ARLINGTON, Texas — George Springer hit a leadoff homer, Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings and the Houston Astros started their championship defense Thursday with a 4-1 victory against the Texas Rangers.

Jake Marisnick also homered for the Astros, whose 57th year as a franchise began with them as reigning World Series champs for the first time.

Elvis Andrus led off the ninth against Ken Giles, the third Astros reliever, with a double. Andrus scored on a wild pitch and the Rangers avoided being shut out in a home opener for the first time since 1992.

Verlander (1-0) struck out five, walked two and allowed only four singles. He is 6-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his six regular-season starts since his last-minute approval of a trade from the Detroit Tigers last Aug. 31 that made him eligible for the Astros’ postseason roster. He was 5-0 last September, then won four more postseason games, and was the AL Championship Series MVP.

ORIOLES 3, TWINS 2: Adam Jones homered on Fernando Rodney’s first pitch starting the bottom of the 11th inning, and Baltimore won at home for its eighth consecutive win on Opening Day.

After working out of trouble in the 10th, Rodney’s debut with the Twins came to an abrupt end when Jones went deep to left.

YANKEES 6, BLUE JAYS 1: Giancarlo Stanton had two home runs, including the hardest-hit, opposite-field home run since tracking exit velocity began in 2015, and also doubled as New York won at Toronto and gave Aaron Boone a win in his first game as a professional manager.

Luis Severino (1-0) pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Yankees, who won their opener for the first time since 2011.

ATHLETICS 6, ANGELS 5: Marcus Semien singled into an empty center field with one out in the 11th inning, beating Los Angeles’ five-man infield to lift Oakland at home.

Boog Powell hit a one-out triple off Noe Ramirez (0-1) to start the winning rally. Matt Joyce was intentionally walked to bring up Semien.

WHITE SOX 14, ROYALS 7: Matt Davidson became the fourth player in major league history to homer three times on Opening Day, and Chicago went deep six times at Kansas City, Missouri, to spoil the Royals’ 50th anniversary celebration.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CUBS 8, MARLINS 4: Ian Happ homered on the first pitch of the major league season, and Anthony Rizzo also homered, leading Chicago at Miami.

Rizzo homered into the upper deck in the second inning.

METS 9, CARDINALS 4: Yoenis Cespedes drove in three runs and newcomer Adrian Gonzalez hit a go-ahead double to lead Noah Syndergaard and New York at home.

BREWERS 2, PADRES 1: Orlando Arcia singled in Ji-Man Choi with two outs in the 12th inning to lift Milwaukee at San Diego.

BRAVES 8, PHILLIES 5: Nick Markakis hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, capping Atlanta’s comeback from a five-run deficit Gabe Kapler’s managing debut with Philadelphia.

GIANTS 1, DODGERS 0: Joe Panik homered off Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning and San Francisco won at Los Angeles, dealing Kershaw his first loss in his franchise-record eighth consecutive opening-day start.

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