Smoak powers late Blue Jays comeback in 7-4 win over Yanks

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Shohei Ohtani won his major league pitching debut, throwing three-hit ball over six innings and leading the Los Angeles Angels past the Oakland Athletics 7-4 on Sunday.

The two-way star from Japan took the mound three days after he was the designated hitter in the opener. Reaching the upper-90s (mph) with his fastball and showing a nifty splitter, Ohtani struck out six and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

Ohtani didn’t hit while pitching. Albert Pujols was the DH and went 0 for 5.

Ohtani (1-0) pounded his glove following a 1-2-3 shutdown fifth. He walked one, and the only damage against him came on Matt Chapman’s three-run homer in the second.

Mike Trout hit a tying double in the fifth and Justin Upton followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly. Keynan Middleton earned his first save.

Daniel Gossett (0-1) allowed four runs in four innings for Oakland.

ASTROS 8, RANGERS 2

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Gerrit Cole struck out 11 over seven innings in his Houston debut, and the defending champion Astros finished a solid opening weekend with a victory over Texas.

The hard-throwing right-hander, acquired in an offseason trade after he was the opening day starter for Pittsburgh last year, allowed two hits to help the Astros take three of four from their state rivals.

The first hit off Cole (1-0) was slugger Joey Gallo’s opposite-field homer just over the tall wall in left field in the first inning against a four-man outfield.

Derek Fisher had a tying triple in the fifth and scored the go-ahead run on George Springer’s sacrifice fly against Mike Minor (0-1), making his Texas debut and first major league start since 2014.

Carlos Correa doubled home two runs in the seventh, and AL MVP Jose Altuve had three hits to finish 9 for 16 in the series. Evan Gattis had three hits and three RBIs, including a pair of run-scoring doubles.

BLUE JAYS 7, YANKEES 4

TORONTO (AP) – Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth to rally Toronto past New York.

After connecting off reliever Tommy Kahnle in the seventh, Smoak brought the crowd of 29,091 to its feet with his second career slam, a drive against David Robertson (0-1).

Smoak went 3 for 4 with a walk and six RBIs as Toronto gained a series split, winning the final two games.

Smoak’s other grand slam also came against the Yankees, in 2015.

Tyler Clippard (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning, and Seung Hwan Oh finished for his first save.

NATIONALS 6, REDS 5

CINCINNATI (AP) – Bryce Harper hit two home runs, leadoff man Adam Eaton capped his big opening series with a two-run drive and Washington beat Cincinnati for a three-game sweep under new manager Dave Martinez.

The Nationals are 3-0 for the fourth time in their history. They last swept an opening series in 2014.

Eaton returned from a knee injury that wiped out most of his 2017 season and figured prominently in all three victories, going 8 for 13 with two doubles, two homers, five RBIs and six runs.

Anthony Rendon homered off Sal Romano (0-1).

Gio Gonzalez (1-0) gave up five hits and one run while pitching into the seventh inning. Sean Doolittle allowed Phil Gosselin’s two-run homer in the ninth before earning his second save.

DODGERS 9, GIANTS 0

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Cody Bellinger hit the Dodgers‘ first home run of the season and Rich Hill threw six spotless innings as Los Angeles gained a series split with rival San Francisco.

All four games in the season-opening set were shutouts.

Yasiel Puig had an RBI double and two singles for the defending NL champions. Enrique Hernandez added two hits, including a two-run double.

Hill (1-0) allowed five hits and walked three, striking out five.

Chris Stratton (0-1) was charged with three runs in 5 1/3 innings for the slumping Giants, who became the first major league team since the 1988 Baltimore Orioles to total no more than two runs in the first four games of a season.

It’s the first time the Giants have failed to score more than one run in any of their first four games.

After losing the first two 1-0, the Dodgers turned the tables with two shutouts of their own and scored a combined 14 runs.

The home run by Bellinger, last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, ended an 0-for-11 start to his season.

MARINERS 5, INDIANS 4

SEATTLE (AP) – Dee Gordon and Mitch Haniger homered, Mike Leake pitched seven strong innings and Seattle topped Cleveland.

