Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: It's all over in Detroit

Opening day roundup

Send a link to a friend

[April 07, 2009]  MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Baltimore beat up on CC Sabathia, Emilio Bonifacio became the first player in 41 years to hit an inside-the-park home run on opening day, and Jack Wilson gave Pittsburgh a comeback victory in the ninth inning.

RestaurantFollowing a winter of worry about whether the recession would damage attendance, major league baseball returned across the nation Monday.

Atlanta beat World Series champion Philadelphia 4-1 on Sunday night and 26 more teams had been slated to open Monday before bad weather caused a pair of postponements: Tampa Bay at Boston and Kansas City at the Chicago White.

They'll now get going on Tuesday, when Milwaukee and the Giants were scheduled to meet in San Francisco in the last of the 15 openers.

On Monday it was Baltimore 10, the New York Yankees 5; and Texas 9, Cleveland 1 in the AL, with Detroit at Toronto, Seattle at Minnesota and Oakland at Los Angeles at night.


In the NL, it was the New York Mets 2, Cincinnati 1; Florida 12, Washington 6; Arizona 9, Colorado 8; and Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 4. The night schedule had Chicago at Houston and Los Angeles at San Diego.

Even with economic worries, most openers were sold out despite some chilly conditions.

At Camden Yards, Baltimore took advantage of a wobbly Yankees debut by Sabathia, whose $161 million, seven-year contract is the richest for a pitcher.

Sabathia allowed six runs, eight hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings. He threw two wild pitches and failed to strike out any batters for the first time since July 2005.

It was an inauspicious start for the high-priced Yankees. After missing a postseason for the first time since 1993, New York spent $423.5 million on free agents Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira during the offseason.

Adam Jones and Brian Roberts each had three of Baltimore's 14 hits. Aubrey Huff drove in three runs and winner Jeremy Guthrie gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.

At Arlington, Texas, the Rangers' Kevin Millwood allowed one run over seven innings in his fourth consecutive opening-day start, and the Rangers scored seven runs in five innings off AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee.

Hank Blalock and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for the Rangers, whose 15 hits off four pitchers matched their most in an opener.

"There's that quiet confidence about this team. Not many people share that with us, but that's OK," Millwood said. "We believe in each other. That's how it felt before the game, during the game and after the game."

Texas jumped ahead with four runs in the second off Lee, who allowed only four earned runs in his first seven starts a year ago, then finished 22-3 with an AL-leading 2.54 ERA.

Blalock hit a one-hopper that ricocheted off Lee's forearm in the second.

"It's fine. I got it in the forearm," Lee said. "It'll probably be a little sore, but it'll be fine. I don't think it affected my pitches."

At Cincinnati, Francisco Rodriguez and the rebuilt Mets bullpen protected a slim lead for Johan Santana, who gave up three hits in 5 2-3 innings on a raw, 37-degree afternoon.

Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Rodriguez allowed only two balls out of the infield the rest of the way.

"They deserve all the credit," Santana said. "It's great for us, and it was big for getting the comfort level up," said Santana, whose bullpen blew five of his leads in the ninth inning last season.

Daniel Murphy drove in both Mets runs with a homer and a groundout.

to top of second column]

That's what they expect from us all year long," said Rodriguez, who got a $37 million, three-year deal from New York.

At Miami, Bonifacio went 4-for-5 against his former team, stole three bases and scored all four times he reached. Florida also hit three homers over the fence, including Hanley Ramirez's grand slam.

Bonifacio's inside-the-park homer was the first on opening day since Boston Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1968.

Ricky Nolasco pitched six innings to win in his first opening-day start.

Washington's Adam Dunn drove in four runs with a homer and a double. Losing pitcher John Lannan allowed six runs and six hits in three innings.

At Phoenix, Tony Clark and Arizona newcomer Felipe Lopez each homered from both sides of the plate.

Eight home runs were hit in the game, including the decisive shot by Chad Tracy leading off the seventh inning against loser Jason Grilli.

Lopez and Clark became the first switch-hitting teammates to homer from both sides of the plate in a game since the Yankees' Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams on April 23, 2000. It had never been done on opening day.

Tony Pena worked 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the win and closer Chad Qualls got three outs for a save.


At St. Louis, the Pirates were down to their last strike when Wilson hit a three-run double to cap a four-run ninth off rookie closer Jason Motte.

Ryan Ludwick broke a 2-all tie with a leadoff homer in the eighth off Tyler Yates, and David Freese added a sacrifice fly off winner John Grabow (1-0) for a 4-2 lead.

Freddy Sanchez led off the ninth with a double off Motte, a hard-throwing right-hander who won a three-way battle for the closer's job in spring training. Adam LaRoche singled in a run with one out, pinch-hitter Eric Hinske doubled LaRoche to third, Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch and Wilson doubled to left-center on an 0-2 fastball.

[Associated Press; By RONALD BLUM]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor