AROUND THE HORN | Friday’s other MLB games
Nationals 2, Reds 0
Max Scherzer struck out 10 in six innings and the Washington Nationals, in their first game with Dave Martinez as a major league manager, began defense of their NL East title by opening with a win over the Cincinnati Reds. Nationals star Bryce Harper got two hits, but his string of five straight opening days with a home run came to an end. Scherzer (1-0) picked up where he left off. The winner of the last two NL Cy Young Awards gave up five hits, walked one and permitted just one runner past first base. The Reds put runners on second and third in the fourth, but Scherzer fanned Tucker Barnhart to escape. Scherzer posted his 65th career game with double-digit strikeouts. The only hitter who did real damage against him was Scooter Gennett, who finished 4 for 4 with a double. Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for the save. Adam Eaton led off the game with a bloop single and scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s forceout. Trea Turner scored on Brian Goodwin’s sacrifice fly in the ninth. Homer Bailey (0-1), making his first opening day start in his 10th season with the Reds, allowed four hits and one run with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings.
Yankees 4, Blue Jays 2
Masahiro Tanaka pitched six sharp innings and the New York Yankees did fine without any pop from their sluggers, beating the Toronto Blue Jays. Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 4. So did big hitters Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. Yet the Yankees, under new manager Aaron Boone, improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2011. Brandon Drury had two hits and two RBIs, Tyler Wade added a two-run double and Didi Gregorius had two extra-base hits and scored twice. Billy McKinney singled in his first major league at-bat. Tanaka (1-0) allowed one run on three hits in six innings, striking out eight without a walk. David Robertson retired two batters and Aroldis Chapman pitched around Yangervis Solarte’s two-out RBI double to earn his first save. Randal Grichuk hit his first home run for Toronto but struck out looking to end the game. Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. Sanchez (0-1) walked four and struck out two.
Red Sox 1, Rays 0
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.
David Price was solid in his return to the Red Sox rotation, allowing four singles over seven scoreless innings of Boston’s victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The five-time All-Star struck out five and walked none in his first start for the defending AL East champions since last July. Rafael Devers snapped a scoreless tie with a single up the middle that drove in Xander Bogaerts, who doubled off Chaz Roe (0-1) leading off the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. The Rays only managed to get one runner as far as second base. Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless eighth for the Red Sox, who won for the first time under manager Alex Cora. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to finish the combined four-hitter.
Rangers 5, Astros 1
Doug Fister mostly silenced the powerful Houston lineup for five innings in his Texas debut, Nomar Mazara homered for an early lead and the Rangers beat the Astros. The right-hander who pitched for the Astros in 2016 allowed only Max Stassi’s RBI double in the fifth in his new home ballpark, where he had an 8.73 ERA coming in. Four relievers held the Astros to one hit over the final four innings, capped by Keone Kela pitching around a walk in the ninth. Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor hit back-to-back sacrifice flies for a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning against 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. Chirinos’ drive with the bases loaded was caught at the wall in right field by Josh Reddick. Keuchel (0-1) allowed seven hits and three runs in six innings for the defending champs, who had a five-game winning streak against Texas after taking the season opener. Fister (1-0) allowed four hits, struck out three and walked three. Mazara, who had one homer in 123 at-bats against left-handers last season, went deep in his first lefty-lefty matchup this season. The solo liner just to the right of berm in center field came in the second inning. He walked and scored in the fourth. Texas slugger Joey Gallo had two hits, including an RBI double off the top of the wall in center, against a more traditional shift. Chris Martin and Alex Claudio each had a bases-loaded strikeout to preserve a 3-1 lead in a bizarre sixth inning. The Astros loaded the bases after Odor threw about 30 feet wide of first in the middle of turning around on a botched double-play attempt that didn’t get anybody out. Jose Altuve was initially allowed to score when Odor’s throw went into the Texas dugout but was called back to third on review.