Rangers Beat Astros 7-5 in First Battle of Texas

The Texas Rangers won a 7-5 home victory over the Houston Astros Tuesday night in the 2016 season’s first game between the division and state rivals. Designated hitter Prince Fielder and first baseman Mitch Moreland hit homers and left fielder Ian Desmond returned from a few games’ rest with a two-hit slump buster.

The Rangers improve to 8-6 and keep their one-game lead over the Oakland A’s in the American League West.

The Rangers got off to a fast start against Astros pitcher (and former Ranger) Scott Feldman. Fielder hit a two-run homer and Desmond knocked in a third run with a single.

On Desmond’s next at bat, he was one foot shy of a homer, reaching second on a double. He scored when second baseman Roughned Odor singled.

The game tightened in the seventh when Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and right fielder George Springer hit back-to-back homers off Rangers reliever Keone Kela, reducing the Texas lead to 6-4.

Texas starter Derek Holland got his second victory of the season and Shawn Tolleson closed it out in the ninth to earn his fourth save. Feldman (0-2) took the loss.

On Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m., Rangers ace Cole Hamels (2-0) goes against Astros pitcher Doug Fister (1-1) in the second game of the series at Globe Life Park in Arlington.