Edwin Encarnacion went deep twice for the Indians, his 29th career multihomer game.

Gordon and Haniger connected in the seventh, when the Mariners broke a 2-all tie on the way to winning the series.

Leake (1-0) gave up two runs and five hits. He has allowed three runs or fewer in all six starts since joining the Mariners late last season.

Gordon led off the seventh with a tiebreaking shot off Dan Otero (0-1). A few batters later, Haniger added a two-run drive off reliever Tyler Olson to give Seattle a 5-2 lead. They were the first runs Olson has allowed with Cleveland – last year he threw 20 scoreless innings in 30 appearances for the Indians.

Edwin Diaz struck out all three batters in the ninth for his second save.

TWINS 7, ORIOLES 0

BALTIMORE (AP) – Jose Berrios pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game, and Minnesota got two home runs from Brian Dozier in a rout of Baltimore.

Only one batter reached against Berrios over the first eight innings – No. 9 hitter Chance Sisco, whose third-inning double whisked by the raised glove of left fielder Eddie Rosario at the wall.

Berrios then retired 17 straight before Sisco bunted down the third-base line against the shift for a one-out single in the ninth. A walk and a single loaded the bases before Berrios retired Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones.

Berrios (1-0) struck out six and walked one in his 40th career start. He threw 107 pitches.

Miguel Sano and Eduardo Escobar also connected for the Twins, who won two of three in the season-opening series.

Orioles starter Kevin Gausman (0-1) allowed three home runs and lasted only four innings.

CARDINALS 5, METS 1

NEW YORK (AP) – Paul DeJong had the first multihomer game of his big league career, Luke Weaver held the Mets to one run in five innings and St. Louis avoided an opening three-game sweep.

DeJong went deep in the second inning, making him 3 for 3 with two homers in his career against Steven Matz (0-1). DeJong hit his second solo homer in the eighth against Jacob Rhame.

DeJong hit .285 with 25 home runs and 65 RBIs as a rookie last year, earning a $26 million, six-year contract.

Marcell Ozuna broke out of an 0-for-9 start with three hits, including an RBI double and a run-scoring single. Yadier Molina also homered for the Cardinals.

Weaver (1-0) struggled through a 27-pitch first inning but settled in and wound up allowing five hits, four of them singles.

RED SOX 2, RAYS 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Hector Velazquez continued a season-opening stretch of strong starting pitching by Boston, working into the sixth inning.

The first four Red Sox starters – Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Velazquez – combined to give up two runs over 24 innings. The defending AL East champions won three of four at Tropicana Field under new manager Alex Cora.

Velazquez (1-0) allowed one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Joe Kelly closed for his first save.

Jose Alvarado (0-1) lost in relief.

MARLINS 6, CUBS 0

MIAMI (AP) – Dillon Peters threw six scoreless innings, Brian Anderson hit a three-run double to highlight a five-run fifth and Miami split its opening four-game series with Chicago.

Peters (1-0) helped a well-worked bullpen out in a big way, rarely getting himself into any trouble. He threw 89 pitches, 56 for strikes, striking out two and walking only one.

Jose Quintana (0-1) gave up six hits and six runs in six innings.

PIRATES 1, TIGERS 0, 1ST GAME

PIRATES 8, TIGERS 6, 2ND GAME

DETROIT (AP) – Josh Harrison, Starling Marte and David Freese homered as Pittsburgh completed a doubleheader sweep of Detroit.

The Pirates won the opener behind six no-hit innings from Trevor Williams (1-0), then took control of the second game with five runs in the fifth off Buck Farmer (0-1)

Pittsburgh swept the three-game, season-opening series against the rebuilding Tigers. The highlight of the day for Detroit was Miguel Cabrera’s first home run of the season, a solo shot in the second game.

Chad Kuhl (1-0) allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings in the nightcap. Detroit starter Ryan Carpenter lasted three innings in his major league debut, yielding three runs and five hits.

Felipe Rivero saved both games for Pittsburgh.

In the first game, Michael Fulmer (0-1) gave up one run and four hits in eight innings. Gregory Polanco hit an RBI double in the first.

More AP baseball: Hometeaminsider.com

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