• Volquez, Hosmer star as Royals down Mets

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    Edinson Volquez No.36 of the Kansas City Royals pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium on April 3, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. AFP

    Edinson Volquez No.36 of the Kansas City Royals pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium on April 3, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. AFP

    LOS ANGELES: Edinson Volquez threw six scoreless innings and Eric Hosmer scored three singles and drove in a run as the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets 4-3 in Major League Baseball’s marquee season-opening match-up on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

    The replay of last season’s World Series saw Volquez, who started in last year’s decisive game five, make five strike outs with three walks and two hits.

    Mets right-hander Matt Harvey gave up four runs on eight hits with two walks. Harvey (0-1) struck out three.

    The Royals scored a pair of runs in the sixth on four hits to make it 4-0.

    Alex Gordon and Omar Infante both chipped in with run-producing singles. Infante’s scored off Bartolo Colon after Salvador Perez’s single prompted Harvey’s exit.

    Harvey’s participation had been in doubt after he suffered a bladder infection that caused a blood clot.

    Harvey shut out the Royals for eight innings in Game 5 of the World Series, but Kansas City rallied to tie it in the ninth and win it with a five-run 12th.

    Elsewhere Sunday, Francisco Liriano was the hero in Pittsburgh, where he pitched six scoreless innings and struck out 10 to lead the Pirates to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

    “You’re always a little nervous, a little anxious, a little excited,” Liriano said of taking the mound on Opening Day. “Then you just have to relax and have some fun.”

    The left-hander also had the unexpected distinction of producing the first run-batted-in of 2016 with a single that scored Gregory Polanco in a two-run second inning.

    “He can surprise you sometimes,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Liriano, a .125 lifetime hitter. “That’s why we turn him loose once in a while.”

    While Liriano is an old hand at Opening Day starts, Toronto Blue Jays hurler Marcus Stroman was getting his first taste of launching a season.

    Stroman flirted with a complete game, pitching into the ninth inning in a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida.

    “He rose to the occasion,” Jays manager John Gibbons said after Stroman held the Rays to one run on four hits through eight innings.

    “You look at him and there’s not many guys that size that normally do that, but there’s something different about this kid,” Gibbons added of Stroman, who at 5-foot-8 was the shortest Opening Day starting pitcher in 45 years.

    Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki belted the first homer of the season, a two-run blast to left field off Rays reliever Ryan Webb.

    AFP

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