Rays pitcher Brooks Riley, right, celebrates with catcher Francisco Mejia after Tampa Bay beat Baltimore, 2-1, on Friday in St. Petersburg, Florida. Scott Audette/Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Budding star Wander Franco had three hits, Francisco Mejía snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly and the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in their season opener Friday.

Franco started the winning rally with a single to right off reliever Dillon Tate. It was the 21-year-old’s first game since signing a $182 million, 11-year contract in the offseason. He batted .288 with seven homers and 39 RBI in 70 games as a rookie.

Pinch hitter Ji-Man Choi drew a walk and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Randy Arozarena beat out an infield single to load the bases against right-hander Jorge Perez (0-1). After Brandon Lowe hit into a force play at the plate that took Franco off the bases, Mejía lifted his sacrifice fly to left field.

Andrew Kittredge (1-0), the fifth of seven Tampa Bay pitchers, worked one inning. Lowe drove in the Rays’ other run with a third-inning sacrifice fly, and offseason addition Brooks Raley got the final out in the ninth for the save.

Taking up where they left off last season, when they won a franchise-record 100 games and their second straight AL East crown, the Rays unveiled another championship banner and extended their dominance over the Orioles.

Baltimore lost 110 games in 2021, including 18 of 19 against Tampa Bay, which finished 48 games ahead of the Orioles.


BLUE JAYS 10, RANGERS 8: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Toronto erased a seven-run deficit and completed the biggest Opening Day comeback in seven decades to beat Texas in Toronto.

A capacity crowd of 45,022 packed in to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the upstart Jays for the first time since before the pandemic. They erupted when a video review ruled Teoscar Hernández beat catcher Mitch Garver’s tag at the plate on Gurriel’s double, putting Toronto ahead 9-8 after trailing 7-0.

The last team to win its first game after trailing by at least seven runs was the 1950 New York Yankees, who trailed 9-0 then beat Boston 15-10 at Fenway Park, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

The only other team to overcome a seven-run deficit in its season-opening game was the 1901 Detroit Tigers, who erased a 10-run gap to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 14-13.

MARINERS 2, TWINS 1: Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray tossed seven impressive innings in his Seattle debut, Mitch Haniger homered and the Mariners opened with a win in Minneapolis.

Ray (1-0) surrendered just three hits, walked four and struck out five. He made the opening day start after leaving Toronto and signing a five-year, $115 million contract with Seattle.


The 30-year-old left-hander was just a part of the Mariners’ big offseason overhaul that saw the team also add former All-Stars Adam Frazier, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez and Sergio Romo.

Drew Steckenrider allowed a leadoff hit in the ninth but secured the save after Gary Sánchez hit a towering flyball to the left-field wall.

Haniger is the longest-tenured Mariners player, having started with them in 2017. He connected for a two-run homer in the first inning off rookie Joe Ryan.

Carlos Correa singled in his first at-bat for Minnesota after signing his surprise three-year, $105.3 million contract. He added a diving stop at shortstop to save a run, but he and Byron Buxton – who got a seven-year, $100 million extension in the offseason – combined to leave eight runners on as the first two batters in the lineup.

TIGERS 5, WHITE SOX 4: Javier Báez wound up with a winning RBI single on a game-ending replay reversal in his Detroit debut, and the Tigers won at home.

With two out and a runner on third in the ninth inning, Báez hit a drive to right off Liam Hendriks that sent AJ Pollock back to the wall. Pollock appeared to make a juggling catch, but the ball struck the wall before going off the outfielder’s glove.


The new-look Tigers started celebrating as they realized what happened, and the opening-day crowd joined in after umpire Marvin Hudson announced the reversal of the call.

Eric Haase hit a solo homer off Hendriks (0-1) earlier in the ninth.

Chicago’s Andrew Vaughn hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Gregory Soto (1-0) in the top of the ninth.

The defending AL Central champion White Sox scored a run in the first inning and two more in the second against the Tigers, who were held scoreless until the sixth.

