Dexter Fowler homers, triples as Astros beat Yankees again
The Houston Astros aren’t getting too ahead of themselves after opening the season 2-0.
Still, taking the first series of the year from the New York Yankees is a pretty big deal for a team that has lost 324 games in the last three seasons combined.
"Obviously no one expected us to come in here and win a series from the Yankees and no one really expected much from the Astros period," starting pitcher Jarred Cosart said. "If we keep playing together like this and keep finding ways to win games, who knows what can happen."
Dexter Fowler homered and tripled, and Matt Dominguez added a home run late to help the Astros earn a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night.
Houston won the opener 6-2 on Tuesday and put a damper on the first series of Derek Jeter’s final season. Jeter was 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout.
"They played well, they pitched well today," Jeter said. "It would be nice to score some more runs, but sometimes the other teams are going to have games like that."
Fowler’s leadoff homer put Houston up, and he scored the second run after his triple in the third.
The Yankees scored in the seventh before the Astros added an insurance run with Dominguez’s homer in the bottom half.
Cosart (1-0) allowed four hits in five scoreless innings, and Josh Fields pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
Hiroki Kuroda (0-1) yielded three hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings.
The offseason trade for Fowler has paid immediate dividends for Houston. The longtime Colorado player had a pair of doubles on Tuesday and is now the first player in franchise history with two extra-base hits in each of his first two games with the team.
"Being a leadoff guy you’re a catalyst, and that’s what I’m always trying to do, just get on base and let the other guys do their jobs," Fowler said. "If we work together as a team we’ll win a lot of games."
Fowler had a lucky charm on Wednesday night as his infant daughter Naya Iman, attended her first regular-season game.
"It was awesome," he said breaking into a huge smile at the mention of his daughter. "I was looking for them, but I didn’t see them. She’s probably in there sleeping. Just for her being here is awesome, that’s all you can ask for."
The Astros were up 2-0 in the seventh when Yangervis Solarte grounded into a double play, with runners at first and third, and Brett Gardner scored on to cut the Yankees’ deficit in half. It was the first major league plate appearance for Solarte.
The two-out homer by Dominguez off David Phelps landed about three rows up in the right field stands to stretch Houston’s advantage to 3-1.
Carlos Beltran doubled off Matt Albers on the first pitch of the eighth inning before Albers struck out the next three Yankees.
Cosart allowed just two singles through four innings. He ran into some trouble in the fifth, and after consecutive one-out singles by Gardner and Brian Roberts. He escaped the jam when Kelly Johnson grounded into a force out before he retired Jacoby Ellsbury.
Jerome Williams made his Astros debut when he replaced Cosart for the sixth. He walked Jeter on four pitches, and Brian McCann singled on a sharp grounder with one out to leave runners at first and third. But he retired the next two to end the threat.
Albers, Williams and Chad Qualls have performed in the first two games after being brought in to reinforce a bullpen which blew 29 saves last season.
New York went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, but Beltran said it’s too early to be concerned about the offense.
"We’re going to be fine," Beltran said. "We haven’t been able to put anything together, but this team has what it takes to play better and win ball games. We don’t need to worry about it."
Fowler’s leadoff homer came a day after he started his Astros career with a leadoff double. Houston’s next hit came on Fowler’s standup triple that bounced off the wall in right-center with one out in the third.
Robbie Grossman reached on an error by first baseman Teixeira when his grounded bounced off Teixeira’s glove, allowing Fowler to score and make it 2-0.
New York turned a double play to end that inning, and Houston didn’t have another baserunner until Grossman hit his first career triple with one out in the sixth. But Kuroda ended his night by retiring the next two to end the inning and leave Grossman stranded.
The Yankees intentionally walked Jose Altuve to load the bases with two outs in the eighth. Houston came up empty when pinch-hitter Carlos Corporan grounded out.