Astros can’t corral Yanks’ bats in opener

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The Astros were leading, 3-1 entering the sixth before the Yankees chased starter Lance McCullers Jr., who left with runners at first and second with one out. The inning quickly unraveled for the Astros, who watched the Yankees bat around and score five times — three charged to Feliz (4-2) — to take a 6-3 lead.

Yanks tally five runs in the 6th

The first three Yankees batters reached in the seventh against Guduan, who was pulled in favor of Hoyt. He struck out Chris Carter before Gardner — who finished a triple shy of the cycle — shot a slam to right field that scored Austin Romine, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade to put the game out of reach.

Yankees starter Michael Pineda (8-4) held the Astros to three runs (two earned) and three hits in six innings.

Gardner slams door: The Astros’ quick-strike offense has had a knack very doing damage late in games, but Gardner’s third career slam, in the seventh inning, pushed the lead to 10-3 and all but squelched any hopes of a Houston comeback. It was the third slam this season for the Yanks, and first since Judge against the A’s on May 28.

Mighty might: Torreyes proved to be a tough out for the Astros. After singling in the second and doubling in the fourth, the former Astros farmhand greeted Feliz with an RBI single in the sixth to get the ball rolling against Houston’s bullpen. Five of the first six batters Feliz faced reached base, beginning with Torreyes.

Torreyes' RBI single to left

Yankees: Rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery (6-4, 3.53 ERA) will try to win his fifth straight decision Saturday as he draws the start against the Astros at 8:15 p.m. ET. Montgomery defeated the White Sox on Monday by tying career highs in innings (seven) and strikeouts (eight) in a scoreless outing.

Astros: Rookie righty Francis Martes (2-0. 5.51 ERA), the Astros’ top prospect according to, starts Saturday’s 6:15 p.m. CT game against the Yankees at Minute Maid Park. This will be his fifth career appearance and fourth start, all of which have come this year. He’s the youngest pitcher in the American League at 21.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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