals rookie infielder Carter Kieboom set a new team record for the most infield assists by a third baseman in a game when he recorded 10 over the first eight innings against the Orioles on Friday night.

Kieboom passed Ryan Zimmerman’s record of eight assists, set “many times” according to Nationals Director of Communications Kyle Brostowitz.

Though Kieboom was shifted around the infield for most of the night, his new record comes after an offseason full of questions about his defense.

The natural shortstop is Washington’s heir apparent to Anthony Rendon, who departed for the Los Angeles Angels in free agency last offseason after seven seasons with the Nationals. Kieboom had started just nine games at third in the minor leagues before the start of this season.

He still has plenty left to prove as a major-league third baseman, but Kieboom's record did come on an eventful night for the rookie. In addition to his feat (albeit, a bit fluky of one), Kieboom went 2-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored.

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Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was pulled just 16 pitches into his start against the Orioles on Friday after visibly shaking his hand and wincing after several pitches.

The reigning World Series MVP missed the start of the season with a nerve issue in his throwing hand. He returned to the mound Sunday, also against Baltimore, and cruised through four innings before things fell apart in the fifth. On Wednesday, Nationals manager Davey Martinez expressed concern with how he was still feeling a tingling sensation in his hand.

“I was a little bit concerned,” Martinez said during a Zoom press conference. “We will see how he feels. Yesterday he threw a little bit. He still felt it, so we will see where he is at. It’s raining right now, so we will see if he can go out there and throw again today. But we will definitely have to keep an eye on it. It’s a weird thing. He doesn’t feel it all the time. I know he’s in the training room working with the staff and trying to get it to go away.”

Strasburg faced only three batters Friday before getting the hook. He recorded two outs around a solo home run off the bat of outfielder Anthony Santander and was replaced by right-hander Erick Fedde.

The news comes on the heels of the Nationals losing second baseman Starlin Castro to a broken wrist and announcing that lefty reliever Sam Freeman was transferred to the 60-Day Injured List.

Strasburg is in the first season of a seven-year, $245 million extension he signed with the Nationals last offseason.

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