Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman homered on consecutive pitches in the first inning, Justin Verlander pitched seven solid innings and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Friday night.
George Springer doubled twice for the Astros, including one that appeared to clear the wall and ricochet back onto the field. Instead of a homer, after a crew chief review requested by manager AJ Hinch, Springer had one of Houston's four doubles in a three-run fifth inning.
Verlander (3-0) limited the Rangers to one run and three hits over seven innings. He struck out eight and walked three.
Danny Santana hit a solo homer in the sixth for the Rangers, whose four-game winning streak had been the longest in the American League. Joey Gallo launched a towering solo homer in the ninth that measured 442 feet.
The Astros were 2-5 a week into this season after losing two of three at Texas. They followed that with a 10-game winning streak that pushed them back into the AL West lead, and were coming off their first loss since they got back to Globe Life Park for the second time already this season.
Springer led off the game against Drew Smyly (0-2) with a double and scored when Altuve homered off the left field pole. Bregman went deep on the next pitch to make it 3-0 before the first out.
Smyly struck out eight but walked three and allowed four runs while throwing 102 pitches in his 3 2/3 innings. The lefty has pitched only 15 innings in his four starts for the Rangers, after spending last season in the Chicago Cubs organization rehabbing from Tommy John surgery he had in July 2017.
Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel had consecutive doubles to open the fifth for the Astros. With two on and two out later in the inning, Springer lined a ball that just cleared the 8-foot wall in the right field corner and bounced off a metal railing. It was initially ruled an RBI double, instead of a three-run homer, and that call stood after the replay review.
LOT OF Ks
The Astros had a season high 13 strikeouts against the first three Rangers pitchers.
Rangers: 1B Ronald Guzman (right hamstring strain) is still about two weeks away from being back from the injured list. Guzman is already hitting, and before the game did some running in arcs along the outfield edge of the infield dirt.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-2, 3.24) has 36 strikeouts and only six walks in his first four starts. He lost at the Rangers on April 3, when he allowed three runs and four hits over six innings.
Rangers: Adrian Sampson (0-1, 5.93) makes his second start filling in the rotation spot of Edinson Volquez, who is on the injured list. Sampson allowed seven runs pitching into the seventh Sunday against Oakland.
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