ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Hey Siri, this was a first start to remember after all of those years working to get to the majors.
Jose Siri homered twice and added a two-run single while becoming the first big league player since RBIs became official in 1920 to have two homers and five RBIs in a first career start as the AL West-leading Houston Astros overwhelmed the last-place Texas Rangers 15-1 on Monday night.
“I feel really happy, I feel really proud of myself to be able to accomplish that,” Siri, who finished 4 for 5 and scored three times, said through a translator.
Yordan Alvarez added a pair of 400-foot homers, and Alex Bregman also went deep for the Astros (84-59). Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve had two-run doubles as Houston built a 9-0 lead after scoring multiple runs in each of the first three innings off three Texas pitchers.
The 26-year-old Siri got called up by the Astros on Sept. 4 after hitting .318 in 94 games at Triple-A Sugar Land. He had made his pro debut eight years ago in the Dominican Summer League, and the Astros became his fourth big league organization when he signed as a free agent last winter.
“We had him in spring training, we liked the skill level. He has power, he has speed, and he has a tremendous arm,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “You know, just sometimes it takes a guy a while to get it together. And when a guy perseveres like this, you can’t be anything but happy for him.”
Siri was finally in the lineup in his sixth career game with left fielder Michael Brantley missing his second in a row because of right knee discomfort. While Baker wanted to take advantage of his speed and ability to cover a lot of ground in the spacious outfield, the bat turned out to be big.
Batting eighth, Siri led off the second with a single and scored on Altuve’s double. He added a two-run homer in the third, a two-run single in the sixth and a solo homer in the eighth.
“They have received me really well. They’re really happy for me to be here,” Siri said of his teammates. “A lot of them wanted me to be here for some time, but God’s timing is perfect.”
Houston starter Jake Odorizzi left with right foot soreness after coming off the mound and running to cover first base for the first out of the second inning. Baker said Odorizzi would be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Cristian Javier (4-1), the first of five relievers after Odorizzi, struck out six with one walk while allowing one run over 2 2/3 innings.
Rangers starter Spencer Howard (0-4) allowed six runs in 1 1/3 innings. After retiring Bregman on a 10-pitch strikeout in the second inning, Alvarez greeted reliever Wes Benjamin with a 401-foot, two-run homer to right-center field.
Alvarez had his eighth career multi-homer game, and first 30-homer season, when he added a 422-foot solo drive in the seventh.
It was only the third big league game this season when both starting pitchers recorded four outs or fewer. It was the second one for Texas. … Texas 3B Charlie Culberson pitched the ninth for his second scoreless outing this season. He is only the third Rangers position player to pitch twice in the same season.
The 14-run victory matched the largest this season for the Astros, who in their last game at Texas on Aug. 29 suffered their most lopsided loss (13-2). The 14-run loss matched the largest by Texas this season. The Rangers lost 14-0 at Detroit on July 19.
UNBLEMISHED NO MORE
Siri’s first homer came off A.J. Alexy, who was pitching in relief as planned for his third career outing. Alexy entered having thrown 11 scoreless innings and allowing only one hit in each of his first two starts. He had been the first pitcher in major league history to throw at least five scoreless innings while giving up one or no hits in his first two career appearances. He gave up six runs over 3 2/3 innings against the Astros.
Astros: C Jason Castro (right knee discomfort) and 1B Taylor Jones (COVID-19 injury list) started injury rehab assignments for Triple-A Sugar Land.
Rangers: RF Adolis Garcia was hit by a pitch on his left wrist in the third inning. He stayed in the game and didn’t come out until Jason Martin took over in right field in the eighth inning of the lopsided game. … OF Willie Calhoun (left forearm) and INF Andy Ibanez (left hamstring) started rehab assignments at Triple-A Round Rock.
Astros RHP Zack Greinke (11-5, 3.66 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start since testing positive for COVID-19 last month. His last start was 16 days earlier when he gave up six runs over four innings in a loss at Texas on Aug. 29. Texas RHP Jordan Lyles (8-11, 5.43) won his last out in Arizona last week when he pitched seven innings in relief.
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