Right-hander Scott Feldman carried a shutout into the seventh
inning of his Astros debut, and center fielder Dexter Fowler and
first baseman Jesus Guzman delivered the power in Houston's 6-2,
season-opening victory over the New York Yankees and left-hander CC
Feldman (1-0) became the first Astros pitcher to work six-plus
shutout innings in a season opener since Roy Oswalt in 2006,
departing with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning.
He allowed two hits and two walks while hitting two batters and
recording three strikeouts.
His final walk, to Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts with two on
in the seventh inning, ended his night, but left-handed reliever
Kevin Chapman temporarily preserved the shutout by getting third
baseman Kelly Johnson to tap into an inning-ending fielder's choice
Fowler doubled and scored in each of his first two at-bats, and
Guzman slapped a two-run home run that capped the Astros' four-run
first inning. Fowler was acquired in an offseason trade with the
Colorado Rockies. Guzman, like Feldman, joined Houston as a free
"All those guys contributed," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Dexter
Fowler started it off with the deep ball to center field, Guzie
(Guzman) with the big two-run homer, and again, Scott Feldman was
Feldman, who split last season between the Chicago Cubs and
Baltimore Orioles before signing a three-year, $30 million contract
with the Astros, tossed 102 pitches, 66 for strikes. He skillfully
worked both sides of the plate and did so at an especially effective
pace, keeping the Yankees' lineup off-balance and his defense on its
"I was just trying to mix it up, and I saw they were being pretty
aggressive," Feldman said. "I just tried to throw them all (his
pitches) and hopefully they would make some outs. Luckily more times
than not, they hit them right at guys or we were positioned in the
The Yankees finally broke through for two runs in the eighth, with
center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (walk) and shortstop Derek Jeter
(single) scoring when catcher Brian McCann and first baseman Mark
Teixeira stroked back-to-back RBI singles off Astros right-hander
Qualls snuffed the rally by inducing an inning-ending, double-play
grounder off the bat of designated hitter Alfonso Soriano.
Right-hander Matt Albers followed by working a scoreless ninth
inning to close out the win.
Sabathia (0-1) logged six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits
and one walk while striking out six. Following an
uncharacteristically ineffective 2013 campaign, Sabathia was seeking
a rousing start to this season.
"It got out of hand early," Sabathia said. "I mean I've got 34,
hopefully more, starts left. I'm definitely not going to pitch like
I did tonight in the first two innings. I know I can pitch. I love
to get guys out. I feel great, so no, I'm not going to beat myself
up over this."
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The Astros pounced on Sabathia with haste. Fowler opened the first
inning with a double to center, and two batters later, second
baseman Jose Altuve hit an RBI single for a 1-0 Houston lead.
With Altuve on third after a stolen base and a Sabathia wild pitch,
catcher Jason Castro reached on a run-scoring fielder's choice.
Guzman then made his first at-bat with Houston memorable, turning on
the first pitch for a homer to left field, doubling the lead to 4-0.
Right fielder L.J. Hoes opened the second with a homer to left
before Fowler and Altuve duplicated their first-inning efforts, with
Altuve adding another RBI single after a Fowler double. Sabathia
settled in with the deficit at 6-0, but Feldman was too sharp to
allow the Yankees hope.
"They came out swinging," said Jeter, who played the final Opening
Day of his career as he heads toward retirement. "You've got to give
them credit. They didn't seem nervous or anything. They came out and
swung the bat well."
NOTES: Yankees INF Eduardo Nunez was designated for assignment,
giving the club 10 days to place on waivers, trade, release or
outright him to the minor leagues and off the 40-man roster. Nunez,
26, produced a .267/.313/.379 line in 270 games with the Yankees,
whose late-season acquisition of INF Brendan Ryan in 2013 made Nunez
expendable. ... The Astros featured nine players making their debut
on an active Opening Day roster: LHP Kevin Chapman, RHP Jarred
Cosart, RHP Josh Fields, OF Robbie Grossman, OF L.J. Hoes, OF Marc
Krauss, LHP Dallas Keuchel, LHP Brett Oberholtzer and SS Jonathan
Villar. ... Of the nine players in the Yankees' batting order, only
LF Brett Gardner returned from the 2013 Opening Day lineup, and he
was in a different position. Gardner was the Yankees' starting
center fielder last season.
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