Will Middlebrooks hit three home runs as the Boston Red Sox trounced the Toronto Blue Jays 13-0 in the American League on Sunday, while Matt Cain became the first Giants pitcher to allow nine runs in an inning since 1902, as the St Louis Cardinals claimed a 14-3 win over San Francisco.
Middlebrooks had four hits from five at-bats with four RBIs, and hit a two-run shot to right field in the first inning and a solo drive into the second deck in left field in the fifth off National League Cy Young pitching award winner R.A. Dickey.
He connected again off Dave Bush with a leadoff long ball to left field in the seventh, the first three-homer game of his career.
Mike Napoli added a two-run shot, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava also went deep as the Red Sox connected for six home runs.
Dickey (0-2) allowed eight runs — seven earned — and 10 hits in 4-2/3 innings.
At San Francisco, the Cardinals chased Cain (0-1) while scoring nine times in the fourth inning. The last two runs came home from Carlos Beltran’s single off reliever Jose Mijares.
Research by the Elias Sports Bureau provided by the team shows that Cain was the first Giants pitcher to give up so many runs in a single inning since John Cronin on Sept. 27, 1902, in the second game of New York’s doubleheader against Brooklyn.
CC Sabathia pitched seven scoreless innings in Detroit and Jayson Nix homered off Justin Verlander in the three-run second as AL powerhouse the New York Yankees blanked the Tigers 7-0 to avoid a sweep.
Sabathia (1-1) gave up four hits and three walks while striking out four batters in 114 pitches, bouncing back from a dreadful opening-day start.
Verlander (1-1) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks.
Texas clinched their three-game home-opening series even with Yu Darvish being far from perfect in the Rangers’ 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Lance Berkman, David Murphy and Ian Kinsler homered for Texas in a victory over Josh Hamilton and AL West Division rivals Los Angeles.
Darvish (2-0) came within one out of a perfect game in his first start five days earlier at Houston, but trailed the Angels 2-0 only five batters into the game. He walked leadoff hitter Mike Trout, hit Erick Aybar on the foot and then walked Albert Pujols.
A run scored on Hamilton’s double-play grounder and Mark Trumbo’s RBI single quickly made it 2-0.
In other AL games, the Minnesota Twins edged the Baltimore Orioles 4-3, the Cleveland Indians thrashed the Tampa Bay Rays 13-0, the Oakland Athletics downed the Houston Astros 9-3 and the Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 over 10 innings.
The Kansas City Royals slipped past the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8 in the only interleague game.
In the NL, Tim Hudson pitched six-plus strong innings and added an RBI, as Ramiro Pena hit a two-run single to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1.
The three-game sweep ended a 5-1 homestand for Atlanta, who got a solo homer from Dan Uggla in the eighth off Hisanori Takahashi.
At New York, Marlon Byrd grounded a two-run single just inside third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 victory over the Florida Marlins.
Daniel Murphy homered and Anthony Recker had a run-scoring double for the Mets, who spoiled an impressive major league debut by prized Miami pitching prospect Jose Fernandez.