MLB Roundup: Sabathia, Yankees blank Rays, 5-0

By FRED GOODALL

The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For all the talk about a Yankees youth movement, there were a couple of old, familiar faces who keyed New York’s first victory.

CC Sabathia was sharp in his season debut and Chase Headley kept up his hot start in Tuesday night’s 5-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 36-year-old Sabathia, beginning his 17th major league season and the final year of his Yankees contract, limited the team he has faced more than any other to three singles and a pair of walks in five innings.

Headley homered off Jake Odorizzi (0-1) in the sixth inning and added an RBI single through the vacated shortstop hole of a shifted infield in the eighth, making him 5 for 8 in two games. The 32-year-old third baseman started in a lengthy slump last year and did not get his first extra-base hit until May 12.

“It feels a heck of a lot better than it did for a month and a half last year, but there’s a long ways to go,” said Headley, who joined Ronald Torreyes in going deep against Odorizzi. “Obviously, getting a couple hits early on, it kind of takes the pressure off.”

Five relievers finished the five-hitter. Dellin Betances retired Logan Morrison on a bases-loaded grounder that ended the eighth inning and Aroldis Chapman, back with the Yankees after agreeing to an $86 million, five-year contract, threw a perfect ninth.

Traded to the Chicago Cubs by New York last July, Chapman reached 100 mph on four of 14 pitches, including his last, when Daniel Robertson struck out as his bat went flying toward the third-base dugout and into the seats.

“You always want to get that first win of the season,” Sabathia said. “This is a young team, a talented team, so it’s just going out and playing well.”

Most of the offense was supplied by the bottom of the batting order. The 5-foot-8 Torreyes, in the lineup because of a shoulder injury to Didi Gregorius and batting ninth, hit New York’s first home run this season, a two-run drive off Jake Odorizzi (0-1) in the third that drove in 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge. Torreyes had to reach for a double high-five after crossing the plate.

Matt Holliday drove in his first run as a Yankee with a third-inning double on a high fly that Peter Bourjos lost track of and dropped by the left-field corner.

“It was up into the rafters, probably higher than any ball I’ve ever seen hit here,” Bourjos said.

Sabathia joined Herb Pennock, Frank Tanana, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Kenny Rogers, Mike Flanagan, Lefty Grove and David Wells as the only left-handers in AL history to make at least one start in 17 different seasons.

“He gave us what we needed after losing the first game — just shut them down and gave us a chance to build a lead,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Tigers 6, White Sox 3

CHICAGO — Justin Verlander struck out 10 to match the most by a Detroit pitcher on opening day since Mickey Lolich in 1970, and the Tigers backed him with three home runs.

JaCoby Jones, Nick Castellanos and Ian Kinsler connected against Jose Quintana, and the Tigers sent Rick Renteria to a loss in his debut as White Sox manager. It was Jones’ first career homer.

Angels 7, Athletics 6

OAKLAND, Calif. — Danny Espinosa hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to rally the Angels to the win.

The late comeback came on a night when Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker made his first appearance since being struck in the head by a line drive off Kyle Seager’s bat in Seattle last September. Shoemaker returned seven months to the day after an injury that forced him to have surgery to stop bleeding in his brain.

Shoemaker allowed solo home runs to Jed Lowrie and Ryon Healy in five innings of four-hit ball.

Astros 2, Mariners 1

HOUSTON — Brian McCann and Marwin Gonzalez homered to back a solid start by Lance McCullers and help the Astros to the win.

Indians 4, Rangers 3

ARLINGTON, Texas — Carlos Santana led off with a home run, Carlos Carrasco struck out seven in his first start since breaking a bone in his right hand and the Cleveland Indians held on for a victory over the Texas Rangers.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 4

PHOENIX — Gorkys Hernandez drove in four runs and San Francisco bounced back from blowing a save in its season-opening loss.

Padres 4, Dodgers 0

LOS ANGELES — Clayton Richard pitched eight impressive innings, Yangervis Solarte homered and San Diego turned four double plays.

Cubs 2, Cardinals 1

ST. LOUIS — Albert Almora Jr. robbed Matt Adams of a home run and Javier Baez made a terrific sliding stop on Kolten Wong’s game-ending grounder, sending Jake Arrieta and the Cubs to their first win of the season.

Rockies 6, Brewers 5

MILWAUKEE — Greg Holland earned his second save in two days with Colorado, and Gerardo Parra hit a three-run double.

Holland tossed a perfect ninth for the Rockies, who have opened the season with 8• scoreless innings from their bullpen. The former Royals reliever is back on the mound after missing the 2016 season following Tommy John surgery.

By Paul Wager

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