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Rangers improve to 3-0 with win over Indians

Thursday, April 9, 2009

By The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are 3-0 for the first time since 1996.

Marlon Byrd and Ian Kinsler hit long home runs and the Rangers completed their season-opening series sweep, outslugging the Cleveland Indians 12-8 Thursday.

Byrd's homer was a three-run shot that capped a five-run first off Carl Pavano (0-1), making his first start for Cleveland after being a free-agent bust with the Yankees the past four seasons. Byrd matched a career high with five RBIs.

Texas won its first seven games and went on to win its first AL West title in 1996.

Cleveland hit five home runs, including two by Grady Sizemore, but couldn't rally from an early 9-1 deficit. The Indians last were 0-3 in 1996, though they did come back to win 99 games and the AL Central that season.

Sizemore hit a pair of two-run homers for Cleveland while Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner and Kelly Shoppach, who is from nearby Fort Worth, added solo shots.

Brandon McCarthy (1-0) struck out seven in his five innings. Pavano retired only three of the 12 batters he faced.

Yankees 11, Orioles 2

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A.J. Burnett won in his Yankees debut and fellow newcomers Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher homered as New York beat Baltimore for its first win this season.

After being outscored 17-10 in their first two games against the Orioles, the Yankees certainly looked like a $201 million team in the finale of the opening series.

Burnett (1-0) allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings and Swisher matched a career high with five RBIs. Robinson Cano homered and scored four runs for the Yankees, who avoided their first 0-3 start since 1998.

Luke Scott homered for the Orioles. Alfredo Simon (0-1) was charged with four runs in five-plus innings. He allowed only seven runs in 18 2-3 innings during spring training.

Rays 4, Red Sox 3

BOSTON (AP) -- Matt Garza pitched seven innings of four-hit ball, Tampa Bay hit three homers off Daisuke Matsuzaka, and the Rays beat the Boston Red Sox to win their opening three-game series.

Evan Longoria had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Matt Joyce and Shawn Riggans also homered for the defending AL champions.

Garza (1-0) allowed one run and three walks, struck out five to improved to 6-1 against the Red Sox. He was the MVP in last year's AL championship series when he beat Boston twice, including a Game 7 victory.

Matsuzaka (0-1) gave up four runs, nine hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings. The three homers matched his career high.

Royals 2, White Sox 1

CHICAGO (AP) -- Coco Crisp's two-run homer in the ninth inning broke a scoreless tie and the Kansas City Royals held off the Chicago White Sox.

The Royals took two of three from the AL Central champion White Sox in the season-opening series that featured outstanding starting pitching.

It was 0-0 when Crisp connected off Bobby Jenks (0-1). Alberto Callaspo doubled with one out and Crisp hit the next pitch for his first home run of the season.

Carlos Quentin led off with a double against Joakim Soria and later scored on Jermaine Dye's groundout. With two outs and two on, Soria struck out pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit for his second save.

Royals starter Kyle Davies matched his career high with eight strikeouts. Ron Mahay (1-0) pitched the eighth and got the win.

Blue Jays 6, Tigers 2

TORONTO (AP) -- Ricky Romero outpitched Rick Porcello in the first matchup of former first-round draft picks making their major league debuts against each other, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Detroit Tigers for their third win in the opening four-game series.

Marco Scutaro hit a two-run homer, and Aaron Hill and Adam Lind added solo shots off Porcello. Lind went 3-for-4, raising his average to .583.

Detroit's Brandon Inge, who had homered in the first three games, went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Romero (1-0) was the No. 6 pick in the 2005 amateur draft out of Cal State Fullerton and was given a $2.4 million signing bonus by the Blue Jays. Porcello (0-1), the 27th overall pick in 2007, gave up four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings, struck out four and walked one.

Mariners 2, Twins 0

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Jarrod Washburn gave up five hits in eight innings and Brandon Morrow got his first save of the season to lead the Seattle Mariners over the Minnesota Twins.

Washburn (1-0) struck out four with just one walk to get his first victory since July 27. Adrian Beltre and Rob Johnson had RBI singles for the Mariners split the four-game set.

After Morrow gave up three runs in the ninth on Tuesday night in a 6-5 loss, new manager Don Wakamatsu sent the 24-year-old right back out there again. Morrow walked Michael Cuddyer on four pitches, struck out Justin Morneau and Joe Crede looking, then got pinch-hitter Jason Kubel on a flyout.

Glen Perkins (0-1) gave up just run and five hits in eight innings.

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