History made in Marlins Park's debut

History made in Marlins Park's debut

The commencement of the new Major League season coincided with the christening of a new ballpark.

Marlins Park in Miami on Wednesday hosted the Cardinals and Marlins in the first regular-season game to take place in the U.S. (The Mariners and A's played a pair of games in Japan last week.)

Accompanied by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali rode in on a cart to deliver the ceremonial first pitch.

Results: March 28 | April 4 | April 5 | April 6
Complete coverage
Sign up for MLB.TV | Get At Bat 12
Opening Day videos

The park still awaits its first home run, but Wednesday's contest produced a number of other memorable Marlins Park firsts.

Pitch: Marlins ace Josh Johnson painted the outside corner with a 93-mph fastball that Cardinals leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal took for a called strike.

At-bat: After working a 1-2 count, Furcal grounded a 95-mph fastball to shortstop Jose Reyes, who threw out the speedy Cardinal.

Hit: Right fielder Carlos Beltran singled to right field off Johnson with one out in the top of the first inning. The Marlins didn't get on the board with their first hit off Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse until Reyes poked a single through the right side of the infield to lead off the seventh.

Run scored: David Freese, the Cardinals' World Series hero, delivered a two-run single in the first inning, with Beltran and first baseman Lance Berkman scoring on the hit to left field. Freese advanced to second on a late relay throw home. The Marlins scratched across their first run in the eighth inning on an RBI double by catcher John Buck.

Strikeout: Johnson recorded the first whiff in Marlins Park history -- as a batter. In the third inning, he swung and missed at an 80-mph changeup from Lohse, who retired the first 10 batters he faced before hitting Emilio Bonifacio with a pitch in the fourth inning.

Double play: St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina lined into a double play to end the top of the third inning. Upon catching the frozen rope, Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez fired a strike to first base to beat Freese, who had strayed off the bag.

Stolen base: After reaching on a single to open the fifth, Furcal swiped second. Johnson, however, struck out the side to avoid damage.

Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.