Texas’ Ian Kinsler hit a go-ahead single with two outs in the eighth inning as the Rangers won their home opener 3-2 over the Los Angeles Angels and former teammate Josh Hamilton on Friday.
Among other American League games, Prince Fielder drove in five runs with two homers as Detroit beat the New York Yankees, Baltimore’s Chris Davis hit a grand slam in the win over Minnesota, while Boston’s Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to lead the Red Sox over Toronto.
In the National League, Barry Zito dominated from the mound to lead San Francisco over St Louis, Zack Greinke had a similarly strong start in his LA Dodgers debut to defeat Pittsburgh, Cincinnati hit six homers to rout Washington, and Atlanta’s Justin Upton extended his powerful start to the season by homering in the win over the Chicago Cubs.
Hamilton was a five-time All-Star and the 2010 AL MVP with Texas before going to AL West rival Angels with a US$125 million, five-year contract. He finished 0 for 4 and is 1 for 16 this season. The slugger was booed when he was introduced, then cheered when he struck out twice.
Kinsler’s sharp single to right was fielded by Hamilton, who short-hopped a throw to the plate as speedy Craig Gentry slid home for the tiebreaking run.
Detroit’s Fielder hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the fifth inning and added a soaring, two-run shot in the seventh to lift Detroit over the Yankees 8-3 in the Comerica Park opener.
Fielder connected for his first two home runs of the season before a crowd of 45,051.
Baltimore’s Davis had a grand slam and five RBIs as the Orioles used a five-run eighth inning to beat the Minnesota Twins 9-5 in their home opener.
Davis became the fourth player in major league history to homer in his first four games of the season, joining Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz. He is 9 for 15 (.600) with four homers and 16 RBIs.
The Boston Red Sox won 6-4 at the Blue Jays as manager John Farrell made a successful return to Toronto.
San Francisco’s Zito pitched another gem against the St Louis Cardinals, leading the Giants to a 1-0 victory in their home opener.
The Giants celebrated their latest World Series title throughout the day. Of course, it was Zito who saved San Francisco’s season by beating the Cardinals 5-0 last year in Game 5 of the NL championship series.
Los Angeles’ Greinke held Pittsburgh scoreless into the seventh inning, guiding the Dodgers to a 3-0 win.
Andre Ethier homered and Los Angeles got consecutive RBI doubles from Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez. Greinke, who signed a US$147 million, six-year contract to join the Dodgers during the offseason, struck out six and did not walk a batter in 6 1-3 innings.
Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart each hit two of the Reds six home runs, including a grand slam by pinch-hitter Xavier Paul, as the Reds won 15-0.
It was the Nationals’ most lopsided loss since baseball returned to Washington in 2005, topping a 15-1 defeat by Detroit in 2007.
Atlanta’s Upton hit his third homer in four games and Mike Minor pitched into the eighth inning to help the Braves beat Chicago 4-1.
Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore pitched six sharp innings and Ben Zobrist drove in three runs to lead the Rays over the Cleveland Indians 4-0.
Oakland’s Coco Crisp hit a leadoff homer and added two doubles in the Athletics’ big fifth inning against Houston, beating the Astros 8-3.