Detroit’s Prince Fielder acknowledges the crowd after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning in Detroit Friday.
DETROIT — Prince Fielder hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the fifth inning and added a soaring, two-run shot in the seventh to lift the Detroit Tigers to an 8-3 win over the New York Yankees on Friday in the Comerica Park opener.
Fielder connected for his first two home runs of the season before a crowd of 45,051, the most on opening day in the 14 years of Comerica Park.
Doug Fister (1-0) allowed three runs on six hits — including Kevin Youkilis’ two-run homer over five innings. Drew Smyly pitched four perfect innings and struck out five for his first career save.
Ivan Nova (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits over 4 2-3 innings.
Boone Logan, the first batter to face Fielder in the fifth, allowed the slugger to put Detroit up 5-3.
Alex Avila, the second hitter to face Shawn Kelley in the sixth, homered deep into the right-field seats to put the Tigers ahead by three runs. Fielder tagged Kelley for another shot the next time he came up.
The banged-up Yankees took another hit, too, on a sun-splashed, cool afternoon in the Motor City.
Eduardo Nunez, filling in for shortstop Derek Jeter, was hit on his right biceps by Fister’s pitch in the fourth and left the game. X-rays were negative.
Jeter may not return to play for the Yankees until next month, manager Joe Girardi said before the series opener. Jeter needs to go through a spring training-like schedule when he comes back from rehabilitating his broken left ankle.
Jeter was hurt in the AL championship series opener against Detroit last October while trying to field a groundball.
The Yankees have five All-Stars on the disabled list with Jeter joined by third baseman Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery), first baseman Mark Teixeira (wrist), outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken forearm) and pitcher Phil Hughes (back pain).
In front of their fired-up fans, Detroit scored a run in the first and second innings and were held scoreless in the next two innings. The blue-and-orange clad fans groaned in the fifth when Fister allowed a run to score on a wild pitch and Youkilis homered to put the Yankees ahead 3-2.
Fielder gave them a reason to cheer in the home half of the inning and later on.
NOTES: The Tigers drew 45,051 fans, the most on opening day in 14 years at Comerica Park. ... Hughes is scheduled to pitch Saturday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... Teixeira said he’s still on schedule to return around May 1 and his injured right wrist is feeling better each day. ... Smyly bounced back from his first outing in which he gave up two runs in 1 1-3 innings when Detroit opened with a 4-2 win at Minnesota. ... Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda is expected to take his next turn in the rotation Monday at Cleveland after bruising the middle finger on his throwing hand when hit by Shane Victorino’s line drive Wednesday.
Orioles 9 Twins 5
BALTIMORE — Chris Davis extended his torrid start with a grand slam and five RBIs, and the Baltimore Orioles used a five-run eighth inning to beat Minnesota 9-5 Friday in their home opener.
Davis became the fourth player in major league history to homer in his first four games of the season, joining Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz. He is 9 for 15 (.600) with four homers and 16 RBIs.
The Orioles trailed 5-4 before loading the bases with one out in the eighth against Casey Fien (0-1). After Adam Jones tied it with an RBI single, Davis greeted Tyler Robertson with an opposite-field shot to left on the first pitch.
The grand slam set off a wild celebration from the sellout crowd of 46,653.
Rangers 3, Angels2
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ian Kinsler hit a go-ahead single with two outs in the eighth inning and the Texas Rangers gave their fans plenty of reasons to cheer in the home opener, beating Josh Hamilton and the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Friday.
Hamilton was a five-time All-Star and the 2010 AL MVP while with Texas before going to the AL West-rival Angels with a $125 million, five-year contract over the winter. He finished 0 for 4 — he was booed when he was introduced, then cheered when he struck out twice.
Kinsler’s sharp single to right was fielded by Hamilton, who short-hopped a throw to the plate as speedy Craig Gentry slid home for the tiebreaking run.
Cardinals1, Giants 0
SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Zito saved San Francisco’s season by beating the Cardinals last fall in the NL championship series, then delivered again with a 1-0 victory over St. Louis on Friday as the Giants celebrated their latest World Series title throughout the home opener.
Zito outdueled Jake Westbrook in his season debut. The lefty also had a key sacrifice bunt that led to San Francisco’s lone run in the fourth, when Angel Pagan drew a bases-loaded walk.
The Giants won their 15th straight with Zito on the mound, including the postseason. He hasn’t lost since Aug. 2 against the New York Mets.
Facing constant criticism yet again for his girth, World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval made several nice stops at third and also ran down a foul popup to back Zito.
Rockies 5, Padres 2
DENVER — Wilin Rosario and Dexter Fowler homered, helping Jeff Francis and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-2 Friday in a festive home opener at Coors Field.
Francis (1-0) was ahead of batters all afternoon as he scattered five hits over six sharp innings. The soft-throwing lefty nearly became the first Rockies starter to eclipse the 100-pitch mark in 106 games, but was pulled after striking out Nick Hundley on his 97th offering to finish the sixth.
The last time Colorado had a starter reach the century mark in pitches was last June 12. It’s the longest string in the majors since records started being kept by STATS in 1988.
Rafael Betancourt pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save as the Rockies improved to 12-9 in home openers.MORE IN Sports WireTALLADEGA, Ala. Full Story
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