Castro, Teixeira power Yankees to 16-6 win over Astros
NEW YORK (AP) Starlin Castro looks perfectly comfortable in pinstripes.
The Yankees' new second baseman homered and drove in five runs, Mark Teixeira had four RBIs and New York trounced the Houston Astros 16-6 for its first victory of the season Wednesday night.
In his first two games with New York, Castro has a record seven RBIs. The previous Yankees mark for RBIs in a player's first two games with the team was set by Todd Greene, who knocked in six runs in 2001, according to STATS.
''Starlin Castro is playing T-ball right now,'' teammate Carlos Beltran said. ''It's good to see him swinging the bat like that. He's a big key.''
Teixeira and Castro each hit a three-run homer. Beltran also went deep and Castro finished with four of the 17 hits for the Yankees, who chased Collin McHugh (0-1) in a six-run bottom of the first inning that lasted 36 minutes.
Castro was obtained in an offseason trade with the Chicago Cubs, where the three-time All-Star had an up-and-down tenure and was moved from shortstop to second base last year to make room for rookie Addison Russell.
''I just want to be the player that I used to be, to show everybody that I can be the player that I am,'' said Castro, who set a major league record with six RBIs in his big league debut for the Cubs in May 2010 against Cincinnati.
''It's a good opportunity for me to be in this organization,'' he added. ''I don't really feel pressure either way, but I think here it's less.''
Carlos Correa went 4 for 5 with two home runs and George Springer had his first career grand slam for Houston, a 5-3 winner Tuesday in the frigid opener (36 degrees at game time). This one started with the temperature at 43 degrees and took 3 hours, 45 minutes to complete.
New York's bats were hot all night, though.
Brian McCann had a two-run double in the first, Brett Gardner walked a career-high four times and pinch-hitter Ronald Torreyes hit a two-run triple in his first at-bat with the Yankees.
Castro followed with a run-scoring single to make it 16-6 in the seventh.
''Nice pace that he's on,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''We felt that he would be big in our lineup, that he gave us a lot better balance than we've had.''
Michael Pineda (1-0) benefited from the offensive outburst, taking home a win despite allowing six runs and eight hits - including three homers - in five innings.
Ivan Nova, beaten out by CC Sabathia for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, finished with four scoreless innings on a windy night for his first major league save. It was his first relief appearance since June 2013.
''He did a really good job,'' Girardi said. ''It was tough conditions for pitchers tonight.''
McHugh, a 19-game winner last season, managed to get only one out in the shortest start of his career. He beat Pineda twice last year and entered with a 1.88 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 14 1-3 innings in two starts against the Yankees.
''It's about as bad as you can draw it up,'' McHugh said.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE
New York mustered only eight runs in its previous six games against Houston, including a 3-0 loss in the AL wild-card game last October.
''This is what we're capable of,'' Teixeira said. ''When you have the entire lineup that's clicking, you're going to have a couple nights like this.''
It was the most runs the Astros had allowed since giving up 16 to Texas on Aug. 19, 2013.
''Every scoring opportunity had something to do with a walk. We didn't challenge the strike zone enough,'' manager A.J. Hinch said.
Astros RHP Lance McCullers (shoulder) threw about 30 pitches in a simulated game at extended spring training, Hinch said. The team will decide whether the next step for McCullers early next week is a similar session or a minor league rehab assignment. ... DH Evan Gattis, recovering from sports hernia surgery, is expected to get three or four at-bats as the designated hitter Thursday for Double-A Corpus Christi, Hinch said.
Astros: RHP Mike Fiers starts the series finale Thursday afternoon, weather permitting. Steady rain is in the forecast for much of the day, after Monday's scheduled opener was pushed back to Tuesday because of inclement weather. Fiers was 7-10 with a 3.69 ERA for Milwaukee and Houston last season, including a no-hitter.
Yankees: RHP Nathan Eovaldi begins his second season with New York. The hard-throwing Eovaldi was 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA last year but did not pitch after Sept. 5 due to elbow inflammation. ''My arm is 100 percent,'' he said Wednesday.