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Major League Baseball Report / News and notes

>Today's games

Detroit (Verlander) at N.Y. Yankees (Sabathia): The first batter in the batters box for the Yankees will not be Derek Jeter, who slumped to a .270 average last year and eliminated his stride from his much-scrutinized swing. Manager Joe Girardi tapped left-handed hitting Brett Gardner to lead off against righties.

L.A. Angels (Weaver) at Kansas City (Hochevar): The Royals' payroll of $38.5 million is the lowest in the majors and one reason they're not expected to finish much better than last again in the AL Central. This is the 50th anniversary season for the Angels.

Atlanta (Lowe) at Washington (Hernandez): Jayson Werth, the right fielder who left the Phillies to sign a $126 million, seven-year contract with the Nationals, is part of an all-new starting outfield for the Nats.

Milwaukee (Gallardo) at Cincinnati (Volquez): It's only the second time that the Brewers have opened the season in Cincinnati. The other time was a memorable game in 2000 -- Ken Griffey Jr.'s first with his hometown team after coming back in a trade with Seattle.

San Diego (Stauffer) at St. Louis (Carpenter): Slugger Albert Pujols was to begin what could be his final season with the Cardinals. He is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

San Francisco (Lincecum) at L.A. Dodgers (Kershaw): For the first time since 1955 and the first time in San Francisco, the Giants will open a season as defending World Series champions.

Compiled from News and wire service reports.

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