HOUSTON (AP) – Adrian Beltre homered and drove in two runs and Michael Young broke out of a slump with two hits and an RBI to lift the Texas Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
The Rangers were up 3-1 when Beltre belted his eighth homer, a two-out solo shot to left-center in the seventh inning. Beltre put the Rangers on top 1-0 in the third with a sacrifice fly. He also doubled in the fifth and scored on Young’s double to make it 3-1.
Young entered the game in a 0-for-11 slide and was 5 for 41 with one RBI in his previous nine games.
Texas starter Neftali Feliz allowed three hits and a run with five walks in 4 2-3 innings – his shortest start of the year. He was relieved by Robbie Ross (5-0), who allowed one hit in 2 1-3 innings for the win.
Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
Facing a left-handed starter for the seventh time in their last 12 games, the Rangers got to Wandy Rodriguez (3-4) for a season-high 10 hits and three runs in six innings.
The crowd of 34,715 was much larger than what Houston has been drawing this season. Many fans were rooting for the Rangers, with chants of “Let’s go Rangers!” breaking out sporadically and bellows of “Cruuuuuz” filling the park each time right fielder Nelson Cruz was at the plate. Some of the loudest cheers of the night came when Texas president Nolan Ryan, who pitched for both the Astros and Rangers, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Kinsler opened the third inning with a double, which bounced off the wall in center field. Hamilton singled with one out before Kinsler scored on the sacrifice fly by Beltre to make it 1-0. Hamilton stole second base before scoring on a single by Cruz to put Texas up 2-0.
Beltre and Young hit consecutive one-out doubles to tack on a run in the fifth.
Altuve walked in the fifth and a walk by Lowrie with two outs chased Feliz. He was replaced by Ross, who retired Brian Bogusevic to end the inning.
Bogusevic singled with one out in the second. Feliz then plunked Chris Johnson in the back with a pitch before walking Jason Castro. Feliz worked out of the bases-loaded jam with a strikeout by Rodriguez and a flyout by Jordan Schafer.
NOTES: The bat that Hamilton used when he hit four homers on May 8 at Baltimore arrived at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Friday. … Schafer got his 13th stolen base in the first inning. … Houston is the 14th different team the Rangers have played to start the season. Texas is the first team in major league history to begin a season playing a different opponent in each of its first 14 series, according to information provided by the Rangers from the Elias Sports Bureau. … The series continues Saturday when Texas left-hander Derek Holland faces Lucas Harrell. … The Astros have sold the rights of Triple-A Oklahoma City RHP Henry Sosa to the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization.