HOUSTON – Rick Ankiel and the Houston Astros made an impressive debut in the American League West, trouncing the Texas Rangers 8-2 Sunday in the major league opener and giving Bo Porter a win in his first game as manager.
Ankiel launched a pinch-hit three-run shot for the first homer this season, Bud Norris pitched well for the win and Erik Bedard threw 31/3 scoreless innings for his first career save.
Having switched from the National League to the A.L. in the offseason, the Astros earned their first opening-day victory since 2006 and the 4,000th regular-season win in franchise history.
Houston is coming off consecutive 100-loss seasons and has the lowest payroll in the majors. But it opened in style wearing spiffy new uniforms that brought back the orange and blue of old-school Astros teams.