Who says winning games in April isn't important?
Certainly not the Chicago Cubs.The Cubs, who set a National League record by losing their first 14 games in '97, improved to 1-1 Wednesday night with a 10-3 victory over the Florida Marlins.
"I've never been on a team where winning the second game of the season meant so much," catcher Scott Servais said. "I guess it's part of being a Cub."
Mark Clark struck out 11 and Kevin Orie drove in four runs, both career-highs, as the Cubs moved nearly three weeks ahead of last year's pace.
Orie drove in runs with a single in the first, a double in the third, a solo homer off the left-field foul pole in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Teammate Sammy Sosa added an RBI double in the first and a run-scoring single in the third. Servais doubled home two runs in the ninth and Mickey Morandini added a two-run single.
The Cubs waited until April 20 to win a game last season, and they were reminded of the slow start after losing to the Marlins 11-6 on Tuesday.
ROCKIES 6, DIAMONDBACKS 0: At Phoenix, Vinny Castilla hit his third homer of the season and John Thomson pitched eight strong innings as expansion Arizona remained winless.
Dante Bichette had four hits and three RBIs and is now 8-for-10 in two games.
ASTROS 7, GIANTS 6: At Houston, Moises Alou hit a three-run homer off Orel Hershiser, and the Astros scored on a wild pitch and passed ball for their first win of the season.
PADRES 10, REDS 9: At Cincinnati, San Diego made it two in a row over the Reds with a seven-run sixth highlighted by Greg Myers' two-run double off Scott Sullivan. An error by right fielder Joe Nunnally allowed a third run to score.
PIRATES 4, EXPOS 0: Francisco Cordova and relievers Rich Loiselle and Marc Wilkins combined on a five-hitter for Pittsburgh in a game that drew a crowd of 31,220 - the smallest for a Montreal opener since 1986.
Pedro Martinez and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are all even. One AL win apiece.
Martinez, baseball's $75 million man, made a marvelous debut Wednesday night for Boston. The 1997 NL Cy Young winner struck out 11 and allowed just three hits in seven innings, leading the Red Sox over the Oakland Athletics 2-0.
The expansion Devil Rays earned their first victory ever, defeating the Detroit Tigers 11-8. Tampa Bay bounced back from its opening-day defeat and rewarded manager Larry Rothschild with a beer shower, rather than champagne.
Martinez, who signed a six-year contract after being traded from Montreal to Boston, faced his biggest jam in his final inning.
DEVIL RAYS 11, TIGERS 8: Tampa native Fred McGriff drove in four runs to lead his hometown team to its first victory at Tropicana Field.
Cuban defector Rolando Arrojo won in his major league debut, pitching six innings and leaving with a 7-4 lead. He is one of eight rookies on the Tampa Bay roster, and became the last one to play in a game.
ORIOLES 10, ROYALS 1: Cal Ripken hit the eighth grand slam of his career, highlighting a five-run first inning that carried Baltimore at Camden Yards.
Lenny Webster hit two solo homers and Jeffrey Hammonds also connected, giving Ray Miller his first win as the Orioles' manager.
BLUE JAYS 3, TWINS 2: Roger Clemens picked up where he left off in 1997, pitching two-hit ball for seven innings in the season opener at SkyDome.
Clemens, who won his fourth Cy Young Award last year, struck out three and walked three.
ANGELS 4, YANKEES 1: Chuck Finley improved to 15-8 lifetime against the Yankees as Anaheim opened its remodeled stadium with a win. Finley gave up four hits and struck out seven in seven innings.
INDIANS 9, MARINERS 7: Manny Ramirez homered twice and Cleveland overcame David Segui's two homers and five RBIs to complete a season-opening, two-game sweep at the Kingdome.
Sandy Alomar, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, and Ramirez each drove in three runs.