AROUND THE HORN
Yankees 4, Red Sox 3
NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera picked up right where he left off last October, blowing another lead against the Boston Red Sox. This time, Derek Jeter bailed him out. Jeter's leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth inning against Keith Foulke gave New York the victory, their second over Boston to begin the season. But this one was tougher than it needed to be because Rivera failed to close out the Red Sox again, costing Carl Pavano a win in his dazzling debut for New York. Hideki Matsui hit his second home run. The Yankees handed a 3-2 lead in the ninth to Rivera, who blew just four saves during the regular season last year but three in the playoffs. He struck out Edgar Renteria to start the inning, and Jason Varitek lined a 1-2 pitch over the right-field fence.
Blue Jays 6, Devil Rays 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Shea Hillenbrand's bases-loaded single off loser Seth McClung snapped a sixth-inning tie.
Gustavo Chacin allowed two singles and Alex Gonzalez's solo homer in five innings to get his second major league victory, and Miguel Batista worked the ninth, finishing a seven-hitter for his second save in as many chances. Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir, the second-youngest player in the majors at 21 years, two months, allowed one run and three hits in five innings.
Giants 4, Dodgers 2
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds accepted another shelf's worth of awards, then disappeared into the dugout and left it to his teammates to win without him. Ray Durham scored the go-ahead run on Jose Valentin's seventh-inning error at third, and Jason Schmidt struck out nine in seven strong innings to lead San Francisco. And oh what a Giants debut for Omar Vizquel. The nine-time Gold Glove shortstop, fighting nerves in the early innings, had a single, a double, a walk and a stolen base.
Marlins 9, Braves 0
MIAMI -- John Smoltz's first start in nearly four years ranked with the worst of his career. Juan Encarnacion hit a grand slam to cap a five-run first inning, Smoltz lasted just five outs and Carlos Delgado had four hits in his Florida debut to lead the Marlins. Delgado swung at all three pitches in his first at-bat and missed -- Smoltz's lone strikeout. He got three singles and a double after that, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
Cardinals 7, Astros 3
HOUSTON -- Facing the Astros once again, the St. Louis Cardinals finally took a lead and resumed their winning ways.
Jim Edmonds, Larry Walker and Reggie Sanders homered to lead St. Louis over Houston in a season-opening rematch of the 2004 NL championship series. St. Louis overcame a 3-2 series deficit against Houston to win the NL pennant last October but never held a lead after that, getting swept by Boston in the World Series. In this one, the Cardinals went ahead 3-0 lead in the first and never trailed, ending Houston's 18-game, regular-season home winning streak, the longest in the major leagues since Cleveland won 18 in a row at Jacobs Field in May and June 1994. Chris Carpenter, who missed the postseason because of nerve damage in his right biceps, won by allowing one run and four hits in seven innings. Al Reyes, Julian Tavarez and Ray King followed, and Jason Isringhausen retired Adam Everett on a bases-loaded grounder for the save.
Shortstop David Eckstein, second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and catcher Yadier Molina, three newcomers to the St. Louis lineup, went a combined 2-for-12 with three strikeouts in their Cardinals' debuts. But St. Louis had more than enough offense. Edmonds had four RBIs, and Walker went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in the seventh.
-- Associated Press
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