MLB roundup: Rangers open with a win

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington (R) is introduced before the start of their MLB American...

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington (R) is introduced before the start of their MLB American League opening weekend baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Arlington, Texas April 6, 2012. (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

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American League

Final Score: Texas 3, Chicago 2

Arlington, TX - Michael Young singled home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth, while Ian Kinsler hit a solo homer and scored two runs as the Texas Rangers opened their season with a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday. Josh Hamilton went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored for Texas, which began its quest for a third straight American League pennant. Colby Lewis (1-0) allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk in six innings while striking out nine. Joe Nathan picked up his first save as a Ranger with a 1-2-3 ninth. Adam Dunn tied an MLB Opening Day record with his eighth home run while John Danks (0-1) gave up three runs on six hits in six innings. Robin Ventura, who played for the White Sox from 1989-98, made his managerial debut for Chicago.

Final Score: Baltimore 4, Minnesota 2

Baltimore, MD - Jake Arrieta tossed seven shutout innings and the Baltimore Orioles celebrated the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in the season opener for both clubs on Friday. Arrieta (1-0) yielded just two hits while fanning four and walking two batters in his first career Opening Day start. Jim Johnson got the final two outs in the top of the ninth to earn his first save of 2012. Nick Markakis led the offensive charge for the O's, going 2-for-3 with a two- run home run, three RBI, and two runs scored while Matt Wieters knocked in the other run on an RBI groundout. The Orioles look to rebound from a poor 2011 campaign in which they went 69-93 and finished last in the AL East. Carl Pavano (0-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits over seven full frames. Josh Willingham crushed a two-run homer for the Twins, who finished last in the AL Central a year ago with a 63-99 mark, their worst record since losing 102 games in 1982.

Final Score: Tampa Bay 7, New York 6

St. Petersburg, FL - After Evan Longoria sent Tampa Bay into the postseason on the final day of last year's regular season, the Rays kicked off 2012 with another dramatic come-from-behind victory over the New York Yankees. Carlos Pena, who launched a grand slam in his first at-bat since rejoining the Rays, singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Rays defeated the Yankees, 7-6, in the season opener for both teams. Fernando Rodney (1-0) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for the Rays, who used Boston's monumental September collapse to sneak into the postseason last year as the wild-card. They rallied from a 7-0, eighth-inning deficit in the 162nd game last year to beat the Yankees 8-7 in 12 innings. Longoria, who went 3- for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI on Friday, laced the game-winning home run. Newly acquired designated hitter Raul Ibanez smacked a three-run home run, while Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Robinson Cano added two hits for New York. Mariano Rivera (0-1) registered 44 saves a year ago, but blew his first opportunity for one in 2012.

Final Score: Seattle 7, Oakland 3

Oakland, CA - Chone Figgins and Kyle Seager each knocked in two runs, helping the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics, 7-3, in the opener of a two-game series. These two teams started the United States leg of their schedules on Friday after kicking off the Major League Baseball season with two games at the Tokyo Dome in Japan in late March. Ichiro Suzuki and Jesus Montero each drove in a run for the Mariners, who had 13 hits. Jason Vargas (1-0) gave up two runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings to pick up his first win of the season. He improved to 1-3 in six games in Oakland. Overall against the A's, Vargas is 4-4 in 11 games (nine starts). Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer and became the first player in Oakland Athletics history to homer twice in his first three major league games. Since 1918, the only other Athletic to homer twice in his first three games is fellow Cuban, Bert Campaneris. Brandon McCarthy (0-1) allowed five runs -- two earned -- on seven hits over five full frames. He fell to 2-6 lifetime against Seattle.

Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 5, Kansas City 0

Anaheim, CA - Jered Weaver tossed eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball and struck out 10 and the Angels scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 5-0 victory over the Royals on Friday in the season opener for both teams. The teams combined for just seven hits over the first 7 1/2 innings, but the Angels tallied three straight singles off reliever Aaron Crow (0-1) to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Peter Bourjos fell behind new pitcher Greg Holland 0-2 but sent a dribbler toward shortstop Alcides Escobar, who bobbled the ball slightly as the Angels scored the first run. Erick Aybar then broke the game open, lacing a three-run triple down the right-field line to give the Angels a 4-0 lead before Torii Hunter added an RBI single to account for the final score. Albert Pujols made his regular-season debut for the Angels and finished 0- for-3 with a walk, while Weaver (1-0) improved to 3-1 in opening day starts. Kansas City starter Bruce Chen allowed just three hits in six innings, but was lifted in the seventh for Crow. Jeff Francoeur had the only extra-base hit for the Royals, who finished 20 games below .500 at 71-91 last season.

National League

Final Score: St. Louis 11, Milwaukee 5

Milwaukee, WI - Carlos Beltran and Matt Holiday hit back-to- back solo home runs in the third inning and World Series hero David Freese followed with a two-run shot two batters later to help the Cardinals defeat the Brewers, 11-5, on Friday. Yadier Molina began the home run spurt with a solo knock in the second, while Beltran finished 2-for-4 and Freese batted in three runs in the win for the defending champions. Jaime Garcia picked up the win (1-0) by tossing six innings and giving up two runs on five hits and two walks. Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo (0-1) was tagged for six runs on seven hits, including all four Cardinal homers, and five walks in just 3 2/3 innings. Ryan Braun, last season's National League MVP, went 0-for-5 in his first game since being suspended for, and successfully appealing, a violation of Major League Baseball's drug policy. He was greeted by a long standing ovation and chants of "MVP! MVP!" from the home crowd before lining out in the first.

Final Score: Colorado 5, Houston 3

Houston, TX - Jeremy Guthrie and Michael Cuddyer both made their Rockies debut and Eric Young scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning Friday as Colorado defeated the Houston Astros, 5-3, in the season opener for both teams. Guthrie (1-0), who spent the previous five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and made three Opening Day starts in that span, allowed three runs on four hits and three walks in seven innings. Cuddyer spent his first 11 years with the Twins before signing with Colorado during the offseason and went 2-for-4 with a run batted in. Troy Tulowitzki smacked a solo homer and Rafael Betancourt picked up the save with a scoreless ninth. Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic hit back-to-back solo home runs in the fourth inning for Houston, which lost 106 games last season. The Astros committed four errors in their sixth consecutive Opening Day loss. Starter Wandy Rodriguez gave up three runs -- none earned -- on six hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. Fernando Rodriguez (0-1) allowed the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth to take the loss.

Final Score: Arizona 5, San Francisco 4

Phoenix, AZ - Ryan Roberts ripped the go-ahead two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks opened their 2012 season with a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday at Chase Field. Chris Young cracked a two-run home run and Paul Goldschmidt added a solo shot for the Diamondbacks, who completed a worst-to-first turnaround last season to claim the NL West title. Ian Kennedy (1-0), who won 21 games a season ago, picked up right where he left off, giving up three runs while scattering nine hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. J.J. Putz worked through a shaky ninth inning to earn his first save of the new campaign. Tim Lincecum (0-1) drew the Opening Day start for San Francisco and struggled early. He gave up three runs in the first inning and finished with five runs to his name in 5 1/3 innings. Giants catcher Buster Posey made his return to the starting lineup for the first time since suffering a broken leg last May 29. He finished 2-for-4 with a walk.

Final Score: Los Angeles 6, San Diego 0

San Diego, CA - Chad Billingsley sparkled, coming within two outs of throwing a shutout, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rolled to a 6-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night. The Dodgers won the opener of this four-game series, 5-3, on Thursday despite getting just three innings from NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who had the flu. A day later, Billingsley (1-0) nearly went the distance to start his seventh season in a Dodgers uniform. He retired 16 straight batters before allowing a one-out hit in the ninth and was taken out for Jamey Wright, who got two outs to finish off the shutout. Billingsley allowed just three hits and a walk and struck out 11 in his 8 1/3 innings while Andre Ethier knocked in four of LA's six runs as the Dodgers won their first two games for the second straight season. The Padres committed two errors and had three hits one day after having three errors and five hits in the opener. Padres starter Cory Luebke (0-1) gave up six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.


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