SAN DIEGO - Chad Billingsley came within two outs of a complete game, striking out 11 and allowing only three hits in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
The impressive start by Billingsley (1-0) came a day after reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw came out after three innings because of the stomach flu in the Dodgers' 5-3 season-opening win.
Billingsley retired pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida leading off the ninth before allowing Cameron Maybin's single to left. Manager Don Mattingly came out to get Billingsley, accompanied by boos from Dodgers fans. Jamey Wright got the final two outs.
Billingsley walked one and reached double digits in strikeouts for the ninth time in his career. He was on from the start, striking out the side in the first inning and again in the third. He had at least one strikeout in every inning except the eighth and ninth.
Andre Ethier drove in four runs with a double and triple.
The Padres committed two more errors, giving them five in the first two games. They've struck out 18 times in 18 innings. The Padres were shut out 19 times last year, the most in the majors.
Ethier lined a double into the gap in right-centre with two outs in the first to bring in Mark Ellis and Juan Rivera, who singled.
With two outs in the fifth, Ethier tripled off the fence in right-centre to score Matt Kemp, who had singled, and Rivera, who walked. That gave the Dodgers a 6-0 lead and chased Cory Luebke (0-1).
CARDINALS 11, BREWERS 5
MILWAUKEE (AP) — David Freese hit a two-run drive for one of four St. Louis homers off Yovani Gallardo, and the Cardinals spoiled Milwaukee's opener.
Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday also connected for the Cardinals.
Gallardo (0-1) struggled with his control from the start and lasted only 3 2-3 innings, giving up seven hits and six runs with five walks and three strikeouts.
Jaime Garcia (1-0) pitched six solid innings for St. Louis, yielding two runs and five hits.
Ryan Braun was 0 for 5, and new Brewers cleanup hitter Aramis Ramirez was 0 for 4.
Braun's 50-game suspension for a positive drug test was overturned before spring training.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, GIANTS 4
PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Young and Paul Goldschmidt hit first-inning home runs off Tim Lincecum and Arizona opened defence of its NL West title with a win over San Francisco.
Ryan Roberts' two-run double broke a sixth-inning tie as Arizona defeated Lincecum (0-1) for the fourth time in a row.
Ian Kennedy (1-0) allowed three runs on nine hits in 6 2-3 innings for Arizona.
Pablo Sandoval's RBI double with two outs in the ninth pulled the Giants within a run, but J.J. Putz got Buster Posey on a grounder to earn the save.
Melky Cabrera hit a two-run homer for San Francisco.
ROCKIES 5, ASTROS 3
HOUSTON (AP) — Pinch runner Eric Young scored the go-ahead run on an error in the eighth inning and Troy Tulowitzki homered in the ninth to lift Colorado over Houston.
The game was tied 3-3 when Ramon Hernandez singled in the eighth before being replaced by Young. Young stole second and scored on an error by catcher Jason Castro.
Tulowitzki hit a solo shot and Rafael Betancourt earned the save for the Rockies.
Colorado starter Jeremy Guthrie (1-0) allowed four hits and three runs in seven innings.
Wandy Rodriguez allowed six hits and three runs — none earned — in 6 1-3 innings for Houston. Fernando Rodriguez (0-1) yielded a hit and an unearned run in 1 2-3 innings.