Mets mangle Citi Field opener
Rays raise banners, raze Yankees in rout
Their new home was gorgeous, but the Mets looked lost in it.
Jody Gerut christened Citi Field with a leadoff homer, Adrian Gonzalez also went deep, and the San Diego Padres spoiled New York's first regular-season game in its glittering new ballpark with a 6-5 victory last night.
Pedro Feliciano balked in the go-ahead run and the Mets made several key mistakes, opening Citi Field the same way they closed Shea Stadium: with a dud.
David Wright rallied New York from an early four-run hole with a tying three-run homer, but it wasn't enough. Padres relievers Duaner Sanchez and Heath Bell, both former Mets, closed out the fifth straight win for surprising San Diego (6-2), expected to be one of baseball's worst teams this year.
Gerut's shot off Mike Pelfrey marked the first time in history that the first batter homered in a regular-season opener at a major league ballpark, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Pregame ceremonies at the $800 million stadium included Hall of Famer Tom Seaver and former New York catcher Mike Piazza walking in together from the bullpen, both wearing Mets jerseys. Seaver threw out the first pitch to Piazza, a strike, and pumped his fist.
Gerut pulled Pelfrey's third pitch down the right-field line, stunning a peppy, soldout crowd of 41,007 right at the start.
Pelfrey looked out of sorts in his team's new digs. He caught a spike on the mound in mid-delivery, sending the 6-foot-7-inch righthander tumbling awkwardly to the turf in the second inning with opposing starter Walter Silva at the plate.
Silva then hit a two-out single, sparking a three-run rally that included David Eckstein's two-run double and Brian Giles's soft RBI single.
Gonzalez gave San Diego a 5-1 cushion with a leadoff homer in the fifth that caromed off the screen attached to the right-field foul pole.
The Mets finally revved up their fans in the fifth. Daniel Murphy hit an RBI single with two outs and Wright reached down to yank a full-count pitch over the left-field fence. The three-run homer tied it at 5.
The Mets gave away the go-ahead run in the sixth. With Brian Stokes (0-1) pitching, Luis Rodriguez opened with a long fly to right that glanced off Ryan Church's glove for a three-base error. Two outs later, Feliciano balked in a run that put the Padres ahead.
Rays 15, Yankees 5 - After raising the first division and league championship banners in franchise history, Tampa Bay pummeled New York by scoring eight runs off Chien-Ming Wang in an inning-plus.
Carlos Pena had a two-run double in the first off Wang (0-2) and clubbed a grand slam off Jonathan Albaladejo in the sixth. Pat Burrell and Jason Bartlett also homered for the Rays, and Evan Longoria had a pair of RBIs to give him 12 on the season.
Scott Kazmir (2-0) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, including Nick Swisher's solo homer in the fourth and Melky Cabrera's RBI single in the fifth. The lefthander struck out six and walked none.
Dodgers 11, Giants 1 - Orlando Hudson became the ninth player in Dodgers history to hit for the cycle and Andre Ethier had a pair of homers and four RBIs in Los Angeles's home opener.
Hudson singled in the first, homered in the third, doubled in the fourth, and tripled in the sixth to complete the franchise's first cycle since Wes Parker on May 7, 1970. Hudson is the first Dodger to do it in Los Angeles.
Phillies 9, Nationals 8 - After learning of the death of longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, Philadelphia received homers from Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, and Shane Victorino before holding off host Washington, which fell to 0-7.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who hasn't blown a save since 2007. But Lidge struck out Adam Dunn and Elijah Dukes before Nick Johnson grounded to first base to end it.
Cubs 4, Rockies 0 - Ted Lilly (2-0) held Colorado hitless for 6 2/3 innings and three relievers finished off the one-hitter in Chicago's home opener.
Garrett Atkins grounded a clean single between short and third on a 1-0 pitch with two outs in the top of the seventh to end Lilly's no-hit bid. After Seth Smith followed with a walk, Lilly was pulled to a rousing ovation from a crowd of 40,077 on a wet and blustery day.
White Sox 10, Tigers 6 - Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko reached 300 career homers with consecutive drives in the second and Carlos Quentin went deep twice and drove in four runs as Chicago rolled in Detroit.
Quentin and Konerko finished with four hits apiece, and the White Sox totaled 16. Dye and Konerko became the first teammates to hit century milestone home runs of at least 300 in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Orioles 10, Rangers 9 - Aubrey Huff had three of Baltimore's seven RBI singles in support of Koji Uehara (2-0), and the Orioles held on to send host Texas to its fourth straight loss.
Royals 4, Indians 2 - Zack Greinke (2-0) extended his scoreless streak for host Kansas City to 25 innings, striking out nine Indians over his five frames.
Blue Jays 8, Twins 6 - Travis Snider hit two home runs, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the eighth that rallied Toronto in Minneapolis.
Pirates 7, Astros 0 - Zach Duke (2-0) limited the struggling Astros to four hits in his third career shutout and Adam LaRoche homered during a five-run third that propelled Pittsburgh in its home opener.
Cardinals 2, Diamondbacks 1 - Home runs by Albert Pujols and Brian Barden - whose first career shot broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth - lifted visiting St. Louis to its fifth straight win.
Reds 7, Brewers 6 - Visiting Cincinnati struck for six runs with two outs in the third, capped by a towering grand slam from Edwin Encarnacion.