Rollins leads Dodgers past Padres in MLB opener
Jimmy Rollins hit a tiebreaking, t hree- run homer in the eighth inning, rallying the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on the opening day of the new MLB season Monday.
Clayton Kershaw, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner, struck out nine Padres batters and gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.
The Dodgers, who have the league’s highest payroll at US$270 million, trailed twice before Rollins and Howie Kendrick sparked the offense late in the game.
Kendrick’s RBI double with two outs in the seventh tied it at 3 before Rollins homer sealed the victory.
In other games, Oakland ended its record 10-year losing streak on opening day by beating Texas 8-0, San Francisco opened the defense of its third World Series title in five years with a 5-4 win over Arizona, and Toronto beat the New York Yankees 6-1 in Alex Rodriguez’s return to MLB.
Dominican pitcher Bartolo Colon, 41, also became the oldest opening-day starter in Mets history, leading his team to a 3-1 victory over Washington.
Sonny Gray carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning before Ryan Rua broke it up with a leadoff single as Oakland won its first opening-day game since 2004. The club’s 10-game skid on opening day was the longest in MLB history.
Gray (1-0) was trying to join Bob Feller (1940) as the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter on opening day. He allowed just two baserunners before Rua’s sharp grounder to right field.
Ben Zobrist had a two- run homer in the first and a double in his Oakland debut. Stephen Vogt added a three-run shot.
Madison Bumgarner, the World Series Most Valuable Player last year, pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run on six hits for San Francisco.
The Giants lost power-hitting Pablo Sandoval during the offseason and were without injured right fielder Hunter Pence, but made up for it by getting 10 hits in four-plus innings against Josh Collmenter (0-2).
In New York, Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer off Masahiro Tanaka to help the Blue Jays spoil Rodriguez’s return from a year-long drug suspension.
Batting seventh, his lowest spot in a regular-season game since 1996, Rodriguez singled, walked and lined out.
Drew Hutchison, at 24 the youngest opening- day starter in Blue Jays history, held the Yankees hitless until Brian McCann singled with two outs in the fourth.
Bartolo, meanwhile, was the oldest opening-day starter in MLB since 2006. He struck out eight and allowed only three hits to pick up the win for the Mets.
Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his Washington debut but was unable to overcome two costly errors by shortstop Ian Desmond that aided New York.
Scherzer (0-1), making the first start of his US$210 million contract, retired 17 in a row and gave up four hits in 7 2-3 innings.
In other games, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez struck out 10 and allowed only two hits over seven innings and Seth Smith had three extra-base hits and two RBIs as the Mariners topped the Los Angeles Angels 4-1. Hernandez (1-0) improved to 6-0 in opening-day starts.
Boston newcomer Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia each hit two home runs and Clay Buchholz threw three-hit ball over seven innings as the Red Sox routed Philadelphia 8-0 in an interleague opener.
Ramirez, who signed an US$88 million, four-year contract in the offseason, hit a solo homer in the fifth and a grand slam off Jake Diekman in the ninth.
San Diego Padres’ Justin Upton, left, is forced out at second as Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick throws out Will Middlebrooks at first during the eighth inning of an opening day baseball game in Los Angeles on Monday, April 6.