Derek Jeter gave Yangervis Solarte some assistance with Yankee Stadium tradition on Monday and the rookie in return helped make the captain a winner in his final home opener, in which New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 in the American League.
Jeter, who will retire at the end of the season, doubled high off the left-field wall and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single in the fifth, while Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) went 6-1/3 sharp innings in the Yankees’ 112th opener in New York.
“It felt like maybe my first home opener. It was a fun time for me,” said the 39-year-old Jeter, who is starting his 20th season in MLB.
Playing in his first game in the Bronx, Solarte needed Jeter to tell him to wave to the group of fans known as the Bleacher Creatures when they chanted his name during the pregame roll call.
Jeter’s double-play grounder back to Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) then scored Solarte in the third inning for the Yankees’ first run and Shawn Kelley pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.
In other AL games, the defending World Series champions Boston Red Sox ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Texas Rangers 5-1 at home.
John Lackey pitched seven strong innings and Jackie Bradley Jr singled in two runs for the Red Sox, who never lost more than three straight last year and avoided dropping their first four home games for the first time since 1984 with Monday’s victory.
Lackey (2-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits in seven innings,
In Minneapolis, Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes hit a pair of RBIs despite playing with an injured heel to help the Athletics spoil the Minnesota Twins’ home opener with a 8-3 win.
Cespedes hit a double in the second inning for the first run against Kevin Correia (0-1) and later had a sacrifice fly, while Moss added a two-run single in the third and Derek Norris homered in the sixth.
Elsewhere in the AL, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 despite losing second baseman Omar Infante after he was hit in the face by a pitch from reliever Heath Bell and the Los Angeles Angels routed the Houston Astros 9-1.
In Monday’s National League action, the St Louis Cardinals got a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in their home opener.
Michael Wacha (1-0) had not allowed a run in 21 innings against the Reds before back-to-back doubles by Brayan Pena and pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina in the fifth.
The NL championship series Most Valuable Player benefited from two double-play balls in six stingy innings and has permitted one run in 13-2/3 innings his first two starts.
Meanwhile, inclement weather forecasts saw the Philadelphia Phillies’ home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers postponed.
In interleague play, the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago White Sox 8-1, while the San Diego Padres-Cleveland Indians game was postponed due to rain.