Justin Maxwell and Bud Norris Lead Houston Astros to Opening Day Win Against Texas Rangers
The 4,000th win in franchise history for the Houston Astros marked a new beginning for the 52 year-old team. The Astros beat the Texas Rangers 8-2, Sunday, in their first game as a member of the American League West.
Starting pitchers Matt Harrison and Bud Norris exchanged scoreless innings through three.
Then, the Astros scored two runs in both fourth and fifth innings to essentially put the game away.
The scoring started with a Justin Maxwell two-run triple in the fourth inning off of the left field scoreboard. In the fifth, RBI singles by Ronny Cedeno and Jose Altuve both added to Houston’s run total.
Texas scored two runs in the top of the sixth, but an astute managing move by Astros manager Bo Porter led to more Astros runs. In the bottom of the sixth, Rangers manager Ron Washington pulled lefty Matt Harrison for right-hander Derek Lowe. Porter countered by pinch hitting lefty Rick Ankiel for Brandon Barnes. Ankiel took a slider from Lowe and launched it into the right field seats for a three-run homer.
Bud Norris pitched 5 2/3 innings to pick up the win and Erik Bedard pitched 3 1/3 to earn the save.
The Astros and Rangers have Monday off before resuming their series on Tuesday.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt (pictured, left), of the Houston Texans threw out the game’s first pitch.