Yankees Drop Opener 6-1 to Blue Jays as Alex Rodriguez Returns

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Yankees Player Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees stands on deck in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during Opening Day at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City, on April 6, 2015. Photographer: Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Yankees lost their season opener 6-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays as Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-2 in his first regular-season action following a yearlong doping suspension.

The New York Mets won their opening game 3-1 at the Washington Nationals, who are favored by oddsmakers to win this season’s World Series. The Boston Red Sox got two home runs from both Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia in an 8-0 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, while the Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies also had shutout wins.

Masahiro Tanaka, ending CC Sabathia’s six-year streak as the Yankees’ opening day starter, gave up five runs in the third inning at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. He pitched four innings, striking out six while allowing five hits, including a home run by Edwin Encarnacion.

Rodriguez, 39, received mostly cheers when introduced before the game. He batted seventh, his lowest spot in a starting major league lineup since he batted eighth as a Seattle Mariner in May 1996. Facing Toronto starter Drew Hutchison, Rodriguez drew a walk in the third inning and singled to right-center field in the fifth. Another liner to right-center was caught in the seventh.

“I thought he performed well and I thought he was received well,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said at a news conference. “Our fans were behind him and, in a sense, want to see him make a comeback. I thought his at-bats were really good.”

In the first game following team captain Derek Jeter’s retirement, Didi Gregorius made his debut as the Yankees’ shortstop, going 0-for-2. He also was hit on the elbow by Toronto pitcher Aaron Loup in the eighth inning, though Gregorius remained in the game.

Oldest Starter

The Mets scored three unearned runs to spoil the Washington debut of Max Scherzer, who joined the Nationals on a seven-year, $210 million contract in the offseason. Scherzer had taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon, 41, allowed one run over six innings to become the oldest opening day starter to earn a win since 2006, when Randy Johnson won for the Yankees at age 42.

In other opening day results, the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1; the Baltimore Orioles topped the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2; the Kansas City Royals won 10-1 against the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2.

Rollins’s Winner

The Los Angeles Dodgers got a three-run homer in the eighth inning from new shortstop Jimmy Rollins to defeat the San Diego Padres 6-3; the Atlanta Braves won 2-1 at the Florida Marlins, and Dallas Keuchel combined with two relievers on a three-hitter as the Astros beat the Cleveland Indians 2-0.

The defending-champion San Francisco Giants won 5-4 at the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Oakland pitcher Sonny Gray took a no-hitter into the eighth inning as the Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 8-0.

The only pitcher to throw an opening day no-hitter in Major League Baseball history is Cleveland’s Bob Feller, who held the Chicago White Sox hitless to win 1-0 in 1940.

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