ARLINGTON, Texas — George Springer got this season started for the Houston Astros the same way as last year, when they went on to become first-time World Series champions.
And this time, they had Justin Verlander for opening day.
Springer, the World Series MVP, hit a leadoff homer in the season opener for the second year in a row and Verlander, last season’s late addition, pitched six scoreless innings in a 4-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday.
“It’s weird, it’s cool,” Springer said about his unique place in baseball history. “I’m happy to set the tone right there for our team.”
Springer hit 34 homers during the regular season last year for the Astros, all from the leadoff spot. He hit six more in the postseason, including five in the World Series — going deep in each of the last four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 28-year-old right fielder going in his fifth big league season is the only player with leadoff homers in consecutive openers. He hit a 2-0 pitch off lefty Cole Hamels (0-1) into the right-field seats.
“I went nuts in the dugout,” said Josh Reddick, who before the game mentioned the 2017 leadoff homer to Springer. “Not only that, it was his 100th career homer, that’s a big
Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/springer-world-series-champ-astros-top-texas-4-1-in-opener/2018/03/29/6ab8e8a4-33af-11e8-b6bd-0084a1666987_story.html
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