Astros knock around CC, down Yankees in opener
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - On the night the New York Yankees officially unveiled their big-ticket offseason additions, it was the Houston Astros' lesser-known newcomers that shined the brightest.
Scott Feldman tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, Jesus Guzman smacked a two-run homer and Dexter Fowler went 2-for-4 with two runs scored as the Astros handed the new-look Yankees a 6-2 loss in the season opener for both teams.
Feldman (1-0), signed to a three-year, $30 million contract in December, limited New York's star-studded lineup to a pair of singles in an impressive Astros debut. He was backed by a big opening inning, capped by the ex-Padre Guzman's two-run blast off CC Sabathia that staked Houston to a 4-0 lead.
"Any time you're going against a pitcher like C.C. Sabathia and runs you get help are awesome. We were able to put six up tonight and that helped out a lot," Feldman said.
Jose Altuve added a pair of RBI singles and L.J. Hoes drilled a solo homer in only the Astros' third win in 16 all-time meetings with New York.
Sabathia (0-1) surrendered six runs -- all in the first two innings -- while yielding eight hits and striking out six over six frames.
"I didn't want to overthrow and be all over the place, but I don't think pulling back helped. I have to find a place in the middle where I can be effective,"
Derek Jeter, playing in his 17th and final Opening Day in Yankee pinstripes, went 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored.
Sabathia's problems began immediately, as Fowler socked his third pitch of the night to the hill in center field for a double and Altuve singled the leadoff man home two batters later.
Altuve soon landed on third after stealing second as Sabathia uncorked a wild pitch to move him up another base, then beat New York first baseman Mark Teixeira's off-line throw home on Jason Castro's dribbler to quickly stake Houston to a 2-0 edge.
Guzman belted Sabathia's next pitch over the wall in left center to cap the four-run outburst, and Hoes clobbered a changeup off the left-field foul pole to begin the bottom of the second to increase the margin to 5-0.
Fowler, acquired in a trade with Colorado over the winter, legged out another double later in the inning before trotting home on Altuve's second hit of the night.
Feldman, meanwhile, was completely in control, setting down 10 of the first 11 Yankee hitters until Carlos Beltran collected New York's initial hit with a one-out single in the fourth. The right-hander proceeded to retire nine of the next 10 batters prior to Teixeira's base hit with one out in the seventh.
The Yankees eventually loaded the bases, with Feldman hitting Brett Gardner with a pitch and walking Brian Roberts to give way to Kevin Chapman, who preserved the shutout bid by getting Kelly Johnson to bounce into an inning- ending force play.
Brian McCann, one of New York's high-profile free-agent pickups along with Beltran and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, finally got the Yankees on the board with an eighth-inning single that plated Ellsbury, who reached on a leadoff walk in front of Jeter's base hit. Teixeira followed with a single to left to bring home Jeter and cut the lead to 6-2.
The Yankees went down quietly against Matt Albers in the ninth, though, with Johnson's double the only baserunner in the final inning.
Jeter, entering his 20th season overall with the Yankees, missed the 2001 and 2013 openers with injuries ... Feldman joined Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who threw out the first pitch as the only hurlers to start Opening Day for both the Astros and Texas Rangers ... For the first time since 1946 and 1947, the Yankees had a different position player other than pitcher from one Opening Day lineup to the next. Gardner started last year's lid-lifter in center field but was in left for this game ... The Yankees have lost their last four Opening Day tilts on the road and are 4-9 in their last 13 such contests ... Sabathia drew his sixth Opening Day assignment as a Yankee, one shy of Whitey Ford, Mel Stottlemyre and Ron Guidry's club record for a pitcher.
04/02 01:53:15 ET