On the day they celebrated their 2014 American League pennant, the Kansas City Royals went out and played like champions.
Yordano Ventura fired six-plus sharp innings, Alex Rios went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer, and the Royals followed up the raising of last season's AL Championship banner by routing the Chicago White Sox 10-1 on Opening Day.
Mike Moustakas also homered and scored twice, while Alex Gordon delivered a two-run single and Alcides Escobar ended 2-for-4 with three runs scored as the Royals began their title defense with a performance much like the ones they produced for most of October.
Jeff Samardzija (0-1), one of several high-profile offseason acquisitions that have raised expectations in Chicago, conversely had a disappointing White Sox debut. The former Cubs ace was charged with five runs, walked three and hit two batters over six-plus innings of work.
Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu had the White Sox' lone highlight, slamming a solo homer off Ventura in the seventh inning.
American League Scoreboard
Toronto 6, New York 1
Detroit 4, Minnesota 0
Baltimore 6, Tampa Bay 2
Seattle 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 1
Boston 8, Philadelphia 0
Houston 2, Cleveland 0
Oakland 8, Texas 0
>>Dropped Fly Ball Allows Mets To Spoil Scherzer's Nats Debut
Lucas Duda hit a two-run single in the sixth inning and the New York Mets beat Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals by a 3-1 margin on Monday.
Scherzer's debut with the Nationals got off to a great start. The 2013 American League Cy Young award winner retired 17 in a row after walking Curtis Granderson to open the game.
But Granderson walked again with two outs in the sixth. David Wright then lifted a high pop to shallow right field. Shortstop Ian Desmond called off second baseman Dan Uggla, but the ball hit off Desmond's glove. Granderson advanced to third while Wright took second on the error. One batter later, Duda hit a two-run single to right-center field for a 2-1 Mets lead.
The Mets scored another run in the seventh. With one out, Juan Lagares reached on Desmond's throwing error and scored on a triple to center by catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
Scherzer (0-1), who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nats in the offseason, was charged with three unearned runs on four hits over 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked two.
Bartolo Colon (1-0) gave up one run on three hits over six innings for the Mets, who went 79-83 last year. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one.
At 41 years and 317 days old, Colon became the oldest Opening Day pitcher in Mets team history and the oldest to get the call for the league since Jamie Moyer (43 years, 136 days) and Randy Johnson (42 years, 205 days) back in 2006.
National League Scoreboard
Colorado 10, Milwaukee 0
Atlanta 2, Miami 1
Cincinnati 5, Pittsburgh 2
Los Angeles 6, San Diego 3