Ian Kennedy was dominant in his first start with Kansas City. Kennedy threw seven strong innings, Eric Hosmer hit a two-run double during a five-run sixth and the Kansas City Royals beat the Houston Astros 6-2. Kennedy (2-0) started with five hitless innings and retired 14 straight before Carlos Gomez's leadoff single to center in the sixth.
Marcus Stroman's heavy sinker and Josh Donaldson's big bat helped the Toronto Blue Jays beat a division rival for their first series victory of the season. Donaldson hit a three-run home run, Troy Tulowitzki added a solo shot and the Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 4-2 on Thursday night. Stroman (2-0) allowed two runs and three hits in eight innings to win his seventh consecutive decision.
Yu Darvish described his yearlong recovery from Tommy John surgery as fun. ''I told the hitters, if you hit a home run, I'll give you $1,000,'' Darvish said through an interpreter Thursday, drawing laughter from reporters. Darvish threw a 30-pitch batting practice session Wednesday at the Rangers' ballpark, reporting no problems but saying a day later that cooler temperatures prevented him from getting completely loose.
After connecting for his first grand slam and 100th career home run, Bryce Harper is already thinking ahead to bigger milestones. Harper smashed a panel on an electronic signboard with his slam in the third inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the Braves 6-2 on Thursday to give Atlanta its ninth straight loss to start the season. Harper hit 42 of those homers last season while winning his first NL MVP award despite the Nationals falling short of the playoffs.
Jorge De La Rosa was asked about his hitting, but all he wanted to talk about was his pitching. It was understandable after he struggled in his first two outings, but the left-hander bounced back with a vintage Coors Field start. De La Rosa had two hits, drove in two runs and pitched into the seventh inning to lead the Colorado Rockies over the San Francisco Giants 11-6 on Thursday.
Jordan Zimmermann pitched six shutout innings, Nick Castellanos homered and drove in four runs and the Detroit Tigers remained unbeaten on the road with a 7-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Zimmermann (2-0), who signed a five-year, $110 million deal with Detroit last December, gave up six hits and two walks while striking out four. Castellanos hit a two-run double in the fourth off Gerrit Cole (0-2) and added a two-run homer in the eighth off Tony Watson.
Trevor Plouffe lingered in the dugout after Minnesota's ninth straight loss to open the season, staring at the diamond in disappointment. The bewildered Twins were left wondering how to explain this streak, let alone break it. Stumbling Thursday to the worst start by a major league team in 13 years, the Twins were beaten by Mat Latos, Avisail Garcia and the Chicago White Sox 3-1.
Danny Salazar gave Cleveland another strong start against Tampa Bay. Salazar gave up three hits in six innings, Marlon Byrd hit one of three Cleveland home runs and the Indians beat the Rays 6-0 Thursday. ''Being aggressive,'' Salazar said.