Baseball Roundup: Yu Darvish nearly completes a perfect game in Rangers’ 7-0 win over Astros


Houston, Texas — Yu Darvish was perfect through 8 2/3 innings and the Texas Rangers defeated the Houston Astros, 7-0, in an American League West matchup on Tuesday.

Darvish (1-0) seemed unstoppable and was one out away from perfection when Marwin Gonzalez hit a ground ball between his legs and into center field for a single. Darvish was then replaced by Michael Kirkman, and despite not getting to finish out the game, recorded an impressive 14 strikeouts.

Ian Kinsler hit a two-run home run for the Rangers, who recorded 12 hits. Lance Berkman had two RBI while Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland knocked in a run apiece in the victory, Texas’ first of the season.

Gonzalez and Jose Altuve were the only two to record hits for the Astros, who saw starter Lucas Harrell (0-1) allow one run on six hits over six innings.

With one out in the top of the third, Craig Gentry hit a ground-rule double. Kinsler followed with an infield single and Andrus was walked, loading the bases. Berkman then singled to left field to put up the first score.

Texas would not score again until the seventh. After a one-out triple by Gentry, Kinsler hit a home run deep into left.

Wesley Wright filled in for the Astros in the eighth, but immediately walked David Murphy, and then allowed Cruz a double to left center, scoring Murphy. A.J. Pierzynski grounded out, but got Cruz to third, allowing Mitch Moreland to hit a sacrifice fly to give them a 5-0 lead.

In the ninth, Veras pitched for Houston, but he also struggled. Kinsler drew a leadoff walk and Andrus followed with an RBI triple to deep right, making it 6-0. Berkman then hit a single, allowing Andrus to score.

Darvish grounded out Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan in the bottom of the inning before Gonzalez ended his night. Kirkman then replaced him, and allowed a single to Altuve and Gonzalez. However, he struck out J.D. Martinez, who was pinch-hitting for Brett Wallace, to end the game.

Baltimore 7, Tampa Bay 4

St. Petersburg, Fla. — Adam Jones delivered a go-ahead two-run double during a seventh-inning outburst that lifted the Baltimore Orioles over the Tampa Bay Rays in the season opener for both American League East members at Tropicana Field.

The Orioles scored five times to battle back from a 3-2 deficit, with Chris Davis capping the big inning with a three-run homer off Rays reliever Jake McGee.

Matt Wieters belted a two-run shot against reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price earlier in the game, part of a 2-for-3 performance for the Baltimore catcher.

Jones finished with three of the Orioles’ 13 hits on the day. Baltimore also received six solid innings from starting pitcher Jason Hammel (1-0), with the former Ray yielding three runs and just three hits to win his first career Opening Day assignment.

Price held the Orioles to two runs over six innings and left with a one-run edge that McGee (0-1) squandered by being rocked for five runs and four hits while recording only two outs.

Cleveland 4, Toronto 1

Toronto Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Justin Masterson tuned in six solid innings, as the Cleveland Indians topped Toronto in the season opener for both clubs from Rogers Centre.

Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs drove in a run each for the Indians, who are looking to improve upon a 68-94 record and fourth-place finish in the AL Central.

Masterson (1-0) gave up just three hits, one run and four walks while fanning five. Chris Perez later turned in a scoreless ninth for his first save as the Tribe gave Terry Francona a win in his Cleveland managerial debut. Melky Cabrera scored the lone run for the Blue Jays, who revamped their roster in the offseason thanks to a mega-deal with Miami and several free-agent signings.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (0-1), the reigning NL Cy Young winner, made his Blue Jays debut and first AL appearance in four seasons. He allowed five hits and four runs — three earned — with four walks and as many strikeouts in six frames. His batterymate, catcher J.P. Arencibia, was charged with three passed balls.

Giants 3, Dodgers 0

LOS ANGELES — Madison Bumgarner surrendered just two hits over eight dominant shutout innings in the San Francisco’s win over Los Angeles in the middle test of a three-game set.

Bumgarner (1-0), who retired 18 Dodgers in a row at one point, struck out six for San Francisco, which tallied 10 hits but grounded into four double plays.

Joaquin Arias tallied two hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Sergio Romo picked up his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.

South Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-1) made his highly-anticipated major league debut for the Dodgers and gave up three runs — one earned — on 10 hits over 6 1/3 frames. He fanned five and walked none.

Rockies 8, Brewers 4

DENVER — Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez both homered for the second straight day and Walt Weiss earned his first win as manager in the Colorado Rockies’ over the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle test of a three-game set.

Tulowitzki and Gonzalez had two RBI apiece for Colorado, which racked up 14 hits. Gonzalez also scored twice.

One time 16-game winner Jorge De La Rosa, who made just three starts late last season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2011, surrendered four runs on five hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings.

Edgmer Escalona (1-0) tossed 1 2/3 frames of shutout ball to pick up the win, while Rafael Betancourt got the final out in the ninth for his first save of the year.

Ryan Braun cracked a two-run homer for the Brewers, who won the opener of this set 5-4 in 10 innings after John Axford blew a two-run lead in the ninth. Milwaukee recorded an MLB-high 29 blown saves a year ago.

Cardinals 6, D’Backs 1

Phoenix, Ariz. — Matt Holliday and Jon Jay each hit a two-run home run and Pete Kozma added a solo shot, as St. Louis defeated Arizona on Tuesday at Chase Field.

Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia (1-0) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on two hits, but also walked four batters and needed 97 pitches.

Miguel Montero went 2-for-3 with a home run, the only score for the Diamondbacks, who mustered just three hits. Starter Trevor Cahill (0-1) fanned seven and gave up three runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings.