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MLB: Cardinals thrill large crowd at home opener


ST. LOUIS — Michael Wacha outpitched Tony Cingrani in a rematch of young power arms and the St. Louis Cardinals got a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first inning, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in their home opener Monday.

A standing-room crowd of 47,492, the largest at 9-year-old Busch Stadium, braved daylong rain and temperatures in the 40s to greet the National League champions and take a look at the new Ballpark Village. Hundreds milled about the attached complex, which features five sports bars and rooftop seating.

The Cardinals bunched three hits and a walk over the first five hitters to take the early lead against Cingrani (0-1), who allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings six days earlier against St. Louis at home.

Matt Holliday and Allen Craig added RBIs in the seventh.

The 22-year-old Wacha (1-0) hadn’t allowed a run in 21 career innings against the Reds before back-to-back doubles by Brayan Pena and pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina in the fifth. The NL championship series MVP benefited from two double-play balls in six stingy innings and has permitted one run in 13 2-3 innings his first two starts.

YANKEES 4, ORIOLES 2

NEW YORK — Derek Jeter gave Yangervis Solarte some assistance with Yankee Stadium tradition, then the rookie helped make the captain a winner in his final home opener Monday against Baltimore.

Jeter doubled high off the left-field wall and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single in the fifth. Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) went 6 1-3 sharp innings in the Yankees’ 112th opener in New York.

Jeter was cheered every step of the way by an adoring crowd of 48,142, even when his double-play grounder back to Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) scored Solarte for the first run.

Playing in his first game in the Bronx, Solarte needed Jeter to tell him to wave to the Bleacher Creatures when they chanted his name during pregame roll call.

Shawn Kelley pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save. After the game, the Yankees said closer David Robertson would be put on the disabled list with a strained groin.

RED SOX 5, RANGERS 1

BOSTON — John Lackey pitched seven strong innings, Jackie Bradley Jr. singled in two runs and Boston snapped a three-game skid with a win over Texas.

The Red Sox never lost more than three straight last year when they won the World Series. They avoided dropping their first four home games for the first time since 1984.

Lackey (2-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits in seven innings. Chris Capuano pitched the eighth and Koji Uehara escaped a ninth-inning jam in a non-save situation.

Tanner Scheppers (0-1) allowed Bradley’s run-scoring hits in the second and fourth, and Boston added three runs in the eighth.

Bradley, Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each had three singles for the Red Sox.

ROYALS 4, RAYS 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jason Vargas took a shutout into the ninth inning, Alcides Escobar hit a three-run double and Kansas City beat Tampa Bay in a game that included two significant injuries.

Rays starter Matt Moore (0-2) came out in the fifth inning with a sore left elbow. The All-Star lefty grimaced after throwing a pitch to Norichika Aoki and was immediately removed by manager Joe Maddon.

Two innings later, Royals second baseman Omar Infante was hit in the face by a pitch from reliever Heath Bell. Infante also left the game, walking off under his own power with two trainers.

Infante, struck on the left cheek, was spitting blood and had blood on his forehead as trainers held a towel to his face.

Vargas (1-0) allowed four hits in eight-plus innings, lowering his ERA to 1.20 in two starts. He lost his shutout bid when Ben Zobrist homered on his second pitch in the ninth.

Greg Holland earned his third save, but not before giving up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Matt Joyce.

Escobar was 1 for 19 before his bases-loaded double off the left field wall with two outs in the seventh.

Evan Longoria had three hits for the Rays, who have lost seven straight at Kauffman Stadium.

ANGELS 9, ASTROS 1

HOUSTON — C.J. Wilson pitched eight solid innings, Howie Kendrick and Raul Ibanez each drove in three runs and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Houston Astros.

The Angels took three of four from Houston after starting the season 0-3.

Kole Calhoun homered off Houston starter Jarred Cosart (1-1).

Wilson (1-1) yielded four hits and a run while fanning seven.

ATHLETICS 8, TWINS 3

MINNEAPOLIS — Yoenis Cespedes proved he can play through a hurting right heel, giving Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics a spark with a pair of RBIs that helped spoil Minnesota’s home opener.

Cespedes has been hobbling around the last few days with the injury, but the team wasn’t worried enough about it to hold him out of the lineup. The Cuban slugger hit a double in the second inning for the first run against Kevin Correia (0-1) and later had a sacrifice fly.

Moss added a two-run single in the third and Derek Norris homered in the sixth.

Kazmir (2-0) allowed three runs and six hits.

ROCKIES 8, WHITE SOX 1

DENVER — Jordan Lyles used his arm and bat to lead Colorado over the Chicago White Sox in his Coors Field debut for the Rockies.

Lyles pitched 6 2-3 effective innings. He also had a career-best three hits and drove in two runs. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki homered for the Rockies.

Lyles (2-0) scattered five hits and walked two. He joined the Rockies from Houston in a trade for Dexter Fowler last winter.

The last Colorado pitcher to go 3 for 3 was lefty Brian Bohanon against the Dodgers on July 20, 2001.

Chicago right-hander Felipe Paulino (0-1) allowed six earned runs on nine hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings in his return to Coors Field, where he pitched for the Rockies in 2011 before being plagued by arm troubles the last two years.