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Astros win home opener over Texas

Published On: Apr 01 2013 05:15:17 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 01 2013 05:12:50 AM CDT
Baseball stadium, fans, sports

Rick Ankiel hit a three-run homer and Justin Maxwell tripled twice as Houston opened its first season as an American League team by knocking off visiting Texas.

Bud Norris (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings to earn the win and Erik Bedard tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to record his first career save for the Astros. Jose Altuve added two hits and an RBI for Houston.

Matt Harrison (0-1) struck out nine but was charged with six runs - five earned - and six hits while walking three for the Rangers. Texas totaled six hits after losing former lineup anchors Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young in the off-season.

Maxwell gave the Astros their first runs as an AL team with a two-run triple off the left field wall in the fourth. Houston tacked on two more runs in the fifth with the help of a defensive miscue by Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, whose error allowed Brandon Barnes to score and Ronny Cedeno to streak all the way to third on a would-be single.

Texas got two runs against a tiring Norris in the sixth before Bedard came out of the bullpen to get the last out with the go-ahead run at the plate. The Astros got those runs back and more in the bottom of the frame when Ankiel was called upon to pinch hit and greeted right-hander Derek Lowe with a three-run blast to deep right.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The victory was the 4,000th in franchise history. … Astros rookie 3B Matt Dominguez scored a run and recorded an RBI single in addition to some sparkling defense at the hot corner. … Former Houston star Lance Berkman started at DH for the Rangers and went 2-for-4 with a run scored.