Verlander Defeats Debut Jinx
A Cincinnati Reds player wears a logo honoring those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School during a major league baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, April 1, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)
Minneapolis — Justin Verlander won on opening day for the first time in six tries, pitching five shutout innings at frosty Target Field and sending the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers past the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Monday.
With the gametime temperature at 35 degrees and the wind blowing at 17 mph, fans had to bundle up. But opening day is always a draw, as evidenced by the announced sellout crowd of 38,282.
Verlander (1-0) had been 0-1 in his previous five openers. Phil Coke got the last two outs for the first save by the Tigers’ closer committee.
Prince Fielder, wearing a black ski covering on his head, had two hits and an RBI to help spoil the first Twins start by Vance Worley (0-1).
White Sox 1, Royals 0
Chicago — Chris Sale outpitched James Shields, Tyler Flowers homered and the Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City in their season opener.
Sale (1-0) showed the form that made him a 17-game winner and an All-Star in his first season as a starter. On a chilly day when the gametime temperature was 44, he allowed seven hits and struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings. Addison Reed worked the ninth for the save.
Angels 3, Reds 1 (13)
Cincinnati — Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer and a bases-loaded single in the 13th inning, powering Los Angeles past Cincinnati in the majors’ first interleague season opener.
The Angels loaded the bases with two outs in the 13th off J.J. Hoover, who walked two and hit Hank Conger, the Angels’ final position player. Iannetta worked the count full, fouled off a pair of pitches, then singled to left.
Ernesto Frieri, the Angels’ seventh pitcher, finished off the Reds’ longest opening game since 1975, when they beat the Dodgers 2-1 in 14 innings.
For the second straight season, an opener in Ohio went long. The Blue Jays beat the Indians 7-4 in 16 innings last year in Cleveland, the longest opener in major league history.