CHICAGO – Aaron Boone took some glimmer off Chicago’s ring ceremony, lifting the Cleveland Indians to an 8-2 victory over the White Sox.
Boone homered, drove in four runs and crashed into catcher A.J. Pierzynski to score a run for Cleveland, which put a damper on another day of celebrations by the World Series champions.
Winner Jake Westbrook allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings for the Indians, who put ace lefty C.C. Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a strained abdominal muscle.
Victor Martinez also homered for Cleveland as the Indians roughed up loser Freddy Garcia for seven runs and nine hits in four innings. The Indians bounced back from Sunday night’s soggy season opener, when they lost 10-4 in a game interrupted nearly three hours by rain.
Jim Thome hit a long homer in the fourth for the White Sox, his second in as many games against his former team.
Martinez staked Westbrook to a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the second. Cleveland jumped on Garcia in the fourth for three more as Ronnie Belliard doubled with two outs and Boone, Casey Blake and Grady Sizemore followed with RBI singles. Boone stole second and knocked Pierzynski over at the plate to beat a relay throw.
After Jhonny Peralta doubled in the fifth, Travis Hafner hit an RBI single and Martinez walked to chase Garcia. Rookie Boone Logan made his first major league appearance after pitching in Class A last season and,after getting two outs, gave up Boone’s two-run double.
Blue Jays 6, Twins 3
TORONTO – Roy Halladay outpitched Johan Santana in a matchup of recent Cy Young Award winners, and B.J. Ryan earned a save in his Toronto debut as the new-look Blue Jays opened the season with a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Tired of finishing third behind the big-spending Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East, the Blue Jays signed Gold Glove catcher Bengie Molina, starter A.J. Burnett and Ryan during an expensive offseason overhaul. They also traded for slugger Troy Glaus and first baseman Lyle Overbay.
The new additions paid off right away. Molina homered off Santana to give Toronto a 3-1 lead. Ryan, signed to a $47 million, five-year contract – the richest ever for a reliever – entered to loud cheers and struck out two in a perfect ninth to close it out.
Alex Rios also homered and had three hits for the Blue Jays. Glaus led off the fourth with a double, advanced to third on Overbay’s single and scored on Shea Hillenbrand’s sacrifice fly. Molina followed with a homer off the left-field foul screen.
Marlins 11, Astros 2
HOUSTON – Miguel Cabrera hit one of four Florida homers and the rookie-laden Marlins roughed up Andy Pettitte for 10 runs and 13 hits in an 11-2 rout of the Houston Astros.
Josh Willingham connected twice, Mike Jacobs added a three-run shot and Hanley Ramirez had four hits and three RBIs. Florida, with six rookies in its starting lineup and a major league-low payroll of about $15 million, gave first-year manager Joe Girardi his first win.
Things went bad early for Pettitte, who allowed seven earned runs in 4 2-3 innings. Cabrera, who was 0-for-4 in Monday’s 1-0 loss, hit a two-run homer to right in the first. He also doubled and scored in the fifth.
Willingham, who spent most of last season at Triple-A Albuquerque, got his second major league home run when his long fly bounced off the left-field wall two pitches later. Willingham also connected against Chad Qualls in the sixth.
Brewers 7, Pirates 5
MILWAUKEE – Gabe Gross homered as a pinch-hitter in his first at-bat with Milwaukee and Chris Capuano pitched six solid innings, leading the Brewers past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5.
With runners at second and third in the ninth inning, Pirates pinch-hitter Freddy Sanchez hit a liner up the middle that appeared headed for center field and a tying, two-run single. But closer Derrick Turnbow reacted quickly and caught it, then retired Nate McLouth on a popup to end the game.
Gross’ two-run shot in the sixth inning landed on a catwalk in right-center, putting the Brewers ahead 5-2. J.J. Hardy added an RBI single later in the inning.
The Pirates responded with a pinch-hit homer by Jeromy Burnitz, the key to a three-run seventh that brought Pittsburgh within one. But Damian Miller singled home Rickie Weeks in the bottom half, and reliever Dan Kolb – who returned to Milwaukee after struggling in Atlanta last year – pitched a scoreless eighth.
. Turnbow worked the ninth for his second save in two days.