Austin Kearns hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Hideo Nomo as Cincinnati beat Tampa Bay, 4-1. A right fielder with a history of injury problems, Kearns is trying to earn a starting spot in the crowded Reds outfield, which also includes Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn and Wily Mo Peña. . . .
Carl Pavano, whose arrival in New York has been overshadowed by Randy Johnson's, pitched two scoreless innings for the Yankees, who blew a late five-run lead and lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-6. "It's nice to get out there. It's what I've been waiting for," said Pavano, who struck out two, walked none and gave up three hits. . . .
"Every year the pressure seemed to mount because that 1918 was further back in time. Now that's not an issue anymore; I'm curious because The Curse is not the motivating factor. I'm not sure if the rivalry is going to be the same."
Yankees Manager Joe Torre, wondering what will happen to the New York-Boston rivalry
Tony Giarratano hit a two-run homer, Craig Monroe had an RBI double and eight pitchers combined on a four-hitter to lead the Tigers to a 3-0 victory over Philadelphia. . . .
World Series hero Derek Lowe pitched three scoreless innings in his Los Angeles debut, but Atlanta rallied to beat the Dodgers, 3-2, when first baseman Brian Myrow made two errors in the ninth. . . .
Dodgers outfielder Jayson Werth, who was hit by a pitch Wednesday, will miss two weeks with a small fracture in his left arm. . . .
All-star closer Joe Nathan and the Twins agreed on a two-year contract extension with a club option for 2008. Nathan then pitched two scoreless innings in a 5-2 win over Toronto.
-- From News Services