CC Sabathia allowed six runs and failed to get through the fifth inning in his first start with New York as the Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10-5 in their season-opener on Monday.
After missing a postseason for the first time since 1993, New York spent US$423.5 million on free agents Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira during the offseason. Sabathia got a US$161 million, seven-year deal, but the left-hander hardly looked like an ace against the Orioles, who finished last in the American League (AL) East last year — their 11th straight losing season.
Sabathia (0-1) gave up eight hits in 4 1-3 innings, walked five, threw two wild pitches and did not record a strikeout for the first time since July 25, 2005, at Oakland. The six runs were the most he allowed in 32 starts since April last year, when he pitched for Cleveland.
Missing an injured Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees used home runs by Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui to close to 6-5 in the seventh, but a two-run homer by light-hitting Cesar Izturis sparked a four-run eighth that blunted the comeback.
Adam Jones and Brian Roberts each had three of Baltimore’s 14 hits.
MARINERS 6, TWINS 1
At Minneapolis, Ken Griffey Jr got off to a great second start with Seattle, hitting an opening-night home run to back Felix Hernandez.
Hernandez (1-0) pitched eight innings and Franklin Gutierrez had a two-run homer against Francisco Liriano (0-1) as the Mariners — with five new faces in their lineup — took the first step toward forgetting the futility of last year. Manager Don Wakamatsu, baseball’s first Asian-American in that job, enjoyed a winning debut.
ANGELS 3, ATHLETICS 0
• La New Bears 10, Uni-President Lions 4
• Sinon Bulls v Brother Elephants
At Anaheim, California, Joe Saunders pitched into the seventh inning and Howie Kendrick homered and singled in another run for Los Angeles.
With John Lackey sidelined by a sore right elbow, Saunders (1-0) yielded three hits over 6 2-3 innings in his first opening-day assignment.
Saunders, whose 17-7 record was the Angels’ best last season, and Jered Weaver are the only two regulars in Los Angeles’ rotation.
Jose Arredondo, Scot Shields and newcomer Brian Fuentes combined to finish the three-hitter.
In other American League action on Monday it was:
• Rangers 9, Indians 1
• Blue Jays 12, Tigers 5
Francisco Rodriguez and his fellow relievers protected a slim lead for Johan Santana as the New York Mets held on for a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in their season opener on Monday.
Daniel Murphy drove in both Mets runs with a homer off Aaron Harang (0-1) and a groundout. And on a raw, cold afternoon, New York’s rebuilt bullpen was nearly perfect.
Santana (1-0) went 5 2-3 innings, extending his streak without a loss since June 28. Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Rodriguez didn’t allow a hit the rest of the way.
MARLINS 12, NATIONALS 6
At Miami, Emilio Bonifacio became a crowd favorite in his Marlins debut, hitting the majors’ first inside-the-park homer on opening day since 1968 and going 4-for-5 against his former team.
Florida also hit three homers over the fence, including Hanley Ramirez’s grand slam.
Bonifacio was summoned for a curtain call following his first big league homer, which landed short of the warning track but sailed over center fielder Lastings Milledge because he was playing so shallow.
The last inside-the-park home run on opening day was by Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski on April 10, 1968.