The Yankees couldn’t get rid of Dallas Keuchel soon enough.
The game after scraping together two runs against the Astros’ ace — a feast for the Yankees against Keuchel, who dominated them last year — the Yankees put on a thunderous offensive display against the less intimidating duo of Collin McHugh and Michael Feliz. They scored six times in the first inning and three times each in the second and third and cruised to a 16-6 rout of Houston Wednesday night at the Stadium.
Leading the 17-hit, three-homer attack was Starlin Castro (4-for-5, double, homer, five RBIs) and Mark Teixeira (homer, four RBIs).
Carlos Correa, who proved to be an absolute menace to the Yankees on Opening Day — he homered, scored twice and hit the dribbler that Dellin Betances threw away for the go-ahead run — picked up right where he left off. With two outs and none on in the first, he slammed Michael Pineda’s 0-and-2 slider into the leftfield bleachers for the brief early lead. He hit another homer off Pineda, a solo shot in the fifth off a changeup, but by that time, it was already too late to matter.
The Yankees chased McHugh in the endless first, sending 12 men to the plate and scoring six runs, five earned, for a 6-1 lead. McHugh allowed three hits and two walks before being pulled for Feliz after recording only one out. McHugh threw 43 pitches, only 25 for strikes, and left with a bloated 108.00 ERA.
Teixeira hit a bases-loaded single to score Jacoby Ellsbury, and the next batter, Brian McCann, ripped a two-run single. Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Castro added RBIs.
It was a blustery night, with temperatures in the 40s that felt much colder, and no pitcher seemed immune.
The Astros made it a ballgame — briefly — in the second, when George Springer teed off on another bad slider by Pineda for his first career grand slam, drawing the Astros to within 6-5. But with the cold wind blowing out and the Yankees’ bats red hot, it wasn’t enough: Castro hit a two-out, three-run shot with two outs in the second. That, along with an RBI single in the first, gave the former Cub six RBIs in his first five at-bats as a Yankee. Teixeira added a towering three-run homer in the third for a 12-5 advantage.
Correa’s second homer made it 12-6, but Beltran pulled a shot to leftfield off Tony Sipp in the third to keep the lead at seven.
The onslaught mitigated a rough performance by Pineda, who tempered some of the optimism surrounding him going into this season. He threw 87 pitches in five innings, allowing six earned runs and eight hits, including three home runs, and struck out five.
Ivan Nova finished with four shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk and striking out five.
Feliz went 4 1⁄3 innings for the Astros, allowing six earned runs and seven hits.