Phillies open with 14-10 victory over Rangers
The Associated Press | April 01,2014
Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins hits a grand slam during Monday’s season opener against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Jimmy Rollins had a grand slam during his memorable opening day for the Philadelphia Phillies, who needed a lot of runs to get usually reliable ace Cliff Lee a victory in his return to Texas.
Rollins hit his 200th career homer and pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. had a tiebreaking two-run double that put the Phillies ahead for good in a wild 14-10 victory over the Rangers on Monday.
Rollins matched Cal Ripken’s major league record by starting his 14th consecutive opener at shortstop for the same franchise. He also became the 19th player in major league history with at least 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 homers.
“J-Roll, with the big pop early, just really set the tone and got things going,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “I think it was contagious after that.”
The Phillies had 17 hits and their most runs in a season opener since 1900. It was more than enough to make up for a rough outing for Lee (1-0), who was unable to protect a 6-0 lead after Rollins homered in the second inning.
Rollins, whose wife is expecting their second child, flew to Texas on Sunday, a day after the rest of the team did.
“I didn’t want to come here and then have to fly to Philadelphia,” Rollins said. “The baby has let me go out and play ball for a few more days.”
Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche also homered for the Phillies, who beat the Boston Beaneaters 19-17 in their 1900 opener.
Converted Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers gave up seven runs over four innings. But the game was tied when Scheppers threw his last pitch.
Mayberry, a first-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2005 who never played for the big league club and was traded three years later, got his tiebreaking hit in the fifth against Pedro Figueroa (0-1) for a 9-7 lead.
Lee matched his career high by allowing eight runs and struck out only one, but the left-hander made it through five innings in another less-than-stellar opener for him in the Rangers’ home ballpark.
“I don’t like being on the pitching side of that, but fortunately we outscored them and got the win, the main thing,” said Lee, who had a solid spring. “Jimmy hitting that grand slam busted it open. And we kept adding it on and we needed it, as it turned out.”
Lee got a nice ovation before pitching in Texas for the first time since starting for the Rangers in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series. The lefty also made a season-opening start here for Cleveland in 2009, when the then-reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed seven runs over five innings in a 9-1 loss.
With starters Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland on the disabled list, Scheppers became the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 to make his first career start on opening day. Scheppers, who had 76 relief appearances last season, struck out two and walked three.
TIGERS 4, ROYALS 3
DETROIT — On a day of dandy Detroit debuts, Alex Gonzalez helped Brad Ausmus start his tenure as Tigers manager with a win.
Gonzalez lined an RBI single off Greg Holland in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday in Ausmus’ first game since replacing Jim Leyland. Victor Martinez homered for Detroit, and Justin Verlander was sharp aside from a three-run fourth inning that wasn’t all his fault.
“There’s two things that could have spoiled opening day for me,” Ausmus said. “One, if we lost. And two, if the sun wasn’t out. Because for me opening day, the sun is out, fans are having fun, they’re eating their popcorn, drinking their beer. The energy is higher.”
Kansas City lost its sixth straight opener.
Ausmus was upstaged a bit by another newcomer on a bright, pleasant day in downtown Detroit.
Gonzalez was acquired by the Tigers in late March following an injury to shortstop Jose Iglesias. Detroit is just hoping he can fill in competently, and Gonzalez did not impress at first. His error in the fourth helped the Royals score an extra run, but he made up for that with a tying triple in the seventh.
Gonzalez then singled with men on first and third in the ninth.
“I’ve played on a lot of opening days — I don’t even remember all of them — but this one was special,” Gonzalez said. “I was looking for a pitch that I could elevate, and I got one. I rounded first and all I saw was the whole team coming at me.”
Joe Nathan — another new face on Detroit’s roster — pitched a scoreless ninth. Nathan (1-0) signed with the Tigers to become their closer, but he’ll have to wait a bit longer for a save opportunity.
