Opening Day Roundup: Smashing debut for Cruz

Apr. 01, 2014 @ 12:28 AM

ORIOLES 2. RED SOX 1

BALTIMORE (AP) — Nelson Cruz celebrated his Baltimore debut by hitting a tiebreaking homer in the seventh off Jon Lester (0-1), sending World Series champion Boston to an opening loss.

Signed as a free agent in February, Cruz hit 27 homers last year with Texas during a season marred by a 50-game suspension stemming from an investigation of performance-enhancing drugs.

After missing two seasons recovering from knee surgery, Boston center fielder Grady Sizemore marked his return from a 922-day absence with a second-inning single for his first hit since September 2011. The three-time All-Star for Cleveland later hit his first home run since July 15, 2011, also at Camden Yards.

Zach Britton (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings, and Tommy Hunter worked the ninth for his first save.

PHILLIES 14, RANGERS 10

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jimmy Rollins hit a grand slam and pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. had a two-run double that put Philadelphia ahead to stay in a wild opening 14-10 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday.

Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche also homered for the Phillies, who scored their most runs in an opener since beating the Boston Beaneaters 19-17 in 1900.

Cliff Lee (1-0) matched his career high by allowing eight runs and struck out only one, but the left-hander made it through five innings.

Tanner Scheppers, the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela for the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 to make his first big league start on opening day, gave up seven runs over four innings, including the slam by Rollins that made it 6-0 in the second. Mayberry had his tiebreaking hit in the fifth off Pedro Figueroa (0-1) for a 9-7 lead.

TIGERS 4, ROYALS 3

DETROIT (AP) — Alex Gonzalez drove in the winning run in his Detroit debut, lining a single to left off Greg Holland in the ninth.

Acquired by Detroit in late March following an injury to shortstop Jose Iglesias, Gonzalez made a costly error in Kansas City's three-run fourth but made up for that with a tying triple in the seventh. He then singled with men on first and third in the ninth, giving Brad Ausmus a win in his first game since replacing Jim Leyland as the Tigers' manager.

Joe Nathan (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth in his first appearance for the Tigers. Wade Davis (0-1) allowed a one-out walk to Alex Avila and a single to Nick Castellanos in the ninth.

Holland — who had 47 saves in 50 chances last year — couldn't escape the jam as the Royals lost their sixth straight opener.

RAYS 9, BLUE JAYS 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Price (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits over 7 1-3 innings to beat R.A. Dickey in a matchup of 2012 Cy Young Award winners.

Matt Joyce drove in three runs for the Rays with a sacrifice fly and two-run double off Dickey (0-1), who yielded six two-out runs in five innings.

Toronto's Jose Reyes left the lineup after his first at-bat because of a tight left hamstring and was put on the disabled list.

WHITE SOX 5, TWINS 3

CHICAGO (AP) — Alejandro De Aza hit two homers, and Jose Abreu had two hits in his major league debut.

Chicago's Paul Konerko got a loud ovation before what was likely his final opener, although he wasn't in the lineup. The White Sox are coming off a 63-99 season, their poorest record since 1970.

Chris Sale (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings with eight strikeouts to beat Ricky Nolasco (0-1), who gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings in his Twins debut.

Brewers star Ryan Braun drew a standing ovation in his return from a drug suspension, then was ruled out in the first call overturned under baseball's expanded replay system as Milwaukee beat the Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Monday in a season opener.

Braun went 1 for 4 and stole a base in the fourth inning that helped set up a two-run double by Aramis Ramirez.

A smattering of boos during Braun's first at-bat was easily drowned out by the overwhelming applause. The former MVP was suspended for the final 65 games last year in the Biogenesis doping scandal.

Later, Braun had his infield single to lead off the sixth overturned to out after the call was challenged by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez under Major League Baseball's new replay format.

The review took 58 seconds.

Yovani Gallardo (1-0) tossed six shutout innings for the win.

Making his first opening day start, Julio Teheran (0-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings.

CARDINALS 1, REDS 0

CINCINNATI (AP) — Yadier Molina's homer broke a seventh-inning tie, leading St. Louis Cardinals to a victory over the Reds.

Adam Wainwright (1-0) used his refined sinker to finally get the best of the Reds, who have hit him like no other team. Wainwright allowed three hits in seven innings, fanning nine.

St. Louis escaped a threat in the eighth. Trevor Rosenthal retired all three batters in the ninth, finishing a three-hitter for the defending National League champions.

Bryan Price lost his managing debut with Cincinnati, which opened the season with eight players on the disabled list, its most since 2007.

Johnny Cueto (0-1) allowed three hits in seven innings.

PIRATES 1, CUBS 0, 10 INNINGS

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Neil Walker homered off Carlos Villanueva leading off the 10th inning, and the Pirates benefited from an overturned to call to beat the Cubs 1-0 on opening day.

Reliever Bryan Morris (1-0) won with the help of an overturned pickoff call in the top of the 10th under Major League Baseball's new replay system. Starter Francisco Liriano and four relievers combined for 11 strikeouts.

Emilio Bonifacio went 4 for 5 for Chicago, but the Cubs were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position and wasted a fine start by Jeff Samardzija, who scattered five hits over seven innings.

NATIONALS 9, METS 7, 10 INNINGS

NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and drove in a career-high four runs, twice rallying the Nationals against the Mets' suspect bullpen for an opening-day victory.

Denard Span hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth off closer Bobby Parnell, and Ian Desmond put the Nationals in front for the first time with a sacrifice fly in the 10th. Rendon connected two batters later against former Washington pitcher John Lannan, securing a win for Matt Williams in his first game as a major league manager.

Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 over six innings in his third straight opening-day start.

Juan Lagares and Andrew Brown both homered for New York after they were surprise additions to the lineup.

Aaron Barrett (1-0) struck out two in a perfect inning to win his major league debut.

Jeurys Familia (0-1) took the loss, hurt by catcher Travis d'Arnaud's passed ball.