Tim Wakefield finished with a four-hitter in the Boston Red Sox’s slump-snapping 8-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the American League on Wednesday.
Wakefield, a 42-year-old knuckleballer, got within five outs of the first no-hitter of his 17-season major league career, nearly becoming the second-oldest pitcher to accomplish the feat after Nolan Ryan. Kurt Suzuki broke it up with a one-out single to left.
Mike Lowell hit a two-run homer in the second inning, and J.D. Drew added a three-run drive during the six-run eighth for the Red Sox, who had lost six of seven during their worst start since 1996.
YANKEES 4, RAYS 3
In St Petersburg, Florida, Andy Pettitte pitched into the eighth inning, Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer and Derek Jeter singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth to lead New York.
Jeter also doubled in the eighth and scored the tying run on Johnny Damon’s double off J.P. Howell. He delivered the tie-breaking run against Troy Percival (0-1) following a one-out double to Cody Ransom.
New York concluded a nine-game, opening trip and returned home for Thursday’s debut of the US$1.5 billion new Yankee Stadium. C.C. Sabathia makes his first home start in pinstripes against his former team, Cleveland.
MARINERS 11, ANGELS 3
In Seattle, Ken Griffey Jr hit career home run No. 613 and his 400th as a Mariner in his second home game of his return season in Seattle.
Ichiro Suzuki had two hits in his season debut following his first career stint on the disabled list, including his first grand slam in six years during a seven-run seventh inning, to tie Isao Harimoto’s Japanese record with hit No. 3,085.
Griffey’s fifth-inning homer off starter Angels’ Jered Weaver, his first as a Mariner in Seattle in 10 years, broke a 2-2 tie. Then Suzuki, who was out because of a bleeding ulcer, golfed a full-count pitch from Jason Bulger into the right-field bleachers.
Other American League results:
• Tigers 9, White Sox 0
• Indians 5, Royals 4
• Blue Jays 12, Twins 2
• Rangers 19, Orioles 6
Jason Marquis hit a two-run single off Rich Harden to put Colorado ahead, then pitched the Rockies over his former team the Chicago Cubs 5-2 in the National League on Wednesday.
Marquis (2-0), who spent the previous two years with the Cubs, was booed during introductions before Monday’s home opener and again several times on Wednesday. He hit a bases-loaded single in the second and allowed one run and five hits in seven innings.
Seth Smith homered for the Rockies, who completed a two-game split on a cold afternoon.
Harden, rested for much of spring training to aid a balky shoulder, allowed four runs, five hits and four walks in three innings, his shortest outing since July 2007.
CARDINALS 12, DIAMONDBACKS 7
In Phoenix, Arizona, Ryan Ludwick homered and drove in three runs to lead St Louis to a sixth victory in seven games.
Ludwick is batting .407 and has hit in all seven games he’s played this season. He singled home a run in the third inning and added a two-run homer in the sixth. Chris Duncan added a single, double and triple, as well as two RBIs.
St Louis benefited from eight walks and three Arizona errors.
MARLINS 10, BRAVES 4
In Atlanta, Georgia, Dan Uggla drove in three runs for the second straight game as Florida beat Atlanta.
At seven wins and one loss, Florida have had their best start since opening 1997 with eight wins in the first nine games.