Holland didn’t have a save chance either after converting 47 of 50 last year. Instead, the right-hander came into a difficult situation in the ninth and couldn’t get out of it. Wade Davis (0-1) yielded a one-out walk to Alex Avila and a single to Nick Castellanos before Holland allowed the single to Gonzalez.
“I get paid to get people out, and I didn’t do it today,” Holland said. “We’re not here to fight and compete. We’re here to win.”
Detroit’s Tyler Collins made his major league debut as a pinch runner for Avila — and ended up scoring the winning run.
Salvador Perez had four hits for Kansas City.
RAYS 9, BLUE JAYS 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Price (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits over 7 1-3 innings to beat R.A. Dickey in a matchup of 2012 Cy Young Award winners.
Matt Joyce drove in three runs for the Rays with a sacrifice fly and two-run double off Dickey (0-1), who yielded six two-out runs in five innings.
Toronto’s Jose Reyes left the lineup after his first at-bat because of a tight left hamstring.
WHITE SOX 5, TWINS 3
CHICAGO — Alejandro De Aza hit two homers, and Jose Abreu had two hits in his major league debut.
Chicago’s Paul Konerko got a loud ovation before what was likely his final opener, although he wasn’t in the lineup. The White Sox are coming off a 63-99 season, their poorest record since 1970.
Chris Sale (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings with eight strikeouts to beat Ricky Nolasco (0-1), who gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings in his Twins debut.
BREWERS 2, BRAVES 0
MILWAUKEE — Brewers star Ryan Braun drew a standing ovation in his return from a drug suspension, then was ruled out in the first call overturned under baseball’s expanded replay system as Milwaukee beat the Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Monday in a season opener.
Braun went 1 for 4 and stole a base in the fourth inning that helped set up a two-run double by Aramis Ramirez.
A smattering of boos during Braun’s first at-bat was easily drowned out by the overwhelming applause. The former MVP was suspended for the final 65 games last year in the Biogenesis doping scandal.
Later, Braun had his infield single to lead off the sixth overturned to out after the call was challenged by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez under Major League Baseball’s new replay format. The review took 58 seconds.
CARDINALS 1, REDS 0
CINCINNATI — Yadier Molina’s homer broke a seventh-inning tie, leading St. Louis Cardinals to a victory over the Reds.
Adam Wainwright (1-0) used his refined sinker to finally get the best of the Reds, who have hit him like no other team. Wainwright allowed three hits in seven innings, fanning nine.
St. Louis escaped a threat in the eighth. Trevor Rosenthal retired all three batters in the ninth, finishing a three-hitter for the defending National League champions.
Bryan Price lost his managing debut with Cincinnati, which opened the season with eight players on the disabled list, its most since 2007. Johnny Cueto (0-1) allowed three hits in seven innings.
PIRATES 1, CUBS 0, 10 INNINGS
PITTSBURGH — Neil Walker homered off Carlos Villanueva leading off the 10th inning, and the Pirates benefited from an overturned to call to beat the Cubs 1-0 on opening day.
Reliever Bryan Morris won with the help of an overturned pickoff call in the top of the 10th under Major League Baseball’s new replay system. Starter Francisco Liriano and four relievers combined for 11 strikeouts.
NATIONALS 9, METS 7, 10 INNINGS
NEW YORK — Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and drove in a career-high four runs, twice rallying the Nationals against the Mets’ suspect bullpen for an opening-day victory.
Denard Span hit a tying double with two outs in the ninth off closer Bobby Parnell, and Ian Desmond put the Nationals in front for the first time with a sacrifice fly in the 10th.
Rendon connected two batters later against former Washington pitcher John Lannan, securing a win for Matt Williams in his first game as a major league manager.Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 over six innings in his third straight opening-day start.
Juan Lagares and Andrew Brown both homered for New York after they were surprise additions to the lineup. Aaron Barrett (1-0) struck out two in a perfect inning to win his major league debut.
Jeurys Familia (0-1) took the loss, hurt by catcher Travis d’Arnaud’s passed ball.