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Indians get jump on rivals

White Sox drop 2 of 3 to Cleveland

Right from the start, it appears the Cleveland Indians will mount a strong challenge to the Chicago White Sox.

Jason Michaels doubled in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning yesterday -- his fourth hit of the game -- and the Indians beat the White Sox, 4-3, in Chicago to take two of three in the opening series between the AL Central rivals.

Casey Blake singled leading off the 11th, moved up on Grady Sizemore's sacrifice, and scored when Michaels doubled to right-center against loser Neal Cotts.

''I think it's big to get off on the right foot, especially coming here with all these festivities going on and the crowd was fired up," Michaels said.

Guillermo Mota pitched out of jams in the eighth and ninth, Danny Graves got the win with a scoreless 10th, and Bob Wickman pitched the 11th for the save.

Mariners 6, Angels 4 -- Jarrod Washburn bested Jeff Weaver in a matchup of pitchers making debuts for new teams. Washburn struck out seven former teammates, and host Seattle's shaky bullpen held a lead for the second straight game in beating the Angels.

Washburn, signed to a $37 million, four-year contract, gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings, and walked none. Weaver, who left the Dodgers to sign an $8,325,000, one-year contract with the Angels, gave up five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Twins 13, Blue Jays 4 -- Torii Hunter hit a grand slam and tied a career-high with six RBIs, leading visiting Minnesota. Hunter went 4 for 5 and scored three runs.

His fifth career grand slam, in the eighth against Jason Frasor, gave Minnesota a 12-4 lead.

Tigers 14, Royals 3 -- Ivan Rodriguez went 5 for 5 with a homer, three doubles, and five RBIs, helping the Tigers to a two-game sweep of host Kansas City.

Winner Jeremy Bonderman went 6 2/3 innings, and the Tigers hit five home runs and pounded out 19 hits.

Orioles 16, Devil Rays 6 -- Off to their best start since 1997, unbeaten Baltimore stands alone atop the AL East. Jay Gibbons homered and drove in four runs, and Baltimore used a 16-hit attack to breeze past visiting Tampa Bay.

Before they turn their attention toward the remaining 160 games, the Orioles will savor the first two. After opening the season Monday with a 9-6 win over the Devil Rays, Baltimore cranked up the offense another notch against Seth McClung and a parade of relievers.

Cardinals 4, Phillies 3 -- While Jimmy Rollins stretched his hitting streak to 38 games, Philadelphia remained winless. Yadier Molina's two-out, run-scoring single off Tom Gordon in the ninth inning lifted visiting St. Louis.

Skip Schumaker hit his first career homer and Albert Pujols again went deep for the Cardinals. Winner Brad Thompson pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Jason Isringhausen escaped a jam in the ninth to get his first save.

Nationals 9, Mets 5 -- Ryan Zimmerman hit a tying homer off new Mets closer Billy Wagner, and Jose Guillen's two-run shot in the 10th inning sent visiting Washington to the victory.

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2 -- Orlando Hernandez won in his Diamondbacks debut, striking out eight in five innings to lead visiting Arizona. Acquired from the World Series champion White Sox during the offseason, Hernandez gave up 2 runs, 6 hits, and 2 walks. He struck out Matt Holliday three times.

Astros 6, Marlins 5 -- Lance Berkman and Preston Wilson each hit two-run homers and host Houston held off Florida. Craig Biggio had two hits and scored two runs as the defending NL champions took two of three in their opening series against the Marlins.

Brewers 3, Pirates 2 -- Prince Fielder hit a looping single that scored Geoff Jenkins in the eighth inning and lifted host Milwaukee. Fielder was 0 for 9 with seven strikeouts this year when he walked in the second to reach base for the first time this season.

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