NEW YORK — Derek Jeter gave Yangervis Solarte some assistance with Yankee Stadium tradition, then the rookie helped make the captain a winner in his final home opener Monday as New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 in the American League.
Jeter, who will retire at the end of the 2014 season, doubled high off the left-field wall and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single in the fifth. Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) went 6 1-3 sharp innings in the Yankees’ 112th opener in New York.
“It felt like maybe my first home opener. It was a fun time for me,” said the 39-year-old Jeter, who is starting his 20th season in Major League Baseball.
Playing in his first game in the Bronx, Solarte needed Jeter to tell him to wave to the group of fans known as the Bleacher Creatures when they chanted his name during the pregame roll call.
Jeter’s double-play grounder back to Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) then scored Solarte in the third inning for the Yankees’ first run.
Shawn Kelley pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.
In other American League games, the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox ended a three-game losing streak, beating the Texas Rangers 5-1 at home.
John Lackey pitched seven strong innings and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled in two runs for the Red Sox, who never lost more than three straight last year when they won the World Series. They avoided dropping their first four home games for the first time since 1984.
Lackey (2-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits in seven innings.
Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes, playing with an injured heel, hit a pair of RBIs to help the Athletics spoil the Minnesota Twins’ home opener with an 8-3 victory.
Cespedes hit a double in the second inning for the first run against Kevin Correia (0-1) and later had a sacrifice fly. Moss added a two-run single in the third and Derek Norris homered in the sixth.
In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals got a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in their home opener.
Michael Wacha (1-0) hadn’t allowed a run in 21 career innings against the Reds before back-to-back doubles by Brayan Pena and pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina in the fifth.
The NL championship series Most Valuable Player benefited from two double-play balls in six stingy innings and has permitted one run in 13 2-3 innings his first two starts.
Elsewhere, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 despite losing second baseman Omar Infante after he was hit in the face by a pitch from reliever Heath Bell.
The Los Angeles Angels routed the Houston Astros 9-1 and the Colorado Rockies defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-1.