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Napoli’s 4 RBIs lead Red Sox over Orioles 6-2

April 3, 2014

BALTIMORE (AP) — Even though the Boston Red Sox insist that they’ve turned the page from last year, their first win of the season was eerily reminiscent of 2013.

David Ortiz and Mike Napoli homered, John Lackey threw six sharp innings and Boston ruined the Baltimore debut of Ubaldo Jimenez with a 6-2 victory Wednesday night.

Dustin Pedroia had four hits for the defending World Series champion Red Sox, now 1-1 after losing to Baltimore on opening day.

“Dustin, David and Mike. That’s three of the better hitters in the league,” said Boston manager John Farrell, who rode the trio to 97 wins during the 2013 regular season.

Lackey (1-0) looked even sharper than he did last year, when he had a 3.52 ERA in 29 starts. In this one, the right-hander allowed two runs and three hits before handing the ball to the bullpen, which finished with three scoreless innings.

“I just threw country hard balls the first few innings, then was able to mix in other pitches later on,” Lackey said. “I was very pleased for the first time. It felt pretty good. It’s something I can keep building on.”

Lackey said he made “one mistake” — an 0-2 pitch that Nelson Cruz hit over the right field wall for his second homer in two games. But the Orioles did little else right against Lackey, who walked one and struck out six in improving to 14-5 lifetime against Baltimore.

At Anaheim, James Paxton pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball and Robinson Cano drove in his first run for Seattle, which won 8-2 to complete a three-game sweep in its first series under new manager Lloyd McClendon.

The Athletics and Indians split a day-night double header.

Scott Kazmir shut out his former team into the eighth inning in his Oakland debut, helping the Athletics beat the Indians 6-1 in the first game.

In Game 2, Michael Brantley hit a two-run single in the ninth inning off new Oakland closer Jim Johnson that helped Cleveland salvage a split.

Elsewhere in the American League, the Blue Jays beat Tampa Bay 3-0, the Tigers edged the Royals 2-1 in 10 innings and the White Sox needed 11 innings to beat the Twins 7-6.

Dexter Fowler homered and tripled and Matt Dominguez added a home run late in a 3-1 win to help the Astros take their opening series from the New York Yankees with a second straight win.

Shin-Soo Choo drew a bases-loaded, game-ending walk against Jonathan Papelbon as the Rangers rallied in the ninth inning for the second night in a row, beating the Phillies 4-3 in an interleague game.

In the National League, Atlanta pitcher Aaron Harang and the Brewers’ Matt Garza had no-hit bids until Chris Johnson homered with two outs in the seventh inning to give the Braves a 1-0 win.

In a game that took 5 hours, 55 minutes, pinch-hitter Tony Sanchez singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 16th inning to give the Pirates a 4-3 victory over the Cubs — the longest game in Pittsburgh history by time.

At New York, Gio Gonzalez homered in his first start for the second straight season and pitched three-hit ball to lead the Nationals 5-1 over the Mets.

Ian Desmond also went deep and Jayson Werth had four hits for the Nationals, who followed up their 10-inning comeback on opening day with a more routine victory.

Jordan Lyles won in his Colorado debut as the Rockies held on for a 6-5 victory over the Marlins for their first win of the season.

After a long rain delay at Cincinnati, Chris Heisey’s single in the bottom of the ninth inning ended Reds record scoreless streak to open a season and sent them to a 1-0 victory over the Cardinals.

The Dodgers beat the Padres 5-1 in San Diego and the Giants had a 2-0 win over the Diamondbacks,