Published May 03, 2016
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Wandy Rodriguez turned in eight stellar innings to earn his first major league victory in nearly two years, and the Texas Rangers picked up their first winning streak of the season with a 7-1 triumph over the Houston Astros.
Rodriguez (1-1), who spent eight seasons with Houston from 2005-11, held his former club to a run on three hits while fanning eight to win for the first time since May 26, 2013. The veteran lefty retired the final 19 batters he faced after the Astros loaded the bases in the second.
"I feel very, very comfortable on this mound," Rodriguez said. "For 7 1/2 years, it was great."
The Rangers' offense gave Rodriguez plenty of support by battering Scott Feldman (2-3) for six runs and nine hits in three innings. Kyle Blanks went 3- for-4 with a solo homer, Carlos Peguero added a two-run shot and Prince Fielder drove in a pair with a double during a four-run first.
Elvis Andrus finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Texas, which had been the lone team this season without back-to-back wins.
Houston, which had won 10 in a row prior to Monday's setback, got its only run on Luis Valbuena's first-inning homer.
The Rangers gave Rodriguez an early cushion by jumping all over Feldman in the opening inning. Six of Texas' first seven batters recorded hits, with Shin-Soo Choo's double and Andrus' bunt single beginning the barrage and Fielder knocking both home with a double to left.
Fielder was later thrown out by Jake Marisnick on Blanks' single to center, but Peguero deposited a pitch into the right center-field seats to stake the Rangers to a 4-0 lead.
Rodriguez served up Valbuena's seventh homer of the year in the bottom of the first and had to escape out of trouble an inning later. He got Jose Altuve to bounce back to the mound to strand the bases full in the second, then followed with six perfect innings to close out a sharp 104-pitch effort.
Feldman, on the other hand, never seemed to find a rhythm. Andrus started the third with a base hit and came around when Adrian Beltre scorched a double down the left-field line, and Texas eventually loaded the bases to set up Carlos Corporan's sac fly that pushed the margin to 6-1.
"I just went out there and did terrible," Feldman said. "I've got to try to iron that out in between my next start."
Blanks blasted his third homer in five games in the fifth to round out the scoring.
Astros right fielder George Springer exited after seven innings after crashing into the outfield wall when making a running catch on Beltre ... Both starters had opened over 100 games with their former teams, as Feldman pitched in 204 contests for Texas from 2005-12 ... Rodriguez picked up his 47th career win at Minute Maid Park, second only to Roy Oswalt in the stadium's history ... The Rangers went 6-for-9 with runners in scoring position after a 3-for-28 performance in those situations over their previous two games ... Texas outfielder Leonys Martin sat out after spraining his left wrist in Monday's opener.