Mulder christens new Busch

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ST. LOUIS – Apparently, the new Busch Stadium is both a hitter’s and pitcher’s park. At least for Mark Mulder.

The Cardinals’ left-hander threw eight strong innings and hit his first career home run to help the St. Louis beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Monday in the first major league game at the $365 million ballpark.

Scott Rolen’s two-run double in the fourth off Tomo Ohka (0-1) gave the Cardinals the lead for good and Albert Pujols hit his fourth homer.

Astros 5, Nationals 4

HOUSTON – Eric Bruntlett hit a sacrifice fly that scored Craig Biggio in the 12th inning Monday and lifted the Houston Astros to a 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals.

Biggio led off the inning with a double off the left-field wall and advanced on Willy Taveras’ bunt. Mike Stanton (0-1) intentionally walked Lance Berkman and Morgan Ensberg, who had homered off Chad Cordero in the 10th to tie the game at 4-4. Bruntlett pinch hit for reliever Chad Qualls, hit a high fly to center fielder Brandon Watson, and Biggio crouched at third as he awaited the catch. Watson’s throw home was high and late, and Biggio easily slid in with the winning run.

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Dodgers 8, Pirates 3

PITTSBURGH – The Dodgers didn’t need Jim Tracy to do what they nearly always do in Pittsburgh. That’s win, and win big. Jason Repko homered and tripled to drive in four runs in the first two innings and the Dodgers roughed up their former manager’s new team, beating the Pirates 8-3 in Pittsburgh’s home opener.

Braves 5, Phillies 3

ATLANTA – Marcus Giles hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and the Atlanta Braves finally got a solid effort from a starting pitcher, winning their home opener 5-3 over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Braves, coming off a 3-4 West Coast trip to start the season, made their Turner Field debut before a sellout crowd of 47,332 that included former President Carter.

American League

White Sox 5, Tigers 3

DETROIT – Jim Thome and Joe Crede hit two-run homers and Paul Konerko added a solo shot, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 victory over Detroit in the Tigers’ home opener.

The last time the White Sox played at Comerica Park on Sept. 29, they clinched the AL Central en route to their first World Series title since 1917.

Orioles 6, Devil Rays 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Erik Bedard scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings, helping the Baltimore Orioles beat the Devil Rays 6-3 in their home debut under new principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

Jay Gibbons kept up his hot hitting against Tampa Bay with a solo homer and bases-loaded infield single.

off Seth McClung (0-2), who also lost to Bedard and the Orioles last Wednesday in Baltimore.

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