CLEVELAND (AP) — Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning, two batters after Yan Gomes connected for a solo shot, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 7-2 home-opening win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
Swisher’s homer off Mike Pelfrey (0-1) allowed the Indians to cap a day of pomp and pageantry as they celebrated Progressive Field’s 20th anniversary. Before the sixth, the Indians had been shut out by Pelfrey and were in danger of disappointing a sellout crowd that stuck around following a 2-hour, 13-minute rain delay and plummeting temperatures.
Indians reliever Josh Outman (1-0) recorded two outs after coming in for Danny Salazar in the sixth and got the win.
Swisher added an RBI double and Michael Brantley hit a two-run single in Cleveland’s four-run seventh that broke it open.
Chris Colabello homered for the Twins.
Flat and hitless through four innings, the Indians woke up in the sixth when they finally figured out Pelfrey.
Gomes got things started with his leadoff homer, a lined shot into the center-field bullpen to trim Minnesota’s lead to 2-1. Lonnie Chisenhall walked and Nyjer Morgan sacrificed. Up came Swisher, who fell behind 0-1 before belting his homer, a towering fly pushed deeper into the right-field seats by strong winds.
Swisher posed to watch the ball’s flight and then punctuated the homer by flipping his bat as he headed down the first-base line. After crossing home plate, the Ohio native saluted Cleveland’s crowd by raising his arms and making an “O” and then “H” an “I” and “O.”
Before the game, Swisher complimented Cleveland’s front office for signing All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis to a six-year, $52.5 million contract hours before the opener.
“Bro, I think it’s awesome, so amazing,” he said. “I feel that we’re starting to create an identity of who we are.”
That process began last season, when the Indians won their last 10 games to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007. They lost the wild-card game to Tampa Bay, but Cleveland entered this season with expectations to go even further this October.
Pelfrey coasted through Cleveland’s lineup the first time, and he retired Cleveland’s first 12 hitters before Carlos Santana opened the fifth with a double.
The Twins wasted no time once the game began, scoring two runs in the first off Salazar on Josh Willingham’s sacrifice fly and Colabello’s wind-blown homer to right-center.
The free-swinging Colabello, who played seven years in the independent Canadian-American Association before signing with the Twins in 2012, was the International League’s MVP with Triple-A Rochester last season. He batted just .194 but hit seven homers in 55 games with the Twins.
Tigers 10, Orioles 4
DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera homered in eighth inning for his 2,000th career hit, and the Detroit Tigers rolled to a 10-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.
Cabrera also hit three singles. His two-run drive made him the ninth player to reach 2,000 hits before turning 31.
Rajai Davis and Torii Hunter also homered for the Tigers. Drew Smyly (1-0) relieved Anibal Sanchez after a fourth-inning rain delay and pitched three scoreless innings.
Miguel Gonzalez (0-1) allowed seven runs and nine hits in 3-plus innings.
The game was delayed 10 minutes at the start and 34 minutes in the fourth on a chilly day.
Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy sat out because of light spasms in his lower back.
Mets 4, Reds 3
NEW YORK — Lucas Duda hit a pair of two-run homers only hours after the Mets gave him the starting job at first base, and New York beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Friday night behind Jenrry Mejia for its first victory of the season.
Replacement closer Jose Valverde struck out Jay Bruce with two on to end it, and the Mets avoided their first 0-4 start since opening with five consecutive losses in 2005.
The 24-year-old Mejia (1-0), who beat out Daisuke Matsuzaka for the final spot in the rotation, struck out a career-high eight in six innings. Flashing a sharp breaking ball, he allowed one run and four hits in a steady rain and mist. Mike Leake (0-1) gave up five hits and three walks in 6-plus innings for the Reds.