April 1, 2018 / 10:55 PM / 23 days ago

Cole stymies Rangers in Astros debut

EditorsNote: rewords third graf

Gerrit Cole allowed just two hits over seven innings, and Carlos Correa continued his hot start with two hits and two RBIs as the Houston Astros rolled past the Texas Rangers 8-2 on Sunday in the final of a four-game, opening-weekend series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

Cole, a key acquisition by the Astros during the offseason, surrendered a solo home run in the first to Joey Gallo and did not allow another hit until the sixth. He struck out 11 and walked just three during his dominating 102-pitch performance.

Mike Minor, who made a major league start for the first time since 2014, took the loss for the Rangers after surrendering two runs (both earned) and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two in his 93-pitch stint on Sunday, his most pitches in a game since a September 2014 start against Texas.

Correa, who was 4-for-5 on Saturday in the Astros’ 9-3 win, is batting .416 over the first four games of the season.

Gallo put the Rangers on top in the bottom of the first with an opposite-field solo home run off Cole that sneaked over the left-field fence.

Minor worked out of jams in the third and fourth innings before Houston surged to the lead in the fifth. Derek Fisher’s triple to center field plated Max Stassi with the tying run before Fisher sprinted home on a sacrifice fly by George Springer to make the score 2-1.

Houston expanded its advantage in the sixth when Evan Gattis’ double brought home Correa and a single by Stassi drove in Gattis to push the Astros to a 4-1 lead. Correa’s two-run double in the seventh drove home Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve, and Correa scampered home on a single by Gattis that gave Houston a six-run lead.

Drew Robinson homered in the eighth off reliever Chris Devinski to account for the Rangers’ only other run. Gattis doubled in the ninth to drive in Altuve and end the scoring.

The Astros will have their home-opener on Monday evening, when they will send right-hander pitcher Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA in 2017) against Baltimore and right-hander Chris Tillman (1-7, 7.84 ERA in 2017).

Meanwhile, Texas will head to the Bay Area for its first road game of the season in Oakland. Right-hander Bartolo Colon (7-14 with a 6.48 ERA in 28 starts with Atlanta and Minnesota in 2017) will go to the mound for the Rangers and oppose A’s right-hander Andrew Triggs (5-6, 4.27 ERA in 2017).

—Field Level Media

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