Sabathia roughed up; Griffey homers
Baltimore beat up on CC Sabathia, Ken Griffey Jr. homered in his return to the Seattle Mariners and Emilio Bonifacio became the first player in 41 years to hit an inside-the-park home run on opening day.
Following a winter of worry about whether the recession would damage attendance, major league baseball returned across the nation Monday.
Atlanta beat World Series champion Philadelphia 4-1 on Sunday night and 26 more teams had been slated to open Monday before bad weather caused a pair of postponements: Tampa Bay at Boston and Kansas City at the Chicago White Sox.
They’ll now get going on Tuesday, when Milwaukee and the Giants were scheduled to meet in San Francisco in the last of the 15 openers.
In AL games Monday, it was: Baltimore 10, the New York Yankees 5; Seattle 6, Minnesota 1; Texas 9, Cleveland 1; Los Angeles Angels 3, Oakland 0; and Toronto 12, Detroit 5.
In the NL, it was the New York Mets 2, Cincinnati 1; Florida 12, Washington 6; Chicago 4, Houston 2; Los Angeles 4, San Diego 1; Arizona 9, Colorado 8; and Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 4.
Even with economic worries, most openers were sold out despite some chilly conditions.
At Camden Yards, Baltimore took advantage of a wobbly Yankees debut by Sabathia, whose $161 million, seven-year contract is the richest for a pitcher.
Sabathia allowed six runs, eight hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings. He threw two wild pitches and failed to strike out any batters for the first time since July 2005.
‘‘I was terrible,’’ Sabathia said. ‘‘I battled from the first inning on.’’
It was an inauspicious start for the high-priced Yankees. After missing a postseason for the first time since 1993, New York spent $423.5 million on free agents Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira during the offseason.
Adam Jones and Brian Roberts each had three of Baltimore’s 14 hits. Aubrey Huff drove in three runs and winner Jeremy Guthrie gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.
At Minneapolis, the 41-year-old Griffey hit his eighth opening-day homer, matching the record set by Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. Junior also raised his total against the Twins to 41, his most against any opponent.
At Arlington, Texas, the Rangers’ Kevin Millwood allowed one run over seven innings in his fourth consecutive opening-day start, and the Rangers scored seven runs in five innings off AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee.
Hank Blalock and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for the Rangers, whose 15 hits off four pitchers matched their most in an opener. Lee who allowed only four earned runs in his first seven starts a year ago, then finished 22-3 with an AL-leading 2.54 ERA.
At Toronto, Adam Lind homered, had four hits and drove in six runs — a Toronto record for an opener. Roy Halladay won despite allowing five runs and six hits in seven innings.
Umpires waved both teams off the field for nine minutes in the eighth inning after two balls were thrown from the stands in the direction of Tigers left fielder Josh Anderson. Groundskeepers cleared paper airplanes and empty beer cups from the warning track as the public address announcer read a