Greg Luzinski's three-run, first-inning homer backed the eight-hit pitching of Steve Carlton and helped the Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Montreal Expos, 6-3, last night in the Phils' season opener before a crowd of 48,450.
Montreal starter Steve Rogers retired the first two Phillies, then walked Garry Maddox and Mike Schmidt. Luzinski, trying to come back from his worst season when he managed just 18 home runs, crashed a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence.
In an afternoon game in New York Dave Kingman drove in four runs with two homers and Jerry Martin hit two bases-empty shots to power the Chicago Cubs to a 7-5 victory over the Mets.
Kingman, who topped the major leagues with 48 home runs last season, led off the second with a 400-foot blast over the left-field wall. One out later, Martin teed off on Met starter and loser Ray Burris (0-1).
Kingman capped the third-inning rally with a three-run shot to give the Cubs a 5-1 lead.
In St. Louis, Ed Ott's two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals.
In Houston, Luis Pujols hit a two-run double as the Astros rallied for five runs in the eighth inning and defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 10-6.
Craig Reynolds tied the score with a leadoff home run in the eighth off Dodger reliever Don Stanhouse. Singles by Cesar Cedeno and Enos Cabell and a walk to Cruz loaded the bases before Pujols doubled over first base. Cabell scored when shortstop Derrel Thomas bobbled the relay throw from the outfield.
In Cincinnati, Ken Griffey, who earlier in the day ended his contract dispute by signing a new two-year pact, drove in a run with a first-inning triple to lead to Reds to a rain-shortened 6-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
In San Diego, Dave Cash scored the after a modern-day record three err-tie-breaking run on an infield out after a modern-day record three errors in the seventh inning by San Francisco third baseman Darrell Evans and the San Diego Padres went on to defeat the Giants, 5-3.
Evans' errors came on successive ground balls after the Giants had scored once in the top of the seventh to take a 3-2 lead. Rollie Ringers was the winner in relief and Gary Lavelle took the loss.