Rangers Corral Astros
Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa can't make the catch on the foul ball hit by Miami Marlins' Justin Ruggiano during the ninth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Washington. The Nationals won 3-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters waits on deck to batt during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Houston (ap) — 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 yesterday.
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.
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.
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.
Indians 3, Blue Jays 2
Toronto — Mark Reynolds hit a tiebreaking home run in the 11th inning and Cleveland beat Toronto.
Reynolds drilled a leadoff shot into the second deck off Sergio Santos (0-1), the fifth Blue Jays reliever.
Rays 8, Orioles 7
St. Petersburg, Fla. — Matt Joyce led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a towering home run against Tommy Hunter, giving Tampa Bay a win over Baltimore.
Shelley Duncan hit a three-run homer and Ben Zobrist had a pair of RBI singles for the Rays, who twice came from behind before wasting a late two-run lead.
Nationals 3, Marlins 0
Washington — Left-hander Gio Gonzalez homered, providing all the offense necessary to back his six scoreless innings, and Washington beat Miami.
Gonzalez (1-0), a 21-game winner in 2012 who finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting, allowed only two hits, along with five strikeouts and two walks.
Pirates 3, Cubs 0
Pittsburgh — Wandy Rodriguez allowed just two hits over 6 2-3 innings and Pittsburgh beat Chicago for its first win of the year.
Mets 8, Padres 4
New York — Matt Harvey allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings for his first win at Citi Field, Lucas Duda hit the first of the Mets’ three homers in a whipping wind and New York beat San Diego.
Braves 9, Phillies 2
Atlanta — Freddie Freeman had three RBIs and Justin Upton homered to back Paul Maholm’s solid start, helping Atlanta rout Philadelphia.
Reds 5, Angels 4
Cincinnati — Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer in his new role as Cincinnati’s cleanup hitter, rallying the Reds to a victory over Los Angeles.
They’ve split the first two games of the first interleague series to open a season.
Votto’s first hit of the season off left-hander Scott Downs (0-1) deflected off the glove of first baseman Albert Pujols and rolled into the outfield, allowing Shin-Soo Choo to score from second base.
Phillips hit the Reds’ first homer of the season off C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning, when Cincinnati sent nine batters to the plate for four runs.
Left-hander Aroldis Chapman (1-0) walked one in the ninth.