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MLB roundup: Reds roll with nine-run ninth inning

Hafner, Yankees blow out Indians

Brandon Phillips kick-started a nine-run ninth inning with a tiebreaking bloop double and Shin-Soo Choo made amends for two botched fly balls with a three-run double, and the Cincinnati Reds spoiled the St. Louis Cardinals’ home opener with a 13-4 victory on Monday.

Mitchell Boggs (0-1), the stand-in closer for St. Louis, yielded six runs while getting only one out and the Cardinals needed four more pitchers to get out of the inning.

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By the bottom of the ninth, only a few thousand fans remained of the largest regular-season crowd (47,375) in 8-year-old Busch Stadium history.

Phillips added his 150th career homer for the Reds, who have won six of seven since losing in extra innings to the Angels on Opening Day and totaled 11 or more hits in each of the last four games. Jay Bruce had four hits and Chris Heisey doubled twice with an RBI.

Cardinals lefthander Jamie Garcia matched his career best with 10 strikeouts in 6 innings and left with a 4-3 lead. Yadier Molina hit both of the fly balls dropped by Choo, in the first and sixth, and added an RBI single.

‘‘I almost died and my teammates gave me another life,’’ Choo said. ‘‘I really appreciate my teammates, coming over to me and saying everybody makes mistakes. I missed two fly balls and in my mind I had to do something to help the team.’’

Pinch hitter Xavier Paul tied it in the eighth with an RBI single off Trevor Rosenthal before the Reds took off in the ninth with six hits, five walks, and an error.

Yankees 11, Indians 6 — Travis Hafner drove in four runs in his return to Cleveland and Robinson Cano homered twice as New York wrecked the Indians’ opener — and manager Terry Francona’s first home game.

Hafner hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Ubaldo Jimenez and added an RBI single in the third. Cano connected in the fifth and sixth.

Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) shook off a 34-pitch first for the win. Mike Aviles hit a two-run homer in the eighth for Cleveland.

The day started oddly for Francona, who said he got lost while making the two-block walk from his downtown apartment to Progressive Field. While he may have needed directions to find the ballpark, it was a special day for Francona, whose father, Tito, played for the Indians from 1959-64.

Mets 7, Phillies 2 — Matt Harvey threw seven impressive innings, John Buck hit a three-run homer, and visiting New York roughed up Roy Halladay in a rout of Philadelphia.

Harvey (2-0) followed a dominant first start with another sharp outing. He gave up one run, three hits, and fanned nine.

Meanwhile, Halladay (0-2) barely resembles the two-time Cy Young winner who had 40 wins in his first two years with the Phillies. Halladay allowed seven runs and six hits in four-plus innings. He’s given up 12 runs in 7 innings in two starts.

Rangers 5, Rays 4 — A.J. Pierzynski and Mitch Moreland hit consecutive home runs off birthday boy Jeremy Hellickson and host Texas held on to beat Tampa Bay when Joe Nathan got his 300th career save on a disputed game-ending strike.

After Ben Zobrist took a full-count pitch, a breaking ball that appeared to be outside, he started toward first base and even Nathan appeared to anticipate a ball being called. But home plate umpire Marty Foster then called strike three.

Zobrist put both hands on his helmet and took it off in disbelief. Manager Joe Maddon argued with Foster for several minutes after the game ended. Soon after that Maddon tweeted, ‘‘That can’t happen in a major league game.’’

Afterward Foster admitted he got the call wrong.

‘‘I saw the pitch and of course don’t have the chance to do it again,’’ Foster told a pool reporter after the game. ‘‘But had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike.’’

Braves 2, Marlins 0 — Justin Upton went 4 for 4, including his sixth home run, and Paul Maholm allowed one hit in seven sharp innings to help Atlanta spoil Miami’s home opener.

 The Braves earned their fourth consecutive win and improved to 6-1, their best start since 2007. The Marlins lost their third in a row and fell to 1-6, their worst start since 2006.

 Announced attendance was 34,439, with thousands of empty seats. Some fans pledged to stay away because they’re angry that owner Jeffrey Loria slashed payroll only a year after the team opened a new park built mostly with taxpayer money.

 Upton singled in the first, doubled in the fourth and homered in the sixth. Wth a chance at the cycle he singled in the eighth.

Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 3 — Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs, Garrett Jones homered, and visiting Pittsburgh snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Arizona.

 McCutchen doubled in a run in the Pirates’ three-run first inning and broke a 3-all tie with his sacrifice fly after Starling Marte’s leadoff triple in the fifth. Jeanmar Gomez got the victory in relief of Wandy Rodriguez, who left after 2 innings because of tightness in his left hamstring.

  Trevor Cahill (0-2) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings for the Diamondbacks, who had won four in a row.

Brewers 7, Cubs 4 — Marco Estrada pitched seven effective innings and doubled home a run, helping Milwaukee stop a five-game slide by beating Chicago in the first game of the season at Wrigley Field.

Norichika Aoki collected three more hits and Ryan Braun had three hits in his return after missing three games with back spasms. Welington Castillo belted a two-run homer for Chicago, which has dropped four in a row and five of six.

Mariners 3, Astros 0 — Kendrys Morales drove in two runs in his Seattle home debut, Joe Saunders rebounded from a rough first start to throw 6 shutout innings, and the Mariners blanked Houston.

Giants 4, Rockies 2 — Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer in the first inning that held up, Madison Bumgarner (2-0) won his sixth in a row against Colorado, and host San Francisco snapped the Rockies’ five-game winning streak.

Royals 3, Twins 1 — Ervin Santana pitched eight strong innings, Alcides Escobar doubled home the go-ahead run, and Kansas City rallied to beat Minnesota in its home opener.

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