MINNEAPOLIS - Justin Verlander won on opening day for the first time in six tries, pitching five shutout innings at frosty Target Field and sending the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers past the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Monday.
With the gametime temperature at 35 degrees and the wind blowing at 17 mph, fans had to bundle up. But opening day is always a draw, as evidenced by the announced sellout crowd of 38,282.
Verlander (1-0) had been 0-1 in his previous five openers. Phil Coke got the last two outs for the first save by the Tigers' closer committee.
Prince Fielder, wearing a black ski covering on his head, had two hits and an RBI to help spoil the first Twins start by Vance Worley (0-1).
RED SOX 8, YANKEES 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox got off to a quick start after a dreadful 2012 season, giving new manager John Farrell an opening day win over the depleted New York Yankees.
Newcomer Shane Victorino led a revamped Red Sox lineup with three RBIs and rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times and scored twice in his big league debut. Boston's big day against CC Sabathia (0-1) came a year after it lost its first three games under Bobby Valentine and went on to a 69-93 finish.
Facing a Yankees lineup minus injured Derek Jeter for the first time since 2001 and just three starters from opening day a year ago, Lester (1-0) gave up five hits and two runs in five sharp innings against the defending AL East champions.
WHITE SOX 1, ROYALS 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Sale outpitched James Shields, Tyler Flowers homered and the Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City in their season opener.
Sale (1-0) showed the form that made him a 17-game winner and an All-Star in his first season as a starter. On a chilly day when the gametime temperature was 44, he allowed seven hits and struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings. Addison Reed worked the ninth for the save.
Shields (0-1) was a tough-luck loser in his first start since the Royals acquired him from Tampa Bay in the off-season. Flowers homered leading off the fifth.
MARINERS 2, ATHLETICS 0
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Felix Hernandez struck out eight on opening day in his first start since signing a $175 million, seven-year contract in February, and the Mariners beat the reigning AL West champion Oakland Athletics.
King Felix surrendered one walk while pitching 7 2-3 scoreless innings. He didn't allow a hit until John Jaso doubled to left-centre with one out in the fourth, only a couple of hours after the pitcher gifted his former backstop with a Rolex watch for catching his perfect game in August against the Rays.
Hernandez (1-0) outdueled Brett Anderson while making his sixth career opening day start and fifth in a row, retiring the first 10 batters of the game in order. Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run single in the fifth to break a scoreless tie, and it held up for Hernandez.