NEW YORK — Clay Buchholz scattered six hits and allowed one run in seven innings and the Boston Red Sox were on the verge of starting their 2013 campaign with their second straight win over the New York Yankees Wednesday night. The Red Sox carried a 7-4 lead into the ninth inning, at press time.
Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two runs and Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia knocked in runs for the Red Sox, who built a 5-0 lead with four runs in the third inning.
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda lasted only into the second inning on a cold night in the Bronx, leaving after taking a batted ball off his finger off the bat of Victorino.
Travis Hafner had a solo home run and Vernon Wells a three-run shot for New York, Hafner off Buchholz, and Wells off Alfredo Aceves in the eighth.
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THE Associated Press
Rangers 4, Astros 0
HOUSTON — A day after Yu Darvish came within one out of a perfect game, Alexi Ogando and four Texas relievers shut out Houston again, combining for a five-hitter in a 4-0 win on Wednesday.
Lance Berkman doubled in a run for the Rangers a day after they blanked the Astros 7-0 behind Darvish’s nearly historic gem.
Ogando (1-0) allowed four hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings. The young and inexperienced Astros have struck out 43 times in their first three games.
It’s the most strikeouts a pitching staff has combined for in the first three games of a season in major league history, and the most since Cleveland fanned 42 in the first three of the 1966 season.
Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Michael Kirkman allowed one hit in the next 1 2-3 innings. Closer Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth.
Philip Humber (0-1) allowed a run and five hits over 5 2-3 innings in his Astros debut.
White Sox 5, Royals 2
CHICAGO — Adam Dunn hit one of Chicago’s four homers, leading Jake Peavy and the White Sox to the victory.
Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez also connected, and the White Sox made it two straight wins to start the season after dropping 12 of 18 to Kansas City a year ago.
The Royals, full of optimism after posting the majors’ best record in spring training, will try to avoid a season-opening sweep Thursday.
Peavy (1-0) allowed an earned run and four hits in six innings. Addison Reed worked the ninth for his second save.
Ervin Santana (0-1) pitched six innings in his Kansas City debut and was charged with four runs and five hits.
Twins 3, Tigers 2
MINNEAPOLIS — Eduardo Escobar’s two-run double with one out in the ninth inning lifted Minnesota to the win.
After Joaquin Benoit issued a leadoff walk to Trevor Plouffe, reliever Phil Coke took over. Coke got the first out, but Brian Dozier’s single advanced pinch-runner Jamey Carroll to third. Escobar then drove the next pitch from Coke to the deepest part of the park in front of the bullpens in left-center field.
Both runners scored easily as the rebuilding Twins enjoyed their first on-field celebration of the season. The AL Central champion Tigers began the season without a set closer after Jose Valverde wasn’t brought back.
Anibal Sanchez threw five scoreless innings for Detroit. But after a two-up, two-down save on Monday, Coke (0-1) blew his chance in this one.
Glen Perkins (1-0) needed only 10 pitches in a perfect ninth inning for the victory.
BOSTON — Jeff Green scored 34 points, including a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to snap Boston’s two-minute scoring drought, and the Celtics clinched a playoff berth by beating the Detroit Pistons 98-93 on Wednesday night.
Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass scored 17 apiece for the Celtics, who had lost two in a row and seven of their previous nine. But the victory, coupled with Philadelphia’s 88-83 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, left Boston 8 games ahead of the 76ers with eight games to play.
It’s the sixth consecutive season Boston has reached the playoffs since the New Big Three was assembled in the summer of 2007.
Greg Monroe had 24 points and 17 rebounds and Rodney Stuckey scored 22 for the Pistons.
The Celtics led by as many as 18 points before the Pistons scored the final 11 points of the third quarter and opened the fourth with Jonas Jerebko’s three-point play. Boston went into another scoring slump late in the fourth, going 2 minutes, 9 seconds without a point while Detroit cut a 93-87 deficit down to two points.
But Green hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to give Boston a 96-91 lead. After Monroe got free for an easy dunk on an inbounds play, Jason Terry missed; Charlie Villanueva, who went 2 for 17 from the floor and missed all eight 3-point attempts, missed from beyond the arc for Detroit.
Terry made a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to clinch it.
Notes: Monroe’s 17 rebounds were one short of a season high. ... Celtics C Kevin Garnett (left ankle) sat out his seventh straight game, but Pierce returned after missing one game for what coach Doc Rivers said was a personal reason. ... Boston PG Rajon Rondo, who is recovering from a torn ACL, visited his teammates at Wednesday’s shootaround with a knee brace on. ... The Pistons won both previous games this season, both in Detroit. ... Pistons G Jose Calderon was a late scratch with a sore right arm. ... The Celtics bench was called for a technical foul, apparently for arguing about foul calls with 3:19 left in the game and an eight-point lead.MORE IN Sports WireSteve Stricker never felt more alone in front of so many people. Full StoryFOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have been mediocre in splitting their first two games. Full Story
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