NEW YORK -- The Yankees slugged three home runs, including a three-run shot by Mark Teixeira in the seventh inning off reliever Ken Giles that snapped a tie, en route to an 8-5 win over the Astros in the series finale Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Brett Gardner got the rally started in the seventh with a single off reliever Will Harris, and Alex Rodriguez greeted hard-throwing right-hander Giles with a sharp single to set the stage for Teixeira, who hit a 98-mph fastball the opposite way and down the left-field line to snap a 5-5 tie.
"I think the worrisome trend is more how much traffic we're allowing as a team on the bases," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Obviously, you look at that inning and it's the middle part of their order and they did a lot of damage, and we had held their middle of the order in check pretty well most of the series."
Back-to-back homers by Tyler White and Preston Tucker off Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi gave the Astros a 3-0 lead in the second, and White's two-run single in the fourth pushed the lead to 5-2. Brian McCann and Starlin Castro both hit solo homers in the fourth, and Rodriguez tied the game in the fifth with an RBI single. Andrew Miller picked up the save for New York to close out the series victory.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tex flexes: One day after smacking his first home run of 2016, Teixeira stayed hot, this time in a clutch situation. With two men on and one out in the seventh, Teixeira roped a Giles fastball a projected 346 feet, according to Statcast™. It was the second straight day Teixeira hit a three-run home run. More >
"I think he's in a good place," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Tex is a guy who takes Spring Training slow and then likes to get after it the last eight or 10 days. It just kind of gets him in a good spot. He swung the bat extremely well for us."
White hot: White continued his torrid pace, becoming only the second Astros player to have a four-RBI game within his first three Major League games (George Bjorkman on July 13, 1983, vs. the Expos). The Astros' No. 13 prospect entered the game with three hits in his first five big league at-bats before hitting his first career homer and adding his two-run single. White finished with three hits overall in the game, and he is 6-for-9 with a run scored, a double, a homer and four RBIs to start his career. More >
"I think that's the key for him is he looks like he's a guy that's in every at-bat, certainly so far in his young career," Hinch said. "That's encouraging to watch him keep his heart rate down, keep the at-bats going, have really good at-bats, doesn't try to do too much, but yet does do damage and has contributed quite well."
Castro torches Astros: The Yankees' new second baseman kept up his lights-out effort at the plate with a 2-for-4 game, including his second long ball in as many days. Castro ended his opening series in the Bronx with a .583 batting average, going 7-for-12 with eight RBIs and four extra-base hits. More >
"It's pretty impressive what he's done, especially him coming to a new team," Yankees reliever Dellin Betances said. "But you're talking about a guy who just turned 26 and he's nearing 1,000 hits . He's done a phenomenal job."
Giles roughed up: Giles, who allowed only two homers in 70 innings last year with the Phillies, has already matched that total in his first two games with the Astros. Giles served up a homer to Didi Gregorius on Tuesday before getting three consecutive outs in a win for the Astros, but the Teixeira blast proved to be the difference-maker on Thursday. More >
Giles said he was trying to locate inside: "Just didn't locate it well enough," he said. "That's all it is."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Both Rodriguez and Teixeira moved up the Yankees' all-time lists Thursday. With his RBI single in the fifth inning, A-Rod passed Jorge Posada for sole possession of 11th place on the Yankees' all-time RBI leaderboard with 1,066. Teixeira's home run vaulted him past fellow first baseman Tino Martinez for 17th place on the Yankees' all-time home run list with 193.
Thirty-five of Tucker's 76 career hits have been for extra bases (21 doubles, 14 homers).
Astros:Scott Feldman will make his first start since injuring his shoulder on Sept. 1 of last year when he gets the ball in Friday's 7:10 p.m. CT series opener against the Brewers at Miller Park. This will be the Astros' first Interleague game of the season and first trip to Miller Park since they were with the Brewers in the National League Central in 2012.
Yankees: The Yanks will head to Detroit for the Tigers' home opener Friday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Luis Severino is scheduled to make his season debut, trying to build on the goodwill he earned in limited exposure last season when he started off his career going 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts.
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