Suzuki’s HR beats Rangers, A-Rod


Even without Alex Rodriguez, the Seattle Mariners were still better than the Texas Rangers — for one night at least. Ichiro Suzuki, the seven-time Japanese batting champion, hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, his first in the majors, to lead the Mariners over A-Rod and the Texas Rangers 9-7 Friday night. Rodriguez finished 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and two runs scored, two strikeouts and a flyout. In his first five games since signing a record US$252 million, 10-year contract, he is 5 for-20 (.250) with seven strikeouts and no RBIs. “It was exciting seeing a lot of my friends again, but it was a little weird going up against them,” said Rodriguez, who left Seattle to sign a US$252 million, 10-year contract with Texas this offseason. “I’m glad it’s over, glad it’s done.” Suzuki homered off Jeff Zimmerman (0-1) with one out in the 10th following Tom Lampkin’s leadoff walk. “The first thing that went through my mind was I guess Sasaki is coming in and the game’s over,” Suzuki said. Kazuhiro Sasaki, the Mariners’ other Japanese player, pitched a perfect 10th for his second save. Arthur Rhodes (2-0), the fifth Seattle pitcher, pitched 1 1-3 shutout innings. The biggest was a strikeout of Rodriguez in the ninth inning. “It was a good battle. It got 1-2 and he made a good pitch, borderline up and in and I swung right under it,” Rodriguez said. Red Sox 11, Devil Rays 4 Manny Ramirez lined a three-run homer on the first pitch to him at home with the Red Sox, and Boston won its fourth straight Fenway Park opener. Mike Lansing and Carl Everett hit solo homers in the fourth inning off Ryan Rupe (0-1) as Boston overcame a 3-0 first-inning deficit. Tim Wakefield (1-0) relieved Tomo Ohka in the fifth and allowed one run in three innings. Tigers 10, White Sox 9 Shane Halter singled in the go-ahead run off Keith Foulke (0-1) in the 10th as visiting Detroit fell behind 5-1 before rallying from four runs down to win it. Tony Clark hit a grand slam for the Tigers, and Frank Thomas, Jose Valentin and Ray Durham homered for the White Sox off starter Dave Mlicki. Danny Patterson (1-0) pitched two hitless innings for the Tigers, who won for the first time in three games this season. Twins 6, Royals 2 Corey Koskie and Tom Prince homered in the Royals’ home opener, giving Minnesota a 3-0 start for the first time since 1997. Kansas City is 0-4 for the first time since 1992. Joe Mays (1-0) gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings. Brian Meadows (0-1) allowed five runs and eight hits in four innings. Blue Jays 13, Yankees 4 Carlos Delgado homered twice and drove in five runs as visiting Toronto wrecked the major league debut of Christian Parker and sent the World Series champions to their first loss of the season. Esteban Loaiza (2-0) limited the Yankees to two runs in seven innings. Delgado raised his home run total to five and Jose Cruz Jr. also homered for Toronto. Parker (0-1), in his first game above Double-A, gave up seven runs and eight hits in three-plus innings. Indians 4, Orioles 3 Juan Gonzalez and Jim Thome homered on consecutive pitches as Cleveland rallied shortly after an 8-minute fog delay at Jacobs Field. Ricardo Rincon (1-0) relieved starter Dave Burba and got the win, striking out the only batter he faced. Bob Wickman closed for his first save. With the score 3-all, Jose Mercedes (0-1) walked Wil Cordero leading off the seventh and pinch-runner Jolbert Cabrera scored when Calvin Maduro walked Gonzalez with the bases loaded. Angels 5, Athletics 4 Ben Molina drove in three runs to spoil Oakland’s home opener. Matt Wise (1-0) struck out a career-high seven in six innings, allowing four runs and six hits. Troy Percival pitched the ninth for his first save. Mark Mulder (0-1) allowed five runs — four earned — and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.