ST. LOUIS — Michael Wacha outdid Tony Cingrani in a rematch of young power arms and the St. Louis Cardinals got a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first inning, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in their home opener on Monday.
Standing room attendance of 47,492, the largest crowd at 9-year-old Busch Stadium, braved day-long rain and temperatures in the 40s to greet the NL champions and visit the new Ballpark Village. Hundreds milled about the attached complex, which features five sports bars and rooftop seating.
The Cardinals bunched three hits and a walk over the first five hitters to take the early lead against Cingrani (0-1), who allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings last week in Cincinnati.
St. Louis ended a three-game losing streak on opening day, including a blowout loss to the Reds last year.
The 22-year-old Wacha (1-0), the NL championship series MVP, pitched six stingy innings.
Athletics 8, Twins 3
MINNEAPOLIS — Yoenis Cespedes proved he can play through a hurting right heel, giving Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics a spark with a pair of RBIs that helped spoil the Minnesota Twins’ home opener with an 8-3 victory on Monday.
Cespedes has been hobbling around the last few days with the injury, but the team wasn’t worried enough about it to hold him out of the lineup. The Cuban slugger followed a leadoff walk to Brandon Moss by crushing a double in the second inning for the first run against Kevin Correia (0-1) and hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Kazmir (2-0), who stymied with Twins in five starts against them last season for Cleveland, completed six innings with six hits, three runs and four walks allowed.
Angels 9, Astros 1
HOUSTON — C.J. Wilson pitched eight solid innings, Howie Kendrick and Raul Ibanez each drove in three runs and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Houston Astros 9-1 Monday.
The Angels took three of four from Houston after starting the season 0-3.
Kendrick drove in two with a single in a three-run first inning. He added an RBI with a single when the Angels tacked on three more in the seventh.
Kole Calhoun homered off Jarred Cosart (1-1), sending a drive to right field for his second shot of the series to push the lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning.
Wilson (1-1) yielded four hits and a run while fanning seven. He looked a lot more like the 17-game winner he was last year than he did in his first start this season when he allowed eight hits and six runs in 5 2-3 innings of a loss to Seattle.
Red Sox 5, Rangers 1
BOSTON — John Lackey pitched seven strong innings, Jackie Bradley Jr. singled in two runs and the Boston Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
The Red Sox 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 five days after giving up two runs over six innings in a 6-2 win at Baltimore. Chris Capuano pitched the eighth and Koji Uehara escaped a second-and-third jam in the ninth in a non-save situation.
Tanner Scheppers (0-1) allowed Bradley’s run-scoring hits in the second and fourth, and Boston added three runs in the eighth.