The Milwaukee Brewers ended a five-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the first National League game of the season at Wrigley Field on Monday, while the injury-riddled New York Yankees ruined the Indians’ highly anticipated first home game under new Cleveland manager Terry Francona with an 11-6 win.
Marco Estrada pitched seven effective innings and doubled home a run for the Brewers, allowing two runs and five hits, bouncing back from a lackluster season debut against Colorado.
The right-hander also drove in Alex Gonzalez with a drive into the gap in right-center during Milwaukee’s two-run seventh inmning.
Welington Castillo belted a two-run homer for Chicago, who have dropped four in a row and five of six.
New York’s Travis Hafner drove in four runs on his return to Cleveland and Robinson Cano homered twice for the Yankees.
Hafner hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1) and added an RBI single in the third inning. Cano connected in the fifth and sixth for the Yankees.
Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) shook off a shaky, 34-pitch first inning and showed no signs of being bothered by a bruised right middle finger as the Yankees finally won a home opener after losing their own and Detroit’s last week.
Also in the American League, Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer and Clay Buchholz pitched seven shutout innings as the surprising Boston Red Sox won their ninth straight home opener, beating the Baltimore Orioles 3-1.
Nava broke open a scoreless duel between Buchholz (2-0) and Taiwan’s Chen Wei-yin (0-1) in the seventh inning with his second homer in two days.
The Red Sox are off to a strong start at 5-2 under new manager John Farrell.
Kansas City pitcher Ervin Santana tossed eight strong innings and Alcides Escobar doubled home the go-ahead run as the Royals rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 in their home opener.
Santana (1-1), acquired from the Los Angeles Angels on Oct. 31 for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk, gave up a run and eight singles.
Escobar’s double scored Gordon and chased Correia.
In other American League games, the Texas Rangers edged the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 and the Seattle Mariners blanked the Houston Astros 3-0.
In the National League, Brandon Phillips kick-started a nine-run ninth inning with a tiebreaking double and Choo Shin-soo made amends for two botched fly balls with a three-run double as the Cincinnati Reds trounced St Louis 13-4 to spoil the Cardinals’ home opener.
Mitchell Boggs (0-1), the stand-in closer for St Louis, yielded six runs, while getting only one out and the Cardinals needed four more pitchers to get out of the ninth inning.
Phillips added his 150th career homer for the Reds, who have won six of seven since losing in extra innings to the Angels on the opening day. Jay Bruce had four hits and Chris Heisey doubled twice with an RBI.
Atlanta’s Justin Upton had four hits from four at bats, including his sixth home run, to help the Braves shut out the Miami Marlins 2-0.
The Braves earned their fourth consecutive victory and improved to 6-1, their best start since 2007. The Marlins lost their third game in a row and fell to 1-6, their worst start to the season since 2006.
In other National League games, the New York Mets downed the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2, the San Francisco Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 4-2 and the Pittsburgh Pirates were 5-3 winners over the Arizona Diamondbacks.