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Red Sox, Yankees and Braves stumble out of gate
Atlanta is stumbling in April the same way it did last September.
Yep, it was a wacky opening weekend in baseball, complete with stirring comebacks, near no-hitters and more than a few surprises.
One day after Ubaldo Jimenez pitched 6 2-3 hitless innings for Cleveland, Jason Hammel carried a no-hit bid into the eighth in his Baltimore debut. But the wildest finish Sunday came in Detroit, where the Tigers rallied twice on late homers against Boston’s beleaguered bullpen.
Cabrera and Prince Fielder singled before Delmon Young’s sacrifice fly cut the margin in half. Avila followed with a drive to right and the ball appeared to hit a restraining gate just above the wall before caroming back onto the field.
Avila paused near second base before being waved around by the umpires. The play was not reviewed.
Valentine said he asked and was assured by umpires that the ball had clearly hit the railing above the fence.
Duane Below (2-0) got one out for the win _ even though Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he wouldn’t be available _ in a game that lasted 4 hours, 45 minutes. Detroit swept the season-opening series, scoring 26 runs and winning twice in its final at-bat.
“I’m too tired right now,” Avila said. “I’m glad we have an off day (Monday). This weekend has been crazy.”
The bullpen has been a major problem, giving up 11 runs, 10 earned, and 18 hits over 11 1-3 innings in Detroit. Boston is without newly acquired closer Andrew Bailey, who had surgery on his right thumb. Aceves and Melancon are the primary candidates to close in Bailey’s absence, and both blew saves on Sunday.
By Tammy Bruce
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