(WINDSOR, ON) – The Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays both opened the 2015 MLB season, the former at home and the latter on the road.
The Jays led off the season with a win in New York as they welcomed Alex Rodriguez back to the majors by disposing of the Yankees 6-1. The Toronto bats did the most damage in the 3rd inning, putting 5 runs on the board and chasing New York starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka from the game.
Edwin Encarnacion did most of the damage against Tanaka with a 3rd inning home run with one on and one out. Toronto also received a home run from 2nd baseman Devon Travis in the 7th when he got his first career hit off reliever Chasen Shreve.
Ex-Yankee catcher Russell Martin beat up on his old battery mates by going 1-for-4 with 2 RBI, 1 run, and a walk.
Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchinson got the win, pitching 6 innings, facing 23 batters, and giving up just 1 earned run on a homer by Brett Gardner in the 6th. Hutchison threw 93 pitches before being pulled, 61% for strikes.
Tanaka suffered the loss for New York.
The Jays and Yankees are idle today, but return to the field on Wednesday with scheduled starters RA Dickey and Michael Pineda.
Meanwhile in Detroit, the Tigers shut out the Minnesota Twins 4-0 at Comerica Park. Starter David Price bested the first 13 batters he faced on his way to a 101 pitch performance. Price allowed five hits over 8 2/3 innings and struck out 5, before Joe Nathan struck out ex-Tiger Torii Hunter for a 4-pitch save. It was the first opening day in seven years that Justin Verlander didn’t take the mound.
Off-season acquisition Yoenis Cespedes was 2-for-4, a double and a triple, with 2 runs scored. Tigers catcher Alex Avila, batting out of the 8th spot, was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and 1 run scored, including a 2nd inning homer off of Twins starter Phil Hughes.
Hughes was tagged with the loss after allowing 4 runs and 8 hits over 6 innings. It was new Minnesota manager Paul Molitor’s first loss.
The Tigers and the Twins also have a day off before renewing the series on Wednesday. The scheduled starters are two righties, Anibal Sanchez for Detroit and Ricky Nolasco for Minnesota.