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>>Cubs Blast Angels Again

 

Jon Lester pitched seven strong innings in his season debut and the Chicago Cubs got home runs from Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler and Matt Szczur in a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

 

Lester (1-0) threw 93 pitches, allowing a run and four hits. The three-time All-Star, who broke Ken Holtzman's 1970 franchise record for strikeouts by a left-hander with 207 last season, fanned four and walked none in his 12th career start against the Angels.

 

Lester, who won two World Series rings with Boston, is in the second season of a $155 million, six-year contract. Last year, his first in the National League, he was 11-12 with a 3.34 ERA in 32 starts.

 

Angels starter Andrew Heaney (0-1) gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

 

>>Rollins Homer Sends White Sox Past A's

 

Jimmy Rollins hit a tiebreaking homer off closer Sean Doolittle with two outs in the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Tuesday night.

A native of the Bay Area who was signed to a minor league deal by the White Sox in February, Rollins connected on a 2-2 pitch after Chicago's bullpen blew a two-run lead in the eighth.

 

Todd Frazier also homered for Chicago, a three-run shot in the fifth. Austin Jackson added an RBI infield single and Adam Eaton had three hits.

 

The White Sox are 2-0 on the road for the first time since 2011.

 

Nate Jones (1-0) pitched one inning for the win and David Robertson worked a scoreless ninth for his second save.

 

Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie drove in two runs apiece for the A's. Oakland has lost 13 of its last 18 against Chicago.

 

>>Pirates Need Extras To Complete Comeback on Cardinals

 

Jordy Mercer singled home Gregory Polanco from second base with one out in the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Polanco drew a walk from Seth Maness (0-1) with one out and made it to second on Josh Harrison's infield single. Mercer slapped a single to right for his fourth career game-ending hit.

 

Mercer finished with two hits and has two RBI during Pittsburgh's 2-0 start. He hit just .197 with four RBIs in 18 games last April.

 

Kyle Lobstein (1-0) pitched two innings of relief for the win. Andrew McCutchen had three hits for Pittsburgh.

 

Harrison and David Freese had two hits each as the Pirates won despite struggling against the St. Louis bullpen. Six different Cardinals relievers combined to retire 18 straight before Maness' walk to Polanco set up the winning rally.

 

Jedd Gyorko hit his first home run for St. Louis, and Stephen Piscotty went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

 

The Cardinals left 10 runners on in a 4-1 loss in the opener. They left just seven on base this time but went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

 

Pittsburgh left-hander Jon Niese labored through five innings giving up five runs, four earned, and five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. The defense behind him didn't help.

 

Polanco took a wide route on Piscotty's shot to the gap in the fifth that turned into a triple, and Piscotty scored as Mercer threw wide to first on a grounder to shortstop by Matt Holliday, putting the Cardinals up 5-3.

 

St. Louis starter Michael Wacha, who won his first seven decisions in 2015 en route to his first All-Star appearance, struggled with his curveball and Pittsburgh pounced. Wacha gave up five runs, four earned, in 4 1/3 innings, leaving after four straight Pirates reached.

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