CHICAGO - Marco Estrada pitched seven effective innings and doubled home a run Monday, helping the Milwaukee Brewers stop a five-game slide with a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the season at Wrigley Field.
Estrada (1-0) allowed two runs and five hits while bouncing back from a lacklustre season debut against Colorado. The right-hander also drove in Alex Gonzalez with a drive into the gap in right-centre during Milwaukee's two-run seventh.
Norichika Aoki collected three more hits and Ryan Braun went 3 for 4 with two doubles after missing Milwaukee's weekend sweep by Arizona due to spasms on the right side of his neck
Welington Castillo belted a two-run homer for Chicago, which has dropped four in a row and five of six. Edwin Jackson (0-2) was hit hard in his first home game since he signed a $52 million, four-year contract over the winter, surrendering five runs and eight hits in six innings.
REDS 13, CARDINALS 4
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Brandon Phillips kick-started a nine-run ninth inning with a tiebreaking bloop double and Shin-Soo Choo made amends for two botched fly balls with a three-run double, and the Reds spoiled the Cardinals' home opener.
Mitchell Boggs (0-1), the stand-in closer for St. Louis, yielded six runs while getting only one out and the Cardinals needed four more pitchers to get out of the ninth.
Phillips added his 150th career homer for the Reds, who have won six of seven since losing in extra innings to the Angels on opening day. Jay Bruce had four hits and Chris Heisey doubled twice with an RBI.
Sam LeCure (1-0) pitched an inning for the win.
Cardinals lefty Jamie Garcia matched his career best with 10 strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings and left with a 4-3 lead. Yadier Molina hit both of the fly balls dropped by Choo in the first and sixth, and added an RBI single.
BRAVES 2, MARLINS 0
MIAMI (AP) — Justin Upton went 4 for 4, including his sixth home run, and Paul Maholm allowed one hit in seven sharp innings to help Atlanta spoil Miami's home opener.
The Braves earned their fourth consecutive victory and improved to 6-1, their best start since 2007. The Marlins lost their third game in a row and fell to 1-6, their worst start since 2006.
Announced attendance was 34,439, with thousands of empty seats and many tickets sold at discounted prices. Some fans pledged to stay away this season because they're angry that owner Jeffrey Loria reverted to a frugal payroll only a year after the team opened a new ballpark built mostly with taxpayer money.
Maholm (2-0) remained unscored upon this season in 12 2-3 innings over two starts. He struck out seven and walked three.
Craig Kimbrel struck out Adeiny Hechavarria with two on to complete the two-hitter for his third save.
Upton hit a solo shot for a 2-0 lead against Kevin Slowey (0-2). Atlanta also scored in the fourth when Upton doubled, went to third on a flyout and came home on Dan Uggla's groundout.
METS 7, PHILLIES 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Harvey threw seven impressive innings, John Buck hit a three-run homer and the Mets roughed up Roy Halladay in a victory over the Phillies.
Harvey (2-0) followed up a dominant first start with another sharp outing. He gave up one run, three hits and struck out nine. The 24-year-old righty allowed one hit and fanned 10 in seven scoreless innings against San Diego last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Halladay (0-2) allowed seven runs and six hits in four-plus innings. He's given up 12 runs in 7 1-3 innings in two starts after a tough spring.
GIANTS 4, ROCKIES 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Buster Posey added a late RBI single and San Francisco snapped Colorado's five-game winning streak.
Madison Bumgarner (2-0) won his sixth decision in a row against the Rockies. The left-hander began his career 0-3 against Colorado in five starts.
He struck out five and walked five in 5 2-3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits.
One of those was Carlos Gonzalez's long homer to right in the third. The ball bounced off the pathway and splashed into McCovey Cove.
San Francisco extended its winning streak against the Rockies to seven games and bounced back from a 14-3 loss to St. Louis a day earlier when ace Matt Cain was tagged for nine runs in the fourth inning.
Pence sent the first pitch he saw from Jorge De La Rosa (0-1) deep into the bleachers in left-centre.
Santiago Casilla got four straight outs, Jeremy Affeldt pitched a clean eighth and Sergio Romo allowed Josh Rutledge's leadoff double in the ninth before striking out the side for his fourth save.
PIRATES 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3
PHOENIX (AP) — Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs, Garrett Jones homered and Pittsburgh snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Arizona.
McCutchen doubled in a run in the Pirates' three-run first inning and broke a 3-all tie with his sacrifice fly after Starling Marte's leadoff triple in the fifth.
Jeanmar Gomez (1-0) got the victory in relief of Wandy Rodriguez, who left after 2 1-3 innings because of tightness in his left hamstring. Trevor Cahill (0-2) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings for the Diamondbacks, who had won four in a row and were coming off a three-game sweep at Milwaukee.
Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save. Arizona didn't get a hit in the last five innings.