Rollins leads Dodgers past Padres in MLB opener

The China Post - - SPORTS -

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.

AP

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.

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