DODGERS 5, PADRES 3
SAN DIEGO — With Magic Johnson and Frank McCourt watching from next to the dugout, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres Thursday even though reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw left after three innings with the flu.
Former Lakers great Johnson, part of a group buying the Dodgers for $2.15 billion from McCourt, had a big smile after Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer in the eighth, giving him three RBIs. Johnson and McCourt sat next to each other and chatted throughout the game.
Kershaw left after limiting the Padres to two hits through three innings. He struck out three, walked one and singled off newcomer Edinson Volquez in the third for the Dodgers’ first hit of the season.
Josh Lindblom pitched two perfect innings in relief of Kershaw for the win. Javy Guerra pitched the ninth for the save.
Volquez, Cincinnati’s opening-day starter a year ago, struck out five through three scoreless innings and singled off Kershaw in the third for the Padres’ first hit. He then allowed two runs on four walks, including three in a row, and two singles in the fourth. Volquez went five, allowing three runs, two earned, and three hits. He struck out seven and walked four to take the loss.
PHILLIES 1, PIRATES 0
PITTSBURGH — Roy Halladay was nearly flawless for eight innings and Philadelphia showed off its pitching from the start in a season-opening win over Pittsburgh.
Halladay, a two-time Cy Young winner, gave up just two first-inning singles while striking out five without a walk. Carlos Ruiz had a sacrifice fly in the seventh and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his first National League save.
The Phillies start this season as the favorites to win their sixth straight NL East title.
Pittsburgh starter Erik Bedard nearly kept pace with Halladay, giving up only one run in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
NATIONALS 2, CUBS 1
CHICAGO — Stephen Strasburg frustrated Chicago for seven innings before Ian Desmond singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth to give Washington the win.
Strasburg allowed one run and five hits, including an RBI single to Marlon Byrd in the fourth. He was lifted in the eighth and Kerry Wood forced in the tying run with three walks.
Washington went ahead in the ninth when Chad Tracy hit a two-out double off the right-field wall against Carlos Marmol, and Desmond followed with his third hit.
Strasburg struck out five and walked one.
Ryan Dempster, making his fourth opening start, struck out 10 in 7 2-3 innings.
METS 1, BRAVES 0
NEW YORK — Johan Santana pitched five innings of two-hit ball in his long-awaited return from shoulder surgery and David Wright hit an RBI single to lead New York over Atlanta.
New York’s revamped bullpen picked up for Santana and shut down the Braves, who fielded an opening-day lineup without Chipper Jones for the first time since 1996. Atlanta was punchless at the plate, managing only four hits.
Santana struck out five and wriggled out of a fifth-inning jam in his first big league appearance since beating the Braves 4-2 on Sept. 2, 2010. He had surgery 12 days later.
Tommy Hanson allowed one run on four hits in five innings with three walks for Atlanta.
REDS 4, MARLINS 0
CINCINNATI — Jay Bruce homered and drove in a pair of runs, and Johnny Cueto dominated in his first opening-day start, leading Cincinnati over Miami.
Cueto anchored the Reds’ first opening-day shutout since 1980, when Frank Pastore beat Atlanta’s Phil Niekro 9-0. The right-hander allowed only three hits over seven innings, and a depleted bullpen finished it off.
Left-hander Mark Buehrle gave up Bruce’s sacrifice fly and Ryan Ludwick’s RBI double over six innings. Bruce also homered off Edward Mujica.
The crowd of 42,956 was the second-largest at Great American Ball Park.
BLUE JAYS 7, INDIANS 4, 16 INNINGS
CLEVELAND — In the longest opening-day game in major league history, J.P. Arencibia’s three-run homer in the 16th inning sent the Toronto Blue Jays to a win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
Arencibia was 0 for 6 with three strikeouts before connecting off Jairo Asencio.
The marathon eclipsed the previous longest openers — 15 innings between Cleveland and Detroit in 1960 and 15 innings between Philadelphia and Washington in 1926.
Luis Perez, Toronto’s seventh pitcher, pitched four scoreless innings for the win and Sergio Santos got two outs to end the 5-hour, 14-minute game.
Jose Bautista homered and hit a sacrifice fly for Toronto, which rallied for three runs in the ninth off All-Star closer Chris Perez to force extra innings.
Jack Hannahan hit a three-run homer in the second to give Cleveland a 4-0 lead against Ricky Romero. But the Indians didn’t score again, going 14 innings without pushing a run across and disappointing a crowd of 43,190 that thinned to just a few thousand die-hard fans by the end.
TIGERS 3, RED SOX 2
DETROIT — Austin Jackson hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Detroit Tigers overcame a blown save by Jose Valverde to beat the Boston Red Sox.
AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander was dominant for eight innings and left with a 2-0 lead. But Valverde (1-0) blew a save for the first time in 52 chances, a streak that included 49 in a row last season.
Boston manager Bobby Valentine lost in his return to the major leagues after replacing Terry Francona following the team’s 7-20 September slide that cost the Red Sox a playoff spot.
With one out in the Tigers ninth, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila singled off Mark Melancon (0-1), and Ramon Santiago was hit by a pitch from Alfredo Aceves. Jackson followed with a sharp grounder past diving third baseman Nick Punto.
Prince Fielder singled his first time up for the AL Central champions and added a sacrifice fly. Verlander gave up two hits, walked one and struck out seven.