Yankees come out swinging
Rodriguez's slam helps wallop A's
Alex Rodriguez is welcomed home by Johnny Damon (left) after his grand slam. (Getty Images Photo / Jed Jacobsohn)
Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, Johnny Damon drove in a run in his Yankees' debut, and Randy Johnson exhibited the dominant form he lacked for much of last season as New York routed the host Oakland Athletics in both teams' opener last night, 15-2.
Rodriguez's 12th career grand slam highlighted New York's seven-run second inning that staked Johnson to a big lead early. Johnson allowed 1 run and 5 hits in 7 innings.
The 15 runs were the most allowed by the A's on opening day, surpassing the 14 the Philadelphia A's gave up in a 14-8 loss to the Washington Senators April 17, 1945.
Hideki Matsui homered on opening day for the second straight year, a three-run drive in the fourth. He finished with four hits and four RBIs.
A's ace Barry Zito gave up seven runs and four hits in 1 1/3 innings, the shortest outing of his career.
Angels 5, Mariners 4 -- Orlando Cabrera hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to lift visiting Los Angeles.
With the score tied, 3-3, reliever George Sherrill walked Casey Kotchman. Jose Molina sacrificed pinch runner Maicer Izturis to second and Tim Salmon advanced him to third on a ground out. Reliever J.J Putz walked Chone Figgins, who stole second before Cabrera's two-run single for the Angels.
Orioles 9, Devil Rays 6 -- Luis Matos and Melvin Mora hit successive homers in the fifth inning, and Miguel Tejada and Jeff Conine also connected as host Baltimore won its sixth straight opener.
In his first at-bat with the Orioles, Kevin Millar hit a one-out double, then scored on a triple by Javy Lopez. Millar later had an RBI single.
Tigers 3, Royals 1 -- Kenny Rogers combined with two relievers on a four-hitter, Chris Shelton homered twice, and Jim Leyland won his debut as the Tigers' manager in a victory at Kansas City.
Cardinals 13, Phillies 5 -- Jimmy Rollins kept up his pursuit of Joe DiMaggio's major league record 56-game hitting streak with a double on a 3-and-0 pitch in the eighth inning, but it was the lone bright spot for the host Philadelphia Phillies in their season opener.
Albert Pujols homered twice, Scott Rolen hit a grand slam, and the St. Louis Cardinals' potent offense pounded out 17 hits the rout at Philadelphia.
Rollins was 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly before he lined a shot off Adam Wainwright down the right-field line in the eighth inning. His two-season hitting streak is now at 37 games.
Chris Carpenter pitched five effective innings for the win, though he wasn't as sharp as he was most of last season, when he went 21-5 and won the National League Cy Young Award. Carpenter allowed four runs and nine hits.
Braves 11, Dodgers 10 -- Atlanta began its quest for a 15th straight division championship by building a quick seven-run lead, then hanging on as Tim Hudson and several relievers struggled at Los Angeles.
Adam LaRoche and Andruw Jones hit three-run homers off Derek Lowe, and the Braves spoiled manager Grady Little's debut.
Rolen was 3 for 5 with four RBIs, Pujols was 2 for 2 with four RBIs, and Aaron Miles had four hits, including two doubles and a triple.
Astros 1, Marlins 0 -- Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge combined on a five-hitter, Craig Biggio doubled and scored on Joe Borowski's wild pitch in the seventh inning, and host Houston ruined Florida manager Joe Girardi's debut.
Oswalt struck out eight in eight innings, walked one, and allowed five hits to win for the 13th time in 14 decisions at home.
Mets 3, Nationals 2 -- Tom Glavine outpitched Livan Hernandez in a matchup of World Series MVPs, Billy Wagner got a save in his Mets debut, and newcomer Xavier Nady went 4 for 4 in New York's victory over visiting Washington.
Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 2 -- Matt Holliday dashed home on Brad Hawpe's grounder and dived in ahead of the throw for the winning run in the 11th inning to give host Colorado the victory.
Cubs 16, Reds 7 --After President Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch, Matt Murton homered in a five-run first, and Todd Walker singled home a pair of runs in Chicago's seven-run sixth at Cincinnati.
Brewers 5, Pirates 2 -- Jeff Cirillo hit a two-run single in the seventh off loser Damaso Marte for a 3-2 lead and Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer in the eighth to lead host Milwaukee.