Gallardo wins home debut for Rangers, 6-2 over Astros
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Yovani Gallardo waved to some of his hometown friends in the stands before his first home start for the Texas Rangers. Then he tried to concentrate on pitching.
Gallardo struck out seven while working into the sixth inning, and Adrian Beltre circled the bases on a triple and error to put Texas ahead for good early in a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
With his family watching from a suite and fans in several spots in the stands, Gallardo (1-1) scattered eight hits in his first appearance at Globe Life Park, just a few miles from where he grew up in Fort Worth. The right-hander was part of an offseason trade with Milwaukee, where he had spent his entire career after getting drafted in 2004.
''It's one of the things that I wanted to do all my life as a young kid,'' said Gallardo, who lost at Oakland on opening day. ''And then stepping out there for the first time is definitely a lot more adrenaline and exciting. Just trying to go out there and not try to do too much. It's always a hard thing to do.''
Elvis Andrus had a two-run single when Texas scored three more unearned runs in the fifth inning after the second of three Houston errors.
''We didn't finish plays that we normally do,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ''I was a little surprised by that.''
Marwin Gonzalez homered in his first at-bat of the season.
Roberto Hernandez (0-1) allowed five hits and five runs - but just one earned - while walking four in 4 2-3 innings in his debut for Houston. The 10-year veteran right-hander made the team after going to spring training with a minor league deal.
Beltre's first-inning triple was helped by right fielder George Springer, who allowed the ball skip past him when he tried to play a carom off the wall barehanded. The play seemed over when Gonzalez saw Beltre off the bag and tried to surprise him, but he threw wildly to Hernandez sneaking in behind Beltre, letting Beltre trot home.
Houston first baseman Chris Carter set up Texas' three-run fifth when he dropped a throw from reliever Joe Thatcher on a two-out grounder back to the mound by Moreland with the bases loaded, allowing Carlos Peguero to score. Andrus' bouncing single to left drove in Prince Fielder and Jake Smolinski for a 5-1 lead.
''I really thought we did a number of things tonight that allowed us to win the ballgame,'' said Texas manager Jeff Banister, a winner at home for the first time. ''That's what we need to do all year long.''
Gallardo got one of three strikeouts of Carter to leave the bases loaded in the third inning. He retired Jake Marisnick on a popout with runners at second and third in the fourth as the Astros stranded 13 runners. Gallardo allowed eight of Houston's 11 hits, starting with Gonzalez's homer after he retired the first eight Houston batters.
THE TWO-HIT CREW
Beltre, who also doubled, had two hits along with Mitch Moreland and Peguero, making his Texas debut after getting promoted from Triple-A Round Rock. Peguero filled in for right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo, who is day to day after leaving Friday's home opener early with back spasms.
Astros: RHP Josh Fields (right groin) was expected to pitch Saturday night for Triple-A Fresno on a rehab assignment in Reno, Nevada.
Rangers: LHP Derek Holland was placed on the 60-day DL with a left shoulder strain after pitching one inning in the series opener, and LF Ryan Rua went to the 15-day DL after spraining his right ankle in the series opener. ... RHP Jon Edwards was called up from Round Rock.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel starts after throwing seven shutout innings in his first career opening-day start against Cleveland and beating AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis, a 3-1 winner over Oakland in his debut, is 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 10 appearances with seven starts against the Astros.