KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The reigning champion Kansas City Royals picked up where they left off in November, beating Matt Harvey and the New York Mets 4-3 on Sunday night in the first opening-day rematch of a World Series.
With runners at the corners in the ninth inning, All-Star closer Wade Davis struck out David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes to preserve the win.
Edinson Volquez (1-0), who started the decisive Game 5 at Citi Field last fall, allowed two hits and three walks over six scoreless innings, his night curtailed by an inflated pitch count rather than anything the Mets did.
It wasn't until Joakim Soria came on in the eighth that New York rallied, scoring three times on Lucas Duda's two-run single and Neil Walker's RBI groundout.
BLUE JAYS 5, RAYS 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Marcus Stroman outpitched Chris Archer in his first opening day start, helping the Toronto Blue Jays begin defense of their first AL East title in 22 years with a victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Stroman allowed three runs and six hits over eight-plus innings for the Blue Jays, who won 93 games in 2015 before making a run to the AL Championship Series in their first playoff appearance since 1993.
Troy Tulowitzki hit the first home run of the 2016 MLB season, a two-run shot for Toronto. Edwin Encarnacion had two hits and drove in two runs after not having an at-bat in a major league exhibition all spring training because of injuries.
PIRATES 4, CARDINALS 1
PITTSBURGH — Francisco Liriano tied a Pirates opening day record by striking out 10 and singled home the first run of the 2016 Major League Baseball season for good measure, sending Pittsburgh past the St. Louis Cardinals.
It was 39 degrees when Liriano threw the first pitch of the year. He allowed just three hits and walked five in six shutout innings. His RBI hit in the second came off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
David Freese, the 2011 World Series MVP for the Cardinals, had two hits against his former club in his debut with Pittsburgh. Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco also had two hits apiece for the Pirates.