President George W. Bush opened Miller Park with a pitch in the dirt. Then the Brewers went out and capped the festive night with a win. With the retractable fan-shaped roof and the outfield panels closed, Richie Sexson’s tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning gave the Brewers a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night. “It’s something I’ll carry with me forever. It’s going to be one of the high points of my career,” Sexson said after his homer off Dennys Reyes (0-2). At Milwaukee, David Weathers (1-0) won as Milwaukee avoided matching its worst start in franchise history. The 1984 club started out 0-5. But the big story was the ballpark. “It’s a great facility and it’s enclosed,” Brewers manager Davey Lopes said. “You’re not fighting Mother Nature. You don’t have to hit the ball 420 feet to right-center field to get a home run.” Cubs 3, Phillies 2 The Phillies lost their home opener and failed to start the season 4-0 for the first time since 1915. Julian Tavarez (1-0) allowed one run in 5 1-3 innings and Julio Zuleta homered as the Cubs handed Larry Bowa his first loss as Philadelphia manager. Randy Wolf (0-1) allowed two runs and four hits in four innings. Expos 10, Mets 6 Orlando Cabrera hit a three-run double and one of three homers off Brian Rose (0-1).
The Expos drew 45,183 for their home opener. Tim Raines, 41, made his first start for the Expos since 1990 and went 0 for-2. Peter Bergeron and Michael Barrett also homered off Rose, who made his Mets’ debut. Mike Thurman (1-0) allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings. Mike Piazza, Benny Agbayani and Timo Perez homered for the Mets. Astros 4, Pirates 1 Craig Biggio went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer off Omar Olivares (0-2) and three RBIs as Houston improved to 4-0 for only the third time in franchise history. Pittsburgh dropped to 0-8 at Enron Field, which opened last year, and 3-16 at Houston in the past three seasons. There have been 12 homers hit this year in four games at Enron, where a major league record 266 were hit last year. Octavio Dotel (1-0) allowed one run — unearned — and five hits in seven innings. Billy Wagner, coming back from elbow surgery, pitched the ninth for his first save since last June 13 at Colorado. Braves 7, Marlins 5 Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer and Greg Maddux pitched five shutout innings as Atlanta waited out two rain delays before winning at Florida. Mike Lowell hit a grand slam for the Marlins (0-4), off to the worst start in their nine-year history. The Braves broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the sixth on an RBI single by B.J. Surhoff and a two-run single by pinch-hitter Javy Lopez against Jason Grilli (0-1). Dodgers 10, Giants 1 Luke Prokopec (1-0) allowed four hits in 7 2-3 innings and Eric Karros moved past Roy Campanella into third place on the Dodgers’ career home run list. Prokopec, making his fourth career start, gave up Bobby Estalella’s RBI single with two outs in the eighth at Los Angeles. Padres 10, Rockies 6 Mark Kotsay homered and drove in three runs and Wiki Gonzalez added a three-run double as San Diego avoided what would have been its first 0-4 start since 1994. Damian Jackson had four hits and scored twice to back Adam Eaton (1-0), who improved to 3-0 at Coors Field. He gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. Jeff Cirillo, Todd Walker and Neifi Perez homered for Colorado, which had been 3-0. Brian Bohanon (0-1) was pounded for eight runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. Cardinals 12, Diamondbacks 9 Fernando Vina went 5-for-5 with three RBIs in Arizona’s home opener, and rookie Albert Pujols had a home run, double and single as St. Louis won its first game of the season. Vina singled four times, then tripled to drive in two runs in the seventh inning for the fourth five-hit game of his career. Craig Paquette was 3-for-4, including a homer in the fifth, as St. Louis got 18 hits despite the absence of Mark McGwire and Jim Edmonds for the second game in a row.
McGwire has a sore right knee and Edmonds a sore left big toe. Ray Lankford tripled to drive in three runs in the Cardinals’ eight-run fifth.