Justin Verlander won on Opening Day for the first time in six tries, pitching five shutout innings in 35-degree weather yesterday in Minneapolis to help the defending American League champion Tigers get past the Twins, 4-2.
Verlander was 0-1 in his previous five openers. Phil Coke got the last two outs for the first save by Detroit's closer-by-committee. Prince Fielder had two hits and an RBI to help spoil Vance Worley's first start for Minnesota, which left 12 runners on, including the bases loaded in the seventh.
The Twins haven't beaten Verlander since April 27, 2010. He is 8-0 with a 1.71 ERA in nine starts during that span. Verlander threw 91 pitches, allowing three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Mariners 2, Athletics 0: Felix Hernandez struck out eight in 72/3 innings for visiting Seattle. He didn't allow a hit until John Jaso doubled to left-center with one out in the fourth, only a couple of hours after Hernandez gifted his former catcher with a Rolex watch for catching his perfect game in August against the Rays. The Mariners' Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run single in the fifth.
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Angels 3, Reds 1: Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer and a bases-loaded single in the 13th inning to lead visiting Los Angeles in the first interleague season opener.
Braves 7, Phillies 5: Freddie Freeman drove in three runs with three hits, including the first of three home runs by the Braves, as host Atlanta beat Cole Hamels. Dan Uggla and Justin Upton also homered.
Cubs 3, Pirates 1: Jeff Samardzija allowed two hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in eight shutout innings and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer for visiting Chicago. Loser A.J. Burnett gave up three runs, six hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts in 52/3 innings.
Brewers 5, Rockies 4: Jonathan Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning for host Milwaukee. Aramis Ramirez had a two-run double in the Brewers' three-run eighth.
Diamondbacks 6, Cardinals 2:Ian Kennedy struck out eight in seven innings for host Arizona, which had 15 hits. Arizona's Gerardo Parra matched his career best with four hits, three of them doubles. Rookie A.J. Pollock was 3-for-4, including a two-run double, and Martin Prado doubled twice. Big payday for Andrus
A person familiar with the negotiations said two-time All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus has reached an agreement on an eight-year, $120-million extension with the Texas Rangers.
Yankees set record payroll
The Yankees set a record for baseball's highest Opening Day payroll at $230.4 million. The Dodgers are at $214.8 million and only the second franchise to break the $200-million barrier. -- AP