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Choo makes amends

ST. LOUIS (AP) ― Brandon Phillips kick-started a nine-run ninth inning with a tiebreaking bloop double and Choo Shin-soo made amends for two botched fly balls with a three-run double, and the Cincinnati Reds spoiled the St. Louis Cardinals’ home opener with a 13-4 victory on Monday.

Mitchell Boggs (0-1), the stand-in closer for St. Louis, yielded six runs while getting only one out and the Cardinals needed four more pitchers to get out of the inning. Only a few thousand fans remained of the largest regular-season crowd of 47,375 for the bottom of the ninth in 8-year-old Busch Stadium history.

The defending NL Central champions Cardinals held a tribute for Stan Musial before the game.
Reds outfielder Chris Heisey makes the catch as he collides with teammate Choo Shin-soo on Monday. (AFP-Yonhap News)
Reds outfielder Chris Heisey makes the catch as he collides with teammate Choo Shin-soo on Monday. (AFP-Yonhap News)

Phillips added his 150th career homer for the Reds, who have won six of seven since losing in extra innings to the Angels on opening day and totaled 11 or more hits the last four games. Jay Bruce had four hits and Chris Heisey doubled twice with an RBI.

Sam LeCure (1-0) pitched an inning for the win.

Cardinals lefty Jamie Garcia matched his career best with 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings and left with a 4-3 lead. Yadier Molina hit both of the fly balls dropped by Choo in the first and sixth, and added an RBI single.

Choo entered the season with 652 games of outfield experience but only 10 in center, and all 155 games with the Indians last year as the right fielder.

Two runs scored in the first when Choo twice juggled Molina’s fly ball after backtracking, and Matt Holliday scored from first to put the Cardinals up 4-2 in the sixth when the ball popped out on Choo, perhaps fighting the sun.

Nava, Buchholz lead Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) ― A second brilliant start by Clay Buchholz. A clutch homer by Daniel Nava. Another flawless fielding performance by the Boston Red Sox.

The fans at Fenway Park saw for the first time what all the excitement is about when they watched the surprising Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 in Boston’s home opener on Monday.

“This team is growing in confidence by the day,” first-year Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Buchholz (2-0) allowed three hits in seven shutout innings, Nava hit a three-run homer in the seventh off Wei-Yin Chen (0-1) and the first-place Red Sox improved to 5-2 for their best start in seven years.

Last year, they lost five of their first seven games and finished last at 69-93, and in 2011 they started 1-6 and missed the playoffs with a September collapse.

So winning Monday after taking two of three road games against both the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays “is a lot better than starting 2-9, or whatever it was last year and the year before. We’ve got an awesome group of guys,” Buchholz said. “It’s easier to come to the ballpark and be in high spirits, in good spirits about it whenever your team is winning.”

Hafner homers in return

CLEVELAND (AP) ― Travis Hafner came home and helped the Yankees wreck Cleveland’s opener.

Hafner drove in four runs in his return to Cleveland and Robinson Cano homered twice as injury-riddled New York ruined the Indians’ highly anticipated first home game under manager Terry Francona with an 11-6 win Monday.

Hafner hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1) and added an RBI single in the third. Cano connected in the fifth and sixth for the Yankees, who are trying to hold on until All-Stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira get healthy and come off the disabled list.

Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) shook off a shaky, 34-pitch first and showed no signs of being bothered by a bruised right middle finger as the Yankees finally won a home opener after losing their own and Detroit’s last week.

Milwaukee 7, Chicago Cubs 4

Kansas City 3, Minnesota 1

NY Mets 7, Philadelphia 2

Atlanta 2, Miami 0

Texas 5, Tampa Bay 4

Pittsburgh 5, Arizona 3

Seattle 3, Houston 0

San Francisco 4, Colorado 2
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