Astros kick off the 2013 season with a victory

31 Comments

The Houston Astros, playing their inaugural game as a member of the American League, defeated the Texas Rangers 8-2 on Opening Day in Major League Baseball.

The Astros got on the board first in the fourth inning when Justin Maxwell tripled to left field on a fly ball that bounced high off of the wall in front of the Crawford Boxes, scoring two runs. They padded their lead to 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Ronny Cedeno and Jose Altuve.

Astros starter Bud Norris shut the Rangers out for five innings, but slowed down in the sixth as his fastball velocity dipped below 90 MPH. David Murphy and Nelson Cruz both hit RBI singles with two outs, bringing the game back to 4-2 and chasing Norris in the process. Erik Bedard came in to clean up the inning.

Rick Ankiel put the game out of reach with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, pinch-hitting for right fielder Brandon Barnes. Justin Maxwell and Matt Dominguez had both reached base on walks, forcing Rangers starter Matt Harrison out of the game. Derek Lowe took the hill in relief, but Ankiel promptly served Lowe’s 3-2 slider into the seats in right field, putting the Astros up 7-2.

After Justin Maxwell’s second triple of the game in the bottom of the eighth (the first two-triple game on Opening Day since Tony Pena, Jr. with the Royals in 2007), the Astros added another run with two outs when Dominguez singled two second baseman Ian Kinsler, who had to range far to his right for a ground ball with lots of topspin.

Lefty Erik Bedard threw three and a third scoreless innings in relief, earning a save under the three-inning rule — the first save of his career. Today’s victory also marks the first victory of Bo Porter’s managerial career.

Report: Brewers to sign Brock Holt

Brock Holt
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers have signed infielder Brock Holt. Contract details are not yet known.

Holt, 31, spent most of the last six years as a part-time player with the Red Sox, playing a little bit of a lot of positions. Last year, he hit .297/.369/.402 with 19 extra-base hits, 31 RBI, and 38 runs scored in 295 plate appearances. He spent a majority of his time at second base but also logged time at first base, shortstop, third base, and both corner outfield spots.

It will be interesting to see how the Brewers deploy Holt. His best chances at playing time would figure to be at third base and shortstop.