Alex Rodriguez hit the 630th home run of his career, moving into a tie for fifth on Major League Baseball’s all-time list, as the New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.
New York pitcher Hiroki Kuroda threw eight shutout innings in front of a crowd of 49,386 at Yankee Stadium. The Japanese- born right-hander allowed five hits, walked two, and struck out six for his first win of the season.
Rodriguez hit Angels starter Ervin Santana’s first pitch of the third inning over the center field fence to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead. The third baseman’s first home run of the season pulled the 36-year-old even with retired outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. on baseball’s all-time list, 30 shy of Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays for fourth.
The Yankees opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning on a three-run double by right fielder Nick Swisher. Center fielder Curtis Granderson hit his second home run of the season in the fifth inning off Santana to finish the scoring.
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in his seventh game since signing a 10-year, $240 million contract with Los Angeles in December. The visiting team managed five hits, all singles, against Kuroda and David Robertson, who recorded the game’s final three outs after Kuroda allowed a hit to start the ninth inning.
The Yankees (4-3) have won 14 of their last 15 home openers and are a half game behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
-- Editor: Michael Sillup
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