The New York Yankees picked up right where they left off last October, as Orlando Hernandez allowed two hits in eight innings and Bernie Williams drove in six runs to push the World Series champions past the Texas Rangers 8-0 in their AL Division Series opener.
Williams, showing why the Yankees paid $87.5 million to keep him, had a two-run double off loser Aaron Sele in the fifth, a three-run homer off Mike Venafro in the sixth and an RBI single off Jeff Fassero in the eighth.
|Edgardo Alfonzo is greeted by first baseman John Olerud after Alfonzo hit a home run in the first inning.|
Edgardo Alfonzo hit a solo home run off Randy Johnson in the first inning, and then a tiebreaking grand slam with two outs in the ninth off reliever Bobby Chouinard as the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 in the opener of their NL playoff series.
Johnson, who left the game with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, lost his sixth-straight postseason decision, a major league record. He struck out 11 and held on through an exhausting 138 pitches as Arizona rallied from a 4-1 deficit to tie it at 4.
|Daryle Ward, right, gets congratulations from teammate Tony Eusebio after Ward's sixth-inning home run.|
Daryle Ward, who started the season in Triple-A, hit a leadoff homer against Greg Maddux in the sixth inning to send the Houston Astros on their way to a 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the NL Division Series.
The Astros sealed the victory in the ninth with four runs against reliever Mike Remlinger. Carl Everett had a sacrifice fly before Ken Caminiti hit a three-run homer.