CLEVELAND — Mike Napoli’s home run in the bottom of the seventh inning broke a 6-6 tie and lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night at Progressive Field.
Napoli, who played for the Red Sox from 2013-15 before signing with Cleveland as a free agent during the winter, belted a 2-2 pitch from reliever Junichi Tazawa (0-1) over the left-field wall for his first home run of the season.
The win went to reliever Zach McAllister (1-0). Cody Allen pitched the ninth inning to pick up his first save.
Trailing 5-2 in the sixth inning, the Red Sox sent eight men to the plate and scored four runs to take a 6-5 lead. The inning began with a towering home run by David Ortiz over the center-field fence off Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco. It’s Ortiz’s second home run in as many days and the 505th home run of his career, moving him past Eddie Murray and into 26th place on the all-time list.
Hanley Ramirez then made it back-to-back home runs by hitting an opposite-field line drive that sailed into the right-field seats to cut the Cleveland lead to 5-4.
Ross Detwiler relieved Carrasco and Detwiler got pinch hitter Chris Young to hit a routine fly ball to shallow left-center field that fell between left fielder Jose Ramirez and center fielder Tyler Naquin for a gift double. Brock Holt drew a walk, and so did Blake Swihart, loading the bases with nobody out.
Jackie Bradley Jr.’s sacrifice scored Young with the tying run, and moved Holt to third. Zach McAllister relieved Detwiler. Mookie Betts hit a ground ball to third baseman Juan Uribe, who ignored Holt, the runner at third, and threw to first for the out, but Holt scored on the play to give Boston a 6-5 lead.
The Indians tied it in the sixth inning as Yan Gomes led off the inning with a walk, went to third on a single by Marlon Byrd and scored on a sacrifice fly by Uribe off reliever Noe Ramirez.
Napoli’s home run in the seventh gave Cleveland the lead, and the Indians bullpen got the final six outs to preserve the win.
The Indians, who could manage just two runs in nine innings in a 6-2 loss on opening day Tuesday, scored four runs with their first five batters on Wednesday. Jose Ramirez started that first-inning rally with a one-out single. Jason Kipnis followed with a booming double into the right-center-field gap, scoring Ramirez with the first run of the game.
Napoli drew a walk. Carlos Santana then belted the Indians’ first home run of the year, a three-run blast estimated at 431 feet into the Indians’ bullpen in center field, giving Cleveland a 4-0 lead.
Boston countered with two runs in the top of the second inning off Carrasco. Travis Shaw led off with a single, and he rode home on a home run into the right-field seats by red-hot Holt, cutting the Indians’ lead to 4-2.
Cleveland struck for another run in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, rookie Tyler Naquin singled to right field for his first major league hit. Naquin went to second on a groundout, and scored on a two-out single by Ramirez to make it 5-2.
NOTES: Boston C Christian Vazquez is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. He is on the DL as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery. … Four Red Sox pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on Opening Day. That’s the most by Boston pitchers on opening day since at least 1913.
Mariners 9, Rangers 5
ARLINGTON, Texas — Robinson Cano had two home runs and four RBIs, including a two-run blast in Seattle’s decisive five-run ninth inning against Texas.
Kyle Seager also had a two-run single in the ninth against Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson, who failed to get an out against five hitters. The Mariners overcame a one-run deficit by sending nine hitters to the plate in the ninth and scoring five runs.
Joaquin Benoit picked up the victory after pitching a scoreless eighth. Steve Cishek worked a perfect ninth in a non-save situation for the Mariners. Tolleson took the loss, giving up five runs and five hits after looking to protect a one-run lead in the ninth.
Prince Fielder had a three-run homer in the sixth against Wade Miley. Ryan Rua and Justin Ruggiano also had run-scoring hits for the Rangers.
Rays 5, Blue Jays 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For the second day in a row, Tampa Bay got a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning, with Steven Souza hitting a three-run shot for his second homer of the game, against Toronto at Tropicana Field.
Souza, who had the first multi-homer game of his career, matched a personal best with four hits, having also doubled off the wall in the second inning and singled in the fourth. His solo home run in the sixth extended the Rays’ streak to 18 games with at least one homer, a franchise record that started in September 2015. The previous mark was set in April-May 2013.
One day after Logan Forsythe hit a two-run homer in the eighth, the Rays got to the Toronto bullpen again, with Gavin Floyd giving up Souza’s blast. Tampa Bay was 7-60 last year when trailing after seven innings but now has two wins in the first series of the season.
The difference in the game early on was a three-run homer by Josh Donaldson — his second home run in three games — off Rays starter Matt Moore in the third.
Brewers 4, Giants 3
MILWAUKEE — Chris Carter hit his first home run as a Brewer and drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly as Milwaukee avoided a season-opening sweep at Miller Park.
Jeff Smardzija gave up three runs and eight hits in five innings to remain winless in his career against the Brewers but turned things over to the bullpen with the game knotted at 3.
Javier Lopez quickly ran into trouble in the seventh, issuing a leadoff walk to Scooter Gennett. Manager Bruce Bochy turned to Cory Gearrin, who allowed a single to Ryan Braun. Both runners advanced on a passed ball before Gearrin got Jonathan Lucroy for a strikeout.
That brought up Carter, who struck out, homered and bounced into a rally-killing double play in the fifth. He fell behind 2-1 before sending a slider to center just deep for Gennett to score easily and give Milwaukee the lead.