Correa leads Astros' OD win as Yanks protest

April 5th, 2016

NEW YORK -- A chilly Opening Day contest sparked a red-hot argument after Carlos Correa reached on an eighth-inning throwing error by Dellin Betances, sending Jose Altuve home with the go-ahead run in the Astros' 5-3 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

Correa homered and drove in two runs, but it was a dribbler up the first-base line that created the biggest waves. Betances lobbed a throw over first baseman Mark Teixeira, and manager Joe Girardi argued that Correa should have been called out for running on the infield grass.

"What's Dellin's option there? Throw it and hit him in the back? Is that really what we want," Girardi said. "I don't think there's really a lot of options for Dellin. I think it's interference, but the rule reads the way it does and we have to live with it."

Luis Valbuena added a two-run single off Betances in the three-run eighth as the Yankees played the remainder of the contest under protest.

"That was a great win, man," Correa said. "It was fun to be out there, Yankee Stadium again, be able to start a season and get a good win. It was a great game all around."

Starlin Castro had a two-run double in his Yankees' debut, accounting for the production off Dallas Keuchel, who scattered three hits over seven innings in a rematch of last year's American League Wild Card Game. Masahiro Tanaka made his second straight Opening Day start for New York and permitted two runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Bloom: Keuchel, Astros find way to stop Yanks again

"I think our style of play came out," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We were tough with two strikes late in the game. Valbuena put up a great at-bat. We stole bases when we needed to, hit the ball out of the ballpark. The personality of our team and the strength of our team came out again like it did throughout last year. But it didn't feel the same [as the Wild Card Game] because it was freezing."

Didi Gregorius hit an eighth-inning homer off Ken Giles. The Yankees have lost five straight season openers, marking the first time they have done so since 1934-38.

"It's frustrating, because we had a chance to win the game," Girardi said. "We had a 2-0 lead, and we weren't able to build on that. Some of our mistakes led to them scoring some runs. Tomorrow is a new day."


Smashing debut: Correa, playing in his first Opening Day, became the youngest Astros player (21 years, 196 days old) to homer on Opening Day when he hit a game-tying solo shot to right field off Tanaka in the sixth inning. Correa drove in the Astros' first run with a fielder's choice. Correa went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases.

"That's really cool, but at the end of the day it's about getting the 'W,'" Correa said of his Opening Day homer. "That's all we care about in this clubhouse." More >

A Starlin is born: Castro delivered in his first at-bat as a Yankee, stroking a two-run double down the left-field line in the second inning that gave New York its first lead of the season. Acquired from the Cubs in December, Castro had produced at the plate all spring, batting .367. The Yankees had not scored in 29 innings against Keuchel, who blanked them for six innings in last year's American League Wild Card Game.

"He knows how to pitch, but I came to the plate aggressive," Castro said. "I'm just looking for something to hit. I'm just looking for something on top of the plate and hit it hard." More >

Keuchel rights ship: The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner had uncharacteristic command problems early, walking four batters in his first three innings, before sending down the final 11 he faced to finish seven innings and beat the Yankees in a rematch of the AL Wild Card Game. Keuchel had walked only two batters in 30 career innings against the Yankees entering the game.

"It seems like baseball's not meant to be played in 30-degree weather," Keuchel said. "I grinded through and was able to put together my best pitches late, and a total team win. A few plays that saved me early, and I was very thankful for them. Gotta do everything you possibly can to get through that, and luckily I was able to get through seven today." More >


The 36-degree temperature at first pitch was the coldest for a game at the current Yankee Stadium, and the coldest for any game in the Bronx since April 8, 2003, vs. Minnesota -- the Hideki Matsui grand slam game. Coincidentally, Matsui threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Tuesday's season opener.


Astros rookie Tyler White singled in his first career at-bat in the seventh inning, when he pinch-hit for Preston Tucker. White, who was hit in the hand by a pitch in his next at-bat, left 39 tickets for friends and family members. X-rays on White's right ring finger were negative. More >


Hinch successfully challenged a call in the eighth inning, when Correa was originally called out trying to steal second base. Replays showed he was safe.


Astros: Right-hander Collin McHugh, a 19-game winner a year ago, makes his first start of the season when the Astros face the Yankees at 6:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. He's 30-16 with a 3.39 ERA in 57 starts with the Astros.

Yankees:Michael Pineda (12-10, 4.37 ERA in 2015) will start the Yankees' second game of the season. The 27-year-old right-hander was 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA vs. the Astros last year.

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