Jered Weaver struck out 10 in eight dominant innings of four-hit ball and Peter Bourjos’s bases-loaded infield single broke open a scoreless game in the eighth inning as Los Angeles beat visiting Kansas City, 5-0, Friday night - even though Albert Pujols went hitless in his Angels debut.
Erick Aybar put a bases-loaded triple down the right field line moments after two Kansas City infielders couldn’t handle Bourjos’s chopper, giving a comfortable lead to the Angels after a tense start to Pujols’s tenure.
Pujols went 0 for 3 with an eighth-inning intentional walk after getting several raucous pregame ovations.
Pujols lined into a first-inning double play before popping out in the third, and striking out on three pitches in the seventh.
In his fourth Opening Day start for the Angels, Weaver was in the same intimidating form that made him the runner-up for last year’s AL Cy Young award. The righthander retired 13 straight after allowing back-to-back singles in the third inning, finished with double-digit strikeouts for the 12th time in his career, and didn’t walk a batter.
Bruce Chen, the oldest player on the majors’ youngest team, matched each of Weaver’s zeros during six innings of three-hit ball in the first Opening Day start of his 14-year, 10-team career.
Diamondbacks 5, Giants 4 - Chris Young and Paul Goldschmidt hit first-inning home runs off Tim Lincecum as host Arizona opened defense of its NL West title with a victory over San Francisco.
Ryan Roberts’s two-run double broke a sixth-inning tie as Arizona defeated Lincecum for the fourth time in a row.
Buster Posey, the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, singled twice. The young star catcher also walked in his first game back after the brutal left leg injury sustained in a home plate collision last May 25 with Florida’s Scott Cousins.
Rockies 5, Astros 3 - Pinch runner Eric Young scored the go-ahead run on an error in the eighth inning and Troy Tulowitzki homered in the ninth to lift visiting Colorado over error-prone Houston.
The game was tied, 3-3, when Ramon Hernandez singled in the eighth. Young came in and stole second base and scored on an error by catcher Jason Castro, one of four miscues by the Astros. Castro’s throw to shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, who was making his major league debut, was high and it bounced off his glove and into the outfield.
Cardinals 11, Brewers 5 - David Freese hit a two-run drive for one of four St. Louis homers off Yovani Gallardo as the Cardinals spoiled host Milwaukee’s opener.
Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran, and Matt Holliday also connected for the Cardinals, who are in Milwaukee for a three-game series after opening with a victory over the Marlins in Miami on Wednesday.
Gallardo lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and six runs with five walks and three strikeouts.
Manager Ron Roenicke gave Gallardo the Opening Day start ahead of Zack Greinke, despite Gallardo’s career 1-7 record against the Cardinals.
Jaime Garcia pitched six solid innings for St. Louis.
Orioles 4, Twins 2 - Jake Arrieta pitched seven scoreless innings, Nick Markakis homered and drove in three runs, and Baltimore marked the 20th anniversary of the opening of Camden Yards by defeating Minnesota.
Making his first Opening Day start, Arrieta (1-0) allowed two hits, struck out four, and walked two in a 97-pitch performance.
The only two hits against Arrieta came in the fourth. The righthander didn’t make it the distance, but that didn’t detract from what he accomplished in his first start since elbow surgery last August.
Carl Pavano (0-1) allowed four runs and five hits over seven innings in his third career Opening Day start.
Dodgers 6, Padres 0 - Chad Billingsley came within two outs of a complete game, striking out 11 and allowing only three hits as Los Angeles won in San Diego.
Billingsley retired pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida leading off the ninth before allowing Cameron Maybin’s single to left. Manager Don Mattingly came out to get Billingsley, accompanied by boos from Dodgers fans. Jamey Wright got the final two outs.
Billingsley walked one and reached double digits in strikeouts for the ninth time in his career. He was on from the start, striking out the side in the first inning and again in the third.
Andre Ethier drove in four runs with a double and triple.
The Padres committed two more errors, giving them five in the first two games. They’ve struck out 18 times in 18 innings.
Rangers 3, White Sox 2 - Colby Lewis struck out nine in his first Opening Day start, Ian Kinsler homered, and two-time defending American League champion Texas began the season with a victory over visiting Chicago.
Kinsler had a leadoff double in the first and scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Hamilton. Kinsler hit a solo homer in the third.
Mariners 7, Athletics 3 - Chone Figgins had three hits and two RBIs and Kyle Seager singled twice and drove in a pair of runs as Seattle beat host Oakland in the stateside opener for both teams.