Los Angeles pitcher Jered Weaver struck out 10 in eight dominant innings to lead the Angels to a 5-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
In his fourth opening-day start for the Angels, Weaver (1-0) retired 13 straight after allowing back-to-back singles in the third inning, finished with double-digit strikeouts for the 12th time in his career and didn’t walk a batter.
Peter Bourjos’ bases-loaded infield single broke open a scoreless game in the eighth inning and that was followed by Erick Aybar’s bases-loaded triple.
Los Angeles’ US$240 million signing Albert Pujols went 0-for-3 with an eighth-inning intentional walk after getting several raucous pre-game ovations from the crowd.
Royals reliever Aaron Crow (0-1) took the loss.
RAYS 7, YANKEES 6
In St Petersburg, Florida, Carlos Pena hit a grand slam in the first then completed a ninth-inning comeback that lifted Tampa Bay to a season-opening victory over New York.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera (0-1) had been 60-of-61 in save chances against the Rays. However, after Desmond Jennings opened the ninth with a single against baseball’s career saves leader, Ben Zobrist tripled home the tying run.
The 42-year-old Rivera intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases and struck out one. Pena, who came in 0-for-11 in his career against Rivera, won it by driving a 1-2 pitch off the base of the wall in left-center field for his fifth RBI of the game.
Fernando Rodney (1-0) struck out one in a perfect ninth in his debut for Tampa Bay.
RANGERS 3, WHITE SOX 2
In Arlington, Texas, Colby Lewis struck out nine in his first opening-day start as Texas spoiled the debut of new Chicago manager Robin Ventura.
Ian Kinsler had a leadoff double in the first and scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Hamilton. Kinsler added a solo homer in the third.
Lewis (1-0) walked only one over six innings, throwing 70 of 100 pitches for strikes, and Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for the save.
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Orioles 4, Twins 2
‧ Mariners 7, Athletics 3
AP, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles pitcher Chad Billingsley came within two outs of a complete game, striking out 11 to lead the Dodgers to a 6-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday.
Billingsley (1-0) left the game after giving up a single with one out in the ninth. The decision by manager Don Mattingly to pull him was met by boos from Dodgers fans.
Billingsley walked only one and reached double digits in strikeouts for the ninth time in his career. He struck out the side in the first inning and again in the third.
Andre Ethier drove in four runs with a double and triple.
The Padres committed two more errors, giving them five in the first two games. They’ve struck out 18 times in 18 innings. The Padres were shut out 19 times last year.
CARDINALS 11, BREWERS 5
In Milwaukee, David Freese hit a two-run drive for one of four St Louis homers off Yovani Gallardo as the visitors spoiled Milwaukee’s opener.
Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday also connected for the Cardinals, who are in Milwaukee for a three-game series after opening with a victory over the Marlins in Miami.
Gallardo (0-1) struggled with his control from the start and lasted only 3-2/3 innings, giving up six runs with five walks.
Jaime Garcia (1-0) pitched six solid innings for St Louis, yielding two runs.