Rangers strike 1st in Lone Star State series, beat Astros 7-5

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Prince Fielder hit a towering home run, Ian Desmond had his first two-hit game with Texas and the Rangers beat the Houston Astros 7-5 on Tuesday night in the first meeting of 2016 between the AL West playoff teams from last season.

Fielder pulled a ball deep into the right-field seats for a two-run homer in the first, and Desmond had an RBI single later in the inning for a 3-0 lead as the Rangers went ahead to stay against Scott Feldman (0-2).

Jose Altuve and George Springer homered for the Astros, going back-to-back in the seventh to get within 6-4.

Mitch Moreland went deep in the bottom of the seventh for Texas, which last year won 13 of the 19 games between the Lone Star State teams and claimed the division title by two games over Houston.

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Springer’s homer was to straightaway center and just beyond the glove of leaping Delino DeShields, who was in the Houston organization before the Rangers got him in the draft of unprotected players on the final day of baseball’s winter meetings in December 2014.

Desmond, who entered hitting .109 with one RBI in his first 12 games for Texas, had one-out double in the third and scored on Rougned Odor’s single. Odor also had two hits and scored a run.

Derek Holland (2-0), the first left-handed starter Houston faced this season, allowed two runs while throwing 105 pitches in five innings. He struck out five and walked one. Shawn Tolleson worked the ninth inning for his fourth save in five chances. He gave up a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Colby Rasmus, who scored on a groundout by Altuve.

Feldman, who had a career-high 17 wins when pitching for Texas in 2009, was charged with four runs in five innings.

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Houston had four hits, all doubles, before Holland recorded his fourth out of the game. After Springer had a one-out double in the fourth, the Astros scored twice after three consecutive doubles to start the second. The last double was when Marwin Gonzalez had one that hit just below the top of the 14-foot wall in left field. The four doubles were already a season high for the Astros, who added another one in the sixth on a ball that bounced off the heel of DeShields’ glove.


Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers, who started the season on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, threw a bullpen Tuesday and will likely throw another one Friday when the team gets back to Houston. … Catcher Max Stassi is in a regular routine of batting practice and catching drills as part of his rehab after surgery to remove a bone from his left wrist. He is close to getting in some extended spring training games.

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Rangers: Josh Hamilton will go back to the Rangers’ spring training complex in Arizona when the team leaves for a weekend series in Chicago White Sox. Hamilton, recovering from offseason knee surgery, hopes to start a rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco by April 30.


Astros: Doug Fister (1-1) starts for the fourth time at Texas, where he is 0-2 with an 11.85 ERA — starting in 2009 for Seattle, then 2012 and 2013 for Detroit. The right-hander has allowed 19 runs (18 earned) and five homers in 13 2/3 innings there.

Rangers: Left-hander Cole Hamels (2-0) pitches on extra rest. Hamels had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday night, but was pushed back a day when the Rangers kept Holland in line after they were rained out Sunday before a scheduled day off Monday.