Miguel Cabrera’s 2,988th career hit pulled Detroit into a 3-all tie in the eighth that didn’t last long.



PHILLIES 9, ATHLETICS 5: Kyle Schwarber homered in his first at-bat with the Phillies, reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper knocked in a run and Aaron Nola struck out seven to lead Philadelphia to a win a home.

Schwarber’s first Opening Day in Philadelphia was one to remember for the 29-year-old slugger. Fresh off the $79 million, four-year contract he signed last month, Schwarber crushed a 427-foot homer to right off A’s starter Frankie Montas (0-1) on just his seventh pitch of the game. Schwarber took an energetic run around the bases for his 14th career leadoff homer. The sellout crowd of 44,232 went wild and Schwarber thrust his helmet in the air for a rousing curtain call.

The fun was just getting started in Philly.

Schwarber’s one-out walk in the third inning ignited a four-run burst. Harper heard rousing “MVP! MVP!” chants that followed him from Opening Day introductions to his last at-bat. He showed why he earned that award last season with a hit to left that he stretched into a double. He was called out on the throw but stayed on second base as the play was reviewed. The crowd howled in delight with each replay on the big screen that showed Harper slid safely under the tag of second baseman Tony Kemp. The play was overturned and Harper scored on Hoskins’ two-RBI single. Didi Gregorius’ single up the middle made it 5-0.


DODGERS 5, ROCKIES 3: Freddie Freeman reached base three times and scored a run in his Dodgers debut, helping Walker Buehler and Los Angeles win their opener in Denver.


Freeman struck out in his first at-bat. He was then hit by a pitch, walked and lined a sharp single before taking a called third strike in the eighth.

The first baseman and 2020 NL MVP signed a six-year, $162 million deal with Los Angeles after leading the Atlanta Braves to a World Series championship last season.

Colorado’s big offseason acquisition, Kris Bryant, had a double and a walk but struck out against Craig Kimbrel with a runner on to end the game. Bryant agreed to a seven-year, $182 million to be a big bat in the top of the order.

GIANTS 6, MARLINS 5: Austin Slater doubled with two outs in the 10th inning for his first career walk-off RBI, sending San Francisco past Miami in the opener in San Francisco.

Thairo Estrada hit a tying home run to start the bottom of the ninth off Anthony Bender. Then Slater came through against Anthony Bass (0-1), scoring Darin Ruf. It marked San Francisco’s first walk-off win on Opening Day since beating the Padres on April 6, 1987, at Candlestick Park.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. put Miami ahead with a two-run homer with one out in the top of the ninth as the Marlins capitalized against San Francisco’s bullpen once Logan Webb left the game.


Jacob Stallings homered in the eighth and delivered an RBI single in the ninth off closer Camilo Doval to fuel Miami’s rally. Close defeats are nothing new for these Marlins: Their 29 one-run losses in 2021 matched a franchise record, also done in 1998 and 2014.

José Álvarez (1-0) recorded the final out of the 10th.

BRAVES 7, REDS 6: Charlie Morton allowed only two hits while pitching into the sixth inning while returning from a broken leg, Travis d’Arnaud drove in three runs and Atlanta held on to win at home.

Asked to hold a 7-3 lead, new Braves closer Kenley Jansen gave up three ninth-inning runs in his Atlanta debut.

Jansen walked Joey Votto and gave up a single to Tyler Stephenson to open the inning. With two outs, Kyle Farmer hit an RBI single and Jake Fraley had a two-run single before Jansen retired Jonathan India on a flyball.

D’Arnaud had two hits, including a two-run single in Atlanta’s five-run third inning. Matt Olson had three hits.

Morton (1-0) was in top form after suffering a broken right leg when struck by a comebacker in Game 1 of the Braves’ World Series win over Houston. The 38-year-old righty retired the first 12 batters and allowed two runs with five strikeouts with one walk in 5 1/3 innings.

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