<
>

Rapid Reaction: Astros 5, Rangers 1

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Houston Astros grabbed a first-inning lead and never trailed in a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.

How it happened: The Rangers had three starters leave the game with injuries, but none was bigger than starter Derek Holland, who lasted just one inning. Holland threw nine pitches and allowed one run before leaving with stiffness behind his left shoulder. Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo left after the first inning with upper back spasms and left fielder Ryan Rua sprained his ankle chasing a ball into the corner and left after the top of the sixth inning. The Rangers’ offense struggled for the fourth time in five games, scoring just one run. The Rangers have been shut out twice and managed more than one run just once. Long reliever Anthony Bass, who entered in the second inning, allowed one run on four hits in five innings.

What it means: The Rangers have alternated wins and losses through the first five games of the season.

In the batter’s box: Prince Fielder had three hits, the only Ranger to collect more than one hit, but he just missed an opportunity to collect an RBI in the sixth inning. With Adrian Beltre on second after a double -- the Rangers’ only extra base hit -- Fielder looped a soft single to right. Beltre, though, had to hold up to make sure the ball wasn’t caught by the second baseman because of the shift the Astros’ employ against Fielder. When the ball dropped in shallow right, Beltre was just getting to third base and had to hold up there. Fielder is off to a good start this season, hitting .421 (8-for-19) with three RBIs, but he’s yet to display the power that’s made him one of the game’s feared thumpers. He has yet to hit a home run, though he does have a pair of doubles.

Flashing leather: In the fifth inning, with runners on first and second and none out, Robbie Grossman tried to bunt both runners into scoring position. Bass made a diving grab on the third-base side of the mound and fired to second for a double play that helped the Rangers escape unscathed. In the sixth inning, Leonys Martin made a sliding grab of George Springer’s line drive to record the first out.

Up next: Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (0-1) will make his second start Saturday against Houston’s Roberto Hernandez, who’s making his first start of the season. The second game of the three-game series will begin at 8:05 p.m. ET at Globe Life Park.