BOSTON – David Ortiz went 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs, boosting his batting average over .500 as the Boston Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 7-2 Thursday night to win their eighth straight series opener.
Ortiz, who also scored three runs, is 11 for 20 (.550) with five RBIs since returning last weekend. He missed 71 of last year’s final 72 games and most of the first three weeks this season because of a heel injury.
Boston has won 10 of its last 13 and taken the first eight series openers of a season for the first time in team history.
Clay Buchholz (5-0) allowed two runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks. His ERA rose from 0.90 to 1.19.
YANKEES 5, BLUE JAYS 3
NEW YORK (AP) — With Derek Jeter making his first visit to the Bronx this season, Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and New York used a flurry of early long balls to outslug Toronto.
Vernon Wells homered again against Mark Buehrle, and Francisco Cervelli also connected for New York in its third win over the Blue Jays in a week. The Yankees took two of three in a weekend series in Toronto.
Jeter, out until probably mid-July because of a broken ankle, watched a no-frills New York lineup improve to 12-9. The Yankees captain said he was meeting some of his teammates for the first time.
Tepesch (2-1) allowed five hits in 6 2-3 innings. He shut the Twins out through six before Josh Willingham homered in the seventh inning to make it 2-1. The rookie right-hander had allowed only two baserunners up to that point and showed no lingering effects from taking a liner off his right forearm in his previous start against Seattle last weekend.
Minnesota starter Vance Worley (0-3) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings.
WHITE SOX 5, RAYS 2
CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Sale overcame a shaky first inning to combine with two relievers on a five-hitter and Adam Dunn homered to lead Chicago over Tampa Bay.
Desmond Jennings walked leading off the game and scored on Evan Longoria’s single, but Sale (2-2) settled down and won for the first time since opening day. He allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out seven and worked around four walks.
Sale has 31 strikeouts in five appearances against the Rays. He is 11-3 with a 2.26 ERA at home in 17 starts dating to the beginning of the 2012 season.
Matt Lindstrom worked a scoreless eighth, then Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances for Chicago.
ROYALS 8, TIGERS 3, 10 INNINGS
DETROIT (AP) — Alex Gordon’s grand slam highlighted a five-run 10th inning for the Kansas City, which rallied against Detroit’s bullpen after Justin Verlander left with a thumb injury.
George Kottaras put the Royals ahead 4-3 with a bases-loaded walk off Phil Coke (0-3). Darin Downs came on for Detroit after that, but Gordon broke the game open one out later with his homer over the centre-field wall.
Verlander is day-to-day with what the team said was cracked skin on his throwing thumb. The right-hander allowed two runs — one earned — in seven innings and left with a 3-2 lead. Bruce Rondon gave up the tying run in the eighth in his major league debut.
Tim Collins (1-0) got the win.
ORIOLES 10, ATHLETICS 2
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Nate McLouth reached base four times and scored twice, Nick Markakis drove in two runs, and the Orioles opened their longest road trip of the season by routing the Athletics.
Chris Davis homered and had two RBIs, Adam Jones added three hits and Jason Hammel (3-1) pitched six strong innings to help the Orioles win for just the fourth time in their last 20 games at the Coliseum.
Baltimore had a season-high 15 hits, with all nine starters getting at least one. Six players drove in runs.
Josh Donaldson doubled in two runs for the Athletics, who have dropped six of seven.
Jarrod Parker (0-4) took the loss.
MARINERS 6, ANGELS 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Carlos Peguero hit a mammoth homer in his first at-bat of the season and Kyle Seager had a two-run shot to help the Mariners beat the Angels.
Peguero hit his solo shot on a 3-2 pitch from Garrett Richards (1-1) in the third, 451 feet to deep centre. The only two longer home runs in the stadium’s 12 1/2-year history were 462 feet by San Francisco’s Barry Bonds (June 16, 2006) and 460 feet by Mariners’ Raul Ibanez (June 20, 2007).
It’s believed Peguero is the second player ever to hit the centerfield batter’s eye. The other was Mike Napoli in 2008.
Rookie Brandon Maurer (2-3) went 6 1-3 innings to pick up the victory. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one.