Astros strong in AL debut, top Texas in MLB opener

Astros strong in AL debut, top Texas in MLB opener
March 31, 2013, 11:18 pm
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Houston Astros manager Bo Porter, left, and first base coach Dave Clark watch the third inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)


HOUSTON (AP) Rick Ankiel and the Houston Astros made an impressive debut in the American League, 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 3 1-3 scoreless innings for his first career save.

Having switched from the National League to the AL 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.

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