DETROIT — CC Sabathia pitched seven scoreless innings and Jayson Nix homered off Justin Verlander in the three-run second, lifting the New York Yankees to a 7-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
The Yankees (2-4) avoided a sweep and dropping to their worst six-game record since starting the 1989 season 1-7.
New York’s ace had a lot to do with helping his team get the much-needed win.
Sabathia (1-1) gave up four hits and three walks while striking out four in 114 pitches, bouncing back from a dreadful opening-day start.
Verlander (1-1) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks.
The Yankees got all the run support they needed in the second inning when Francisco Cervelli hit an RBI double and Nix followed with a two-run, two-out homer to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
Yankees reliever David Robertson entered the game in the eighth and got out of a two-on, one-out jam by getting Victor Martinez to hit a fly to shallow center and Matt Tuiasosopo to strike out. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth, drawing some cheers after he was honored in a pregame ceremony for his planned retirement. Rivera gave up two hits and ended the game by striking out Torii Hunter.
Phil Coke replaced Verlander with one out and nobody on base in the seventh, and let the Yankees score two more runs — on Ichiro Suzuki’s sacrifice fly and Cervelli’s single — for a five-run cushion. Kevin Youkilis made it 7-0 with a two-run single off Octavio Dotel.
After losing the first two games in Detroit by a combined score of 16-7, the Yankees put a strong performance together at the plate on the mound and in the field.
Red Sox 13, Blue Jays 0: In Toronto, Will Middlebrooks hit three home runs, Mike Napoli added a two-run shot, and the Boston Red Sox roughed up Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey.
Middlebrooks went 4-for-5 with four RBIs. He hit two home runs off Dickey, a two-run shot to right in the first inning and a solo drive into the second deck in left in the fifth. He connected again off Dave Bush with a leadoff homer to left in the seventh, the first three-homer game of his career.
Middlebrooks, who doubled and scored in the third, flied out to the warning track in his final at-bat in the eighth.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava also went deep as the Red Sox connected for six home runs.
Athletics 9, Astros 3: In Houston, Brett Anderson struck out 10 more Astros and Oakland backed him with three home runs to complete a three-game sweep.
Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and Chris Young homered for Oakland, sending Houston to its fifth straight loss.
The Astros, playing their first year in the American League, went 1-5 on their season-opening homestand against Texas and Oakland. They’ll now start a nine-game road trip to the West Coast against division opponents.
Anderson (1-1) and the A’s bullpen combined for 14 strikeouts. The Astros have fanned 74 times overall in six games.
Twins 4, Orioles 3: In Baltimore, Aaron Hicks ended an 0-for-13 skid with a tiebreaking RBI single in a two-run seventh inning, rallying Minnesota past the Orioles.
J.J. Hardy homered for the Orioles, who dropped the final two games of the weekend set. It was their first series loss to the Twins since July 2010.
Trailing 3-2, the Twins started their comeback when Jason Hammel (1-1) plunked Trevor Plouffe on the left elbow leading off the seventh and Wilkin Ramirez followed with a single. After Brian Dozier’s sacrifice bunt, pinch-hitter Chris Parmelee tied it with a sacrifice fly and Hicks got his go-ahead hit.
Anthony Swarzak (1-0), activated from the disabled list before the game after missing time with fractured ribs, pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
White Sox 4, Mariners 3, 10 innings: In Chicago, Dayan Viciedo hit a solo home run with one out in the 10th inning for the White Sox.
Viciedo hit the first game-ending homer of his career, connecting against Kameron Loe (1-1).
Adam Dunn and Alex Rios homered earlier for Chicago. The White Sox improved to 26-5 against Seattle since 2010.
Addison Reed (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th.
Indians 13, Rays 0: In St. Petersburg, Fla., Mark Reynolds and Lonnie Chisenhall hit three-run homers off AL Cy Young Award winner David Price, Justin Masterson pitched seven strong innings for the Cleveland Indians.
Carlos Santana had a career-high five hits, including a home run and a pair of doubles.
Price (0-1) gave up eight runs, 10 hits and three walks in five innings. He had been 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in six career starts against Cleveland.
It was a tough day for Cy Young pitchers. The reigning NL winner, R.A. Dickey, was roughed up by Boston by the same 13-0 score in a romp over Toronto.
Royals 9, Phillies 8: In Philadelphia, Billy Butler hit a grand slam that was confirmed by video review and tied a Royals franchise record with seven RBIs.
Butler’s fifth-inning homer, the first slam of his career and the first ever allowed by Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels, put Kansas City ahead 6-4.
James Shields (1-1), acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay, earned his first victory as a Royal. The right-hander gave up hits to five of the first six batters in a four-run first inning, but settled down to blank the Phillies for the next five innings on five hits while striking out eight and walking none.