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Astros kick off the 2013 season with a victory

Mar 31, 2013, 11:08 PM EDT

Texas Rangers v Houston Astros Getty Images

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.

  1. chill1184 - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Rangers did not have a good night

    • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      I was thinking maybe the Rangers missed their plane and they recruited 9 fans to play.

      Not that I disliked the result. I was pretty happy. But it did help that the Rangers looked like they had never seen a bouncing baseball before.

  2. jiminthebay - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    those jimmy wynn uniforms got power.

  3. aceinthehole12 - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    So glad baseball is back ! Excited for Oakland to kick off their 2013 campaign tomorrow night !

  4. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    David Murphy!!!!!******

  5. Ben - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Justin Maxwell, on pace for 324 triples.

    • elmo - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      M! V! P!
      M! V! P!
      M! V! P!

  6. aceshigh11 - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Astros over the Rangers?

    Who woulda thunk it?

    That said…thank god baseball is back.

  7. jerze2387 - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    NOW can we stop comparing the astros to the marlins?

  8. historiophiliac - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    I hope stex is having a really great evening. :)

    • cur68 - Apr 1, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      He’s singing a drunken toast to Bo Porter, mark my words.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 12:13 AM

        That’s a fine, fine thing.

      • indaburg - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:22 AM

        More like Justin Maxwell. Stex is in love.

      • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        I was on line with my friends in the fantasy group (baseball that is). Double good result. Astros win, and I picked up a couple of points on the Rangers in my fantasy team.

        No unreasonable expectations. It will be a tough year. But Houston fans need some positives.

        And maybe they will settle the cable broadcast dispute.

  9. butchhuskey - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Astros looked good! The true beauty of a small sample size!

  10. thekingdave - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Nah, stex is off finding something new to bitch about regarding the Astros.

    • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      There will plenty. Like getting telecasts. Have a nice day, Dave.

  11. axltcu - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    How many people do you think are racing to add Maxwell to their fantasy roster.

  12. Old Gator - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Ironic opening of the designatedhitterball season. Real baseball begins tomorrow.

    Justin Maxwell looks like a slender version of the Iron Giant.

    • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:37 AM

      Conmsistency is his challenge. But one can hope.

  13. tfbuckfutter - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Wow, apparently it’s Opposite Season!

    I’m going to play a bet on a Pirates/Royals World Series tomorrow.

  14. Charles Gates - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    ATH was poached! 😉

  15. stephenolszewski - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Not going to lie I’m shocked the Astros won, one reason why I love baseball

  16. jeffa43 - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Silencing the critics 1 W at a time. Awesome start.

    Hey Stex, what was wrong with today?
    Fat drunk and stupid Is no way to go through life son.

    • kiwicricket - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:58 AM

      So you are going to update us the other 60odd times the Astros win this season?
      I am sure Stex is more pleased with the win than you are. No need to be a cock, pal.

    • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      I told my buddies on the fantasy league you’d be on my case today. Just think, 62 more times and you get that free drink from me.

      What’s your over/under on the season?

  17. proudlycanadian - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    Congratulations to the Astros. After their first game as a member of the AL, they are alone on top of the AL standings.

  18. paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    I find it kind of sad that the Astros couldn’t get to 4K wins as an NL team and ended up with 3,999….just because in about 50 years they could have been the first team with at least 4K wins as a member of each league.

    • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      Really? i hadn’t seen that stat. Sorry they missed it, too.

  19. janessa31888 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    BASEBALL IS BACK!!! (Hums ‘Take Me out to the Ballgame’) Finally, an actual game summary. As someone who did not get to see the game, I really appreciate this.

  20. louhudson23 - Apr 1, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    And a young player stands at the plate gawking(hey look,a fly ball…..)and misses out on an Inside the Park HR,settling for a triple instead while doing his Cano impression….

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