ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Abraham Almonte hit a tiebreaking single in a three-run ninth inning, and the Cleveland Indians opened their American League title defense by rallying for an 8-5 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
Making his first opening-day start for Texas, Yu Darvish had a 5-1 lead behind Rougned Odor, who homered twice and drove in four runs in his first two at-bats since a new contract last week that the Rangers sealed with two horses.
Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland’s new slugger, tied the score 5-5 with an eighth-inning homer off Matt Bush, and the Indians went ahead against Sam Dyson, who had 38 saves last season.
Andrew Miller (1-0) struck out two in a perfect eighth, and Cody Allen got the save by striking out the side around Elvis Andrus’ triple.
Jose Ramirez also homered for Cleveland. Tyler Naquin’s leadoff single began the ninth-inning rally, Yandy Diaz sacrificed and Almonte singled. Carlos Santana added an RBI double and scored on Michael Brantley’s single.
Indians starter Corey Kluber, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner, made his third consecutive opening day start and gave up three homers and five runs over six innings.
Darvish, entering the final season of his six-year deal, allowed four runs while walking four and throwing two wild pitches over 6 1/3 innings.
Odor got a $49.5 million, six-year deal last week that included a pair of horses. The feisty second baseman, who hit 33 homers last season, is only 23 and already in his fourth season with the Rangers.
Carlos Gomez’s 461-foot home run put the Rangers ahead 2-1.
Indians: LF Michael Brantley went 1 for 5. He was limited to 11 games last season following right shoulder surgery and another procedure to repair a biceps problem. .. 2B Jason Kipnis started the season on the DL with right shoulder inflammation.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre, going into his 20th season only 58 hits shy of 3,000, missed opening day for only the second time. He’s on the 10-day disabled list with right calf tightness. He missed the 2001 opener for the Los Angeles Dodgers after appendix surgery.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco starts for the first time since being struck by a line drive that broke a bone on his right hand last Sept. 17 and forced him to miss all the postseason. He had some elbow discomfort this spring.
Rangers: Martin Perez starts the Rangers’ second game for the third time in four seasons. He made a team-high 33 starts last season.