DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers have a lot riding on Jordan Zimmermann this season, so a solid outing in his first start was an encouraging sign.
Zimmermann pitched six sharp innings, and Jose Iglesias and James McCann both homered for Detroit in a 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
Zimmermann was terrific for the Tigers last April, but the rest of his season was ruined by neck problems. He labored early against Boston but eventually made it through the middle of the game comfortably.
“Everything feels good. Neck is great,” the right-hander said. “First game, so take it slow and move forward.”
Zimmermann (1-0) allowed a run and four hits. Boston led 1-0 when Iglesias tied it in the third with a solo shot to left. McCann’s homer in the fifth put Detroit up 2-1, and the Tigers added two more runs that inning.
Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1) allowed four runs and five hits in five innings for the Red Sox, who have had several players out sick recently. Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts didn’t play Saturday. Outfielder Andrew Benintendi played, but manager John Farrell said he threw up during the game.
“We’re hopeful that that was just a one-time deal,” Farrell said. “We’ll see how he feels when he comes in tomorrow.”
Justin Wilson pitched a perfect ninth for the Tigers for his first save of the season and second of his career. Francisco Rodriguez, the regular closer, got four outs the previous day.
Royals 7, Astros 3
HOUSTON — Cheslor Cuthbert hit a solo homer early and Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez both went deep during a six-run eighth inning, helping the Kansas City Royals rally for a win over the Houston Astros.
The Royals trailed 2-1 and managed just two hits off Dallas Keuchel before Luke Gregerson (0-1) took over for the eighth. Alex Gordon put Kansas City ahead with a two-run double, Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI single and then Hosmer’s first homer this season extended the lead to 6-2. Two pitches later, Perez sent an 88 mph fastball into the seats in left field to chase Gregerson.
Danny Duffy (1-0) allowed eight hits and two runs over seven innings for the win, and the Royals took their second straight from Houston after being swept in a three-game series at Minnesota to open the season.
Rays 3, Blue Jays 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Toronto reliever Casey Lawrence made his major league debut and wound up walking home the winning run with two outs in the 11th inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays over the Blue Jays.
Mallex Smith got on base five straight times and scored on Brad Miller’s walk to end it.
Smith led off the Tampa Bay 11th with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After a pair of intentional walks loaded the bases, Lawrence (0-1) struck out Evan Longoria but then walked Miller.
Erasmo Ramirez (1-0) got the win, pitching 1ª shutout innings.
White Sox 6, Twins 2
CHICAGO — Avisail Garcia homered and went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Geovany Soto also went deep, helping Chicago hand Minnesota its first loss of the season.
Soto’s homer was his third of the season in four games.
Garcia fell a double shy of the cycle. He had a two-run triple in the second inning against Minnesota starter Adalberto Mejia (0-1).
Garcia and Soto hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth.
The Twins (4-1) were looking to start 5-0 for the first time since 1968.
Cardinals 10, Reds 4
ST. LOUIS — Aledmys Diaz hit two home runs, Michael Wacha allowed one run over six innings and St. Louis beat Cincinnati to spoil Bronson Arroyo’s return to the majors.
Wacha (1-0) allowed three hits with six strikeouts against just one walk in his first start of the season. The Cardinals (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak, while the Reds, who had won three straight, fell to 3-2.
The Reds called up 40-year-old Arroyo (0-1) to make the start. Arroyo, who spent 2¢ years out of the major leagues with elbow and shoulder troubles, allowed six earned runs on six hits over four innings, with three strikeouts and three walks.
Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez homered for the Reds.
Pirates 6, Braves 4
PITTSBURGH — Gregory Polanco had no trouble with R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball, getting three of his four hits and driving in a run off the starter to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Atlanta Braves.
Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer also got an RBI each for the Pirates, who have won two straight after starting 0-2. Chad Kuhl (1-0) worked five occasionally wild innings to pick up the win. Tony Watson pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam for his second save in two days.
Jace Peterson and Kurt Suzuki each had an RBI for the Braves, who fell to 1-4.
Phillies 17, Nationals 3
PHILADELPHIA — Howie Kendrick had a three-run triple while Philadelphia scored 12 runs for the biggest first inning in team history, and the Phillies routed the Washington Nationals.
Philadelphia piled up nine hits and four walks off Jeremy Guthrie (0-1) and Enny Romero in the first. The Phillies didn’t hit any homers in the inning, but did have three doubles. Maikel Franco, Michael Saunders and Tommy Joseph each had two RBIs while Washington set a team mark for runs allowed in an inning.