ST. LOUIS (AP) Robbie Ray worked around five walks over six innings and the bullpen closed out a two-hitter, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks spoil the St. Louis Cardinals’ home opener 3-1 on Thursday night.
Arizona improved to 6-1 for the second straight season and tied a franchise record for its best seven-game start. The team was also 6-1 in 2000. St. Louis dropped its first home opener since 2015.
Ray (2-0) gave up a run and two hits while striking out nine. He was making his first appearance in St. Louis since being knocked out of a game by a line drive off his head on July 28, 2017.
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David Peralta capped off a two-run second inning with an RBI single. He pushed the lead to 3-0 with a double in the fourth.
Brad Boxberger picked up his third save in three chances. Four Arizona relievers were perfect except for an error by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth.
Adam Wainwright (0-1) came off the 10-day disabled list to make the start for St. Louis. He gave up four hits and three runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Jacob deGrom (2-0) wiggled out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to finish is six-inning outing with a flourish. After walking Bryce Harper to fill the bags, deGrom got Ryan Zimmerman to fly out to shallow right and Howie Kendrick to line out to shortstop, before Trea Turner looked at a 94 mph fastball for strike three. Turner argued and was ejected for the first time in the majors.
Zimmerman, who only got two at-bats in spring training, went 0 for 4 on Thursday and is 3 for 22 (.136) with six strikeouts this season.
The Mets improved to an NL East-leading 5-1, while the two-time reigning division champion Nationals have lost three in a row after a 4-0 start under rookie manager Dave Martinez.
Conforto hadn’t appeared in the regular season since grabbing his left shoulder in pain last August; he had surgery the following month.
Strasburg (1-1) gave up four runs in six eventful innings. He balked in a run in the second, then allowed Cespedes’ solo shot that tied it at 2 in the fourth. Bruce’s sixth career grand slam, and first homer of 2018, came off Brandon Kintzler in the seventh.
BOSTON (AP) – Hanley Ramirez blooped a bases-loaded fly ball over the drawn-in outfield in right to break a 12th-inning tie after Boston overcame a two-run deficit in the ninth in the home opener.
It was the sixth straight victory for Boston and new manager Alex Cora, and the sixth loss in a row for Tampa Bay. Bobby Poyner (1-0) pitched two innings, striking out three for his first major league win. Andrew Kittredge (0-2) took the loss, throwing a pair of scoreless innings before running into trouble.
Goodrum’s shot with two outs in the ninth got the comeback going. The White Sox were leading 7-4 when he drove a 3-2 fastball from Joakim Soria out to right-center to cut the lead to one. Nicholas Castellanos singled and Victor Martinez tied it with an RBI double, drawing boos from a sparse crowd.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Mitch Garver hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh for Minnesota, one inning after Miguel Sano tied it with a two-run shot in the Twins’ chilly home opener.
Eddie Rosario went deep in the eighth to pad the lead, and Fernando Rodney worked the ninth for his first save with the Twins. That capped a stretch of 4 2/3 scoreless innings by the bullpen in relief of Kyle Gibson. Zach Duke (1-0) was the winner, and Addison Reed struck out two in a perfect eighth.
James Paxton started strong for the Mariners with five scoreless innings after a first-pitch temperature of 38 degrees and a startling moment during the pregame ceremony. The bald eagle that was supposed to fly to the mound before the national anthem instead circled Paxton, a Canadian, where he was standing alone in left field on a break from his warmup throws. The bird would up landing its large talons on the lefty’s left shoulder, before being lured away by the handler.
Garver’s drive, his first major league homer, reached the second deck against Dan Altavilla (0-1).
NEW YORK (AP) – Adam Jones hit a go-ahead home run, Andrew Cashner pitched six strong innings and beat New York to snap a five-game losing streak.
Jones’ third homer of the season was a two-run drive off Masahiro Tanaka (1-1) in a five-run seventh inning. It came shortly after Aaron Judge gave New York a 1-0 lead in the sixth with his second home run of the year.
Cashner (1-1), who was hit hard in his first start of the season, held the Yankees to just one hit before serving up Judge’s home run. The righty allowed two hits and struck out five as Baltimore bounced back from a three-game sweep at Houston.
Brad Brach pitched the ninth for his first save of the season in two chances.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Gregory Polanco hit a two-run home run during a four-run fifth inning to lift Pittsburgh past Cincinnati.
Polanco broke a 1-1 tie when he drove a ball into the shrubbery in center field off Homer Bailey (0-2). Polanco also had a tying sacrifice fly in the third inning, giving him three RBIs as the Pirates won for the fifth time in six games.
Steven Brault (2-0) pitched one-run ball over five innings in his first start this season. The left-hander allowed three hits, struck out four and walked four. He took over the rotation spot left by Joe Musgrove, who has a right shoulder strain.