Darvish roughed up in win
Rangers’ four homers help lift Japanese star
Yu Darvish had a feeling of calmness when he took the mound for his much-anticipated major league debut for the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
Once he settled down his big right arm to match how his mind felt, and got past a rough start with some help from his powerful offense, Darvish was a winner for the two-time defending American League champions in an 11-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners Monday night.
“Mentally, I was very calm, but my body felt like it wanted to go and go and go,’’ Darvish said through his translator. “At the beginning of the game, my mind and my body kind of weren’t on the same page.’’
After giving up four runs while throwing 42 pitches in the first inning, then surrendering another run in the second, Darvish later retired 10 in a row while pitching into the sixth.
“It was pretty much a battle all night,’’ Darvish said. “Just knowing my offense, if I could string those zeroes together, they would answer for me.’’
Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer in the third for Texas to tie the score at 5, then Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton both went deep in the fourth to give Darvish an 8-5 lead. Ian Kinsler added a three-run blast in the eighth.
Darvish, 25, was Japan’s top pitcher before the Rangers committed more than $107 million to acquire him, including his guaranteed $56 million, six-year contract.
Darvish struck out five and walked four while throwing 59 of his 110 pitches for strikes. He gave up eight hits.
Angels 5, Twins 1 - C.J. Wilson won his awaited Angels debut with seven smooth innings, giving Los Angeles all the boost it needed to spoil Minnesota’s home opener.
Wilson surrendered three hits while striking out five, giving up only one fly ball, a home run by Josh Willingham off his work-in-progress changeup.
Yankees 6, Orioles 2 - The Yankees finally won their first game of the season, using four hits by Derek Jeter and an effective pitching performance by Ivan Nova to defeat host Baltimore. Andruw Jones homered for the Yankees, who averted the fourth 0-4 start in franchise history - the first since 1973. New York began the season by losing three straight to Tampa Bay. Matt Wieters went 4 for 4 with a homer for the Orioles.
Mets 4, Nationals 3 - Daniel Murphy singled home the winning run in the ninth inning and the undefeated Mets took advantage of a throwing error by reliever Henry Rodriguez to win at Citi Field. New York was 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position before Murphy came through.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit his first major league homer for the Mets, who are 4-0 for the first time since 2007.
Marlins 6, Phillies 2 - Anibal Sanchez took a three-hitter into the seventh, Omar Infante hit two solo homers, and Miami spoiled Philadelphia’s home opener.
Missing Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the middle of their lineup, the Phillies continued to struggle offensively. They’ve scored eight runs and are off to a 1-3 start.
Cardinals 7, Reds 1 - Matt Holliday, David Freese, and Yadier Molina homered during a big first inning, and Jake Westbrook found his control after a rough start to spark visiting St. Louis. Only 20 pitches into the game, Reds starter Homer Bailey trailed, 4-0. It was the second time this season that St. Louis hit three homers in an inning.
Giants 7, Rockies 0 - Barry Zito threw a four-hitter for his first shutout in nine years and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer to lead visiting San Francisco.
Zito, who hasn’t lost to Colorado since Sept. 25, 2008 (a span of nine starts), gave up three harmless singles and a double. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four in tossing his fifth career shutout and first since April 18, 2003, against Texas.
Brewers 7, Cubs 5 - Aramis Ramirez drove in two runs in his return to Wrigley Field, Ryan Braun got booed relentlessly, and Milwaukee held off a Chicago rally in the ninth inning. The Brewers were sailing along with a four-run lead going into the ninth when things got interesting. The Cubs scored two runs and had the bases loaded when John Axford struck out Starlin Castro looking on three pitches to end the game.
Astros 8, Braves 3 - Travis Buck drove in two runs, Justin Maxwell had a pinch-hit two-run homer in his Houston debut hours after being acquired from the Yankees, and the Astros rebounded from an early deficit to drop Atlanta to 0-4 for the first time since losing 10 straight to open the 1988 season.
Athletics 1, Royals 0 - Tommy Milone gave up three hits over a career-high eight innings in an impressive debut for the Athletics before a crowd of just 10,054 in Oakland, Calif.
White Sox 4, Indians 2 - Chris Sale won his first career start, limiting host Cleveland to one run in 6 2/3 innings in the victory. The lefthander, who had made 79 relief appearances, took a one-hit shutout into the sixth.