Is it an omen? Fate? Coincidence? Pure power? Whatever. But for the second year in a row George Springer has started the Astros season with a lead off home run, leading the Astros to an opening day 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers. It is the first time in history that a hitter has led off two consecutive seasons with homers. Looks like Springer’s starting the season like he finished last season, when he won the World Series MVP with five home runs.
His opening dinger was all the firepower the Astros needed until the ninth inning, as the Astros pitching, led by starter Justin Verlander’s six shutout innings, held the Rangers scoreless until they managed one meaningless run in the ninth inning. Verlander’s shutout was followed by pristine performances by Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock. The Ranger’s only run came off closer Ken Giles.
Besides Springer’s homer to right field, additional run support came from Jose Altuve’s sacrifice fly in the third inning, Jake Marisnick’s towering home run off the left field foul pole in the fourth, and Carlos Correa’s rbi double in the eighth.
Great pitching. Good hitting. Expect more of this all year.