Gonzalez rallies Tigers by Royals in ninth

Posted March 31, 2014, at 7:35 p.m.

DETROIT — Alex Gonzalez lined a run-scoring single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Detroit Tigers edged the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in the mutual opener for both American League baseball teams Monday.

Alex Avila drew a one-out walk against Wade Davis (0-1) and Nick Castellanos singled pinch-runner Tyler Collins to third. Greg Holland entered for the Royals and Gonzalez drilled his fourth pitch past the lunge of shortstop Alcides Escobar for the seventh game-winning hit of his career to make a winner out of Joe Nathan (1-0).

Salvador Perez went 4-of-4 with two doubles and one RBI for Kansas City, which scored all three runs off Detroit ace Justin Verlander in the fourth inning. Verlander struck out only two in six innings and gave up six hits and three walks while Kansas City starter James Shields was charged with three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Detroit pushed across two runs in the seventh to tie the score at three as Austin Jackson tripled and scored when Aaron Crow threw a wild pitch while striking out Castellanos. Gonzalez added an RBI triple into the left-center gap later in the inning.

Victor Martinez lined a leadoff homer to right in the second to give Detroit an early lead. Kansas City tied the game on Perez’s double in the fourth, moved ahead on Lorenzo Cain’s single to left and added another when Omar Infante drew a bases-loaded walk.

White Sox 5, Twins 3

Chris Sale battled into the eighth inning and Alejandro De Aza homered twice as Chicago topped visiting Minnesota on opening day.

Cuban import Jose Abreu added an RBI single among two hits and newcomer Adam Eaton scored for the White Sox. Sale (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits while striking out eight in 7 1/3 frames and Matt Lindstrom worked around a double in the ninth to close it out for Chicago.

Kurt Suzuki drove in all three runs on two hits for the Twins, who have dropped six straight opening day games. Ricky Nolasco (0-1) made his Minnesota debut and was knocked around for five runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks in six innings.

Cardinals 1, Reds 0

Yadier Molina hit a solo home run to back seven scoreless innings by Adam Wainwright as St. Louis opened its defense of the National League Central crown with a win at Cincinnati.

Wainwright (1-0) struck out nine and yielded just three hits — all singles — while walking four to pick up his 100th career win. Carlos Martinez got the last two outs to escape a jam in the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal struck out two in a perfect ninth for the save.

Johnny Cueto (0-1) was the tough-luck loser, giving up Molina’s seventh-inning blast among three hits while fanning eight in seven innings. Todd Frazier had two of his team’s three hits and drew a walk for the Reds, who were blanked on opening day for the first time since 1953.

Pirates 1, Cubs 0

Neil Walker homered to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning as Pittsburgh celebrated its first opening day walk-off home run since 1965.

Walker, who was 0-for-19 in last season’s National League Division Series five-game loss to St. Louis, drilled a 3-2 fastball by Carlos Villanueva (0-1) over the wall in right. Pittsburgh’s Bryan Morris (1-0), who was involved in a reversed call after an instant replay challenge, worked around a one-out single in the 10th inning to get the win.

Chicago nearly broke though in the eighth inning when Emilio Bonifacio, who went 4-for-5 in his Cubs debut, led off with a double and was sacrificed to third by Junior Lake before being retired 4-2-5-1-6-5 when caught in a rundown trying to score on Starlin Castro’s grounder. Travis Ishikawa had two hits in his first game with the Pirates.

Brewers 2, Braves 0

Yovani Gallardo worked six strong innings and Aramis Ramirez doubled in a pair as Milwaukee turned away visiting Atlanta.

Gallardo (1-0) struck out four and allowed four hits while walking two before handing it over to the Brewers’ bullpen. Brandon Kintzler and Will Smith each tossed a perfect inning while Francisco Rodriguez worked around a one-out single in the ninth to pick up the save.

Julio Teheran (0-1) was charged with two runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings for the Braves. Chris Johnson doubled and Andrelton Simmons delivered a pair of singles to pace the Atlanta offense.

Jean Segura walked to lead off the fourth inning and moved to third on Ryan Braun’s single. Braun stole second base before Ramirez ripped a 2-1 fastball into the left-field corner to plate the pair.

Nationals 9, Mets 7

Ian Desmond snapped a tie with a sacrifice fly and Anthony Rendon belted a three-run homer in the 10th inning as visiting Washington won in manager Matt Williams’ debut.

Rendon also had an RBI double and Denard Span knocked in a pair of runs, including a two-base hit that tied the game in the ninth for the Nationals. Adam LaRoche also hit a two-run shot, starter Stephen Strasburg allowed four runs and struck out 10 in six innings and Aaron Barrett pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win in his major-league debut.

Andrew Brown belted a three-run homer in the first while captain David Wright had three hits, including a two-run homer in the 10th, and Juan Lagares hit a solo blast for the Mets. Jeurys Familia (0-1) took the loss and John Lannan gave up Rendon’s homer as the New York bullpen yielded five runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Rendon delivered a two-out RBI double down the right-field line and Scott Rice walked Span with the bases loaded to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh. Lagares led off the eighth with a blast to left field off Tyler Clippard on a 0-2 pitch, but Span drilled a two-out RBI double to left to forge a tie in the ninth off Bobby Parnell.

Phillies 14, Rangers 10

Jimmy Rollins belted a grand slam while Cody Asche went 3-for-4 with a home run and scored four times as visiting Philadelphia downed Texas on Opening Day.

Rollins’ only hit allowed him to become the 19th player in major-league history to record at least 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 homers in his career. Marlon Byrd also went deep while Ben Revere finished with three hits and three RBIs as the Phillies mustered 17 hits to support Cliff Lee (1-0), who got the decision despite surrendering a career high-tying eight runs and 11 hits over five frames.

Alex Rios had three hits — including a three-run homer — and scored three times for the Rangers, who gave up more runs than they ever have on Opening Day. Pedro Figueroa (0-1) took over for ineffective starter Tanner Scheppers in the fifth inning and was tagged for four runs (three earned) in 1 2/3 frames.

 

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