ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Brad Peacock allowed two hits while pitching into the seventh inning, Robinson Chirinos looped a go-ahead double in his first game against his former team and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Monday night.
Houston’s George Springer connected for his 25th career leadoff homer against Drew Smyly, who was making his first major league start since the end of the 2016 season.
Peacock (1-0) pitched without a baserunner through six innings, allowing only Ronald Guzman’s first homer leading off the third. Rougned Odor reached on an infield single to start the seventh, but was thrown out trying to steal by Chirinos. Peacock struck out five in 6 2/3 innings.
Odor was the last Texas hitter to reach, with Ryan Pressly retiring four straight batters and closer Roberto Osuna pitching a perfect ninth for his first save. The Astros bounced back after the two-time defending AL West champions lost three of four at Tampa Bay to open the season.
Acquired in an offseason trade after spending his first six seasons with the Rangers, Chirinos put the Astros ahead 2-1 in the sixth. The catcher’s looping liner over third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera scored Carlos Correa, who had his first three hits in his second game after missing the first three with neck stiffness.
Springer’s 412-foot drive to left made it two straight years of going deep in his first at-bat in Arlington. The 2017 World Series MVP did it on opening day last year against Cole Hamels. Springer had two more against the Rangers last season. All four were against lefties.
Smyly threw 73 pitches in three innings in the left-hander’s Texas debut, allowing four hits and one run with two strikeouts and two walks. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 while with Seattle and was later signed by the Cubs. He never pitched for either team, and Chicago traded him to Texas in the offseason.
Adrian Sampson (0-1), called up earlier in the day to help a bullpen that was battered in a season-opening series win over the Cubs, allowed four hits and a run over the final six innings for the Rangers.
Chirinos is getting a rare week of dad duty with his 11-year-old son. His family still lives in the Dallas area, so Chirinos stayed at home Sunday night after the team arrived from Tampa. He had breakfast with his son and took him to school — the same routine from the 34-year-old’s six seasons with the Rangers.
Chirinos is planning to spend an extra day at home Thursday, when Houston is off before the home opener Friday.
“It kind of hit me driving here today,” he said. “During spring training, first four games in Tampa, I didn’t really even think about playing the Rangers and being in this situation right now.”
Rangers: LHP Yohander Mendez, expected to be out until midseason with a left elbow ligament sprain, was moved to the 60-day injured list to make room for RHP Adrian Sampson on the 40-man roster. Sampson was brought up from Triple-A Nashville while lefty reliever Kyle Bird was sent down.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander is scheduled for his second start after striking out nine in seven innings in Houston’s 5-1 win over Tampa Bay on opening day.
Rangers: RHP Shelby Miller, a Texas native, is set to become the fourth straight starter to make his Rangers debut, following Edinson Volquez (second Texas stint), Lance Lynn and Smyly. Miller appeared in five games for Arizona last year coming off Tommy John surgery in 2017.