HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros had plenty of chances to add runs after taking the lead early on Thursday night against the New York Yankees.
They failed to capitalize on almost all of them.
Rookie Yangervis Solarte had three hits and an RBI in his first major league start and Derek Jeter drove in a run to give the Yankees their first win this season, 4-2 over the Astros.
Solarte singled in a two-run third inning which put New York up 2-1. He doubled in the fifth and scored on a single by Jeter to push it to 3-1.
Houston cut the lead to one in the bottom of that inning before Solarte came through again, this time with a single that drove in Ichiro Suzuki.
The Astros hit into four double plays in the first five innings to limit their offense.
“We had baserunners everywhere,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “It was probably one big hit away from getting some separation early in the game.”
Houston first baseman Marc Krauss was disappointed that they missed so many scoring opportunities.
“It’s never good to leave runs out there,” he said. “It’s frustrating. But it’s going to happen. You have to learn from it and move forward.”
Solarte, the third baseman, also had a nifty defensive play when he grabbed a bullet hit right at him by Jose Altuve in the eighth.
Ivan Nova allowed six hits, two runs and walked five in 5 2-3 innings. David Robertson, who took over as closer for Mariano Rivera, pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Houston, the league’s worst team the past three seasons, came back to earth after taking the first two games of the series. But Dexter Fowler continued to shine in his first season with the Astros, getting two singles to become the second player in franchise history – and first since Ken Caminiti in 1987 – to begin his Houston career with three straight multi-hit games.
Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer also went 5 2-3 innings, allowing five hits and three runs while fanning five.
“He did a good job,” Porter said. “All the work in which he’s put into his curve ball, it was evident tonight that it has come a long way. It’s going to be a really good pitch for him.”
Suzuki doubled with two outs in the seventh before scoring on the RBI by Solarte. Solarte’s hit was a high pop-up which dropped right between three Astros players assembled directly in front of home plate.
Solarte doubled with one out in the fifth and scored on a two-out single by Jeter to make it 3-1. Jeter was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Houston got to 3-2 when Jonathan Villar doubled and scored on a single by Fowler in the bottom of the inning. The fourth double play by the Yankees got the first two outs before Chris Carter grounded out to end the inning.
Oberholtzer retired the first seven batters he faced before running into trouble. Suzuki and Solarte hit consecutive singles before a third one by Brett Gardner scored Suzuki to tie it at 1-all.
Jeter walked and Carlos Beltran’s sacrifice fly scored Solarte to give New York a 2-1 lead.
Fowler and Grossman hit back-to-back singles to start the first before Nova plunked Castro to load the bases. Altuve grounded into a forceout that left Castro out at second and scored Fowler to make it 1-0.
Carter walked to load the bases again, but the Yankees turned a double play to limit the damage. The Yankees also used double plays to get out of the third and fourth innings.
Castro was also hit by a pitch in the third inning to become the first Astro since Brad Ausmus on April 7, 2007, to be hit twice in a game. He remained in the game before being replaced by Carlos Corporan in the top of the sixth with a bruise on his right foot. X-rays were negative and Corporan will start for him on Friday night.
NOTES: A replay was initiated by umpires on the field to check the count on an at-bat by Solarte with two outs in the ninth and it was confirmed it was a 3-1 count. … Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to make his major league debut against right-hander Dustin McGowan when the Yankees open a three-game series at Toronto on Friday. … Houston right-hander Lucas Harrell opposes left-hander Tyler Skaggs when the Astros begin a series with the Los Angeles Angels. … The Astros observed a moment of silence before the game to remember the victims on Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood, which left three dead and 16 wounded.