Joey Gallo had the first sacrifice fly of his career in his 1,337th plate appearance and matched his best with five RBIs, helping Shelby Miller get his first major league victory in two years as the Texas Rangers held on to beat the Houston Astros 11-10 on Sunday.
The Astros hit five solo home runs after falling behind 10-1, including a pair from Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick in the eighth inning to get within three.
George Springer led off the ninth with the fifth Houston homer, this one off Texas closer Jose Leclerc, who was pulled after forcing in another run with four walks, capped by Jose Altuve as a pinch-hitter on what was supposed to be a day off for the star second baseman.
Shawn Kelley helped the Rangers avoid a complete collapse by striking out former Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos for his first save since 2017.
Hunter Pence homered and drove in three runs in already the second series victory, both at home, for the rebuilding Rangers against the two-time defending AL West champions. Texas also won two of three in the first week of the season.
Miller (1-1) allowed homers on consecutive pitches to Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley in Houston’s five-run sixth inning. The right-hander gave up five hits and four runs — three earned — in 5 1/3 innings.
The last win for Miller was April 18, 2017, with Arizona against San Diego, not long before Tommy John surgery that sidelined him until the middle of last season. The Texas native was making his fourth start after signing a one-year contract with the Rangers in the offseason.
Pence and Logan Forsythe homered on consecutive pitches in the third off Collin McHugh. The Houston right-hander (3-2) gave up 10 runs — nine earned — in 3 1/3 innings after allowing five runs total in his first four starts.
Gallo, the 25-year-old in his third full season after spending parts of two years in the big leagues, finally got a sac fly on one of his typical towering fly balls. Danny Santana scored easily after center fielder Tony Kemp made the catch in the fourth.
A lefty slugger with more homers (96) than singles (88) in his career, Gallo pulled the singles count a little closer with a sky-high popup that shortstop Carlos Correa lost in the sun on a blustery Texas day.
Playing on the right side in a shift, Correa stopped in shallow right center and froze, even flinching at one point as the ball landed on the other side of second base, not far from his normal spot. Bregman, the third baseman, scrambled over as Shin-Soo Choo trotted home from third.
Gallo opened the scoring with a two-run triple in the first and had an RBI groundout in the third.
RELIEVER CALLED UP
The Astros recalled RHP Framber Valdez from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned LHP Reymin Guduan. Valdez is being used as a reliever after starting five games last year. He gave up a run in 2 1/3 innings.
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock (2-0, 3.94 ERA) is set for the opener of a three-game home series against Minnesota on Monday night. Peacock made two relief appearances while the Astros used a four-game rotation because of off days. The second of his two previous starts was April 7.
Rangers: LHP Mike Minor (2-1, 2.60) will pitch the opener of a three-game series in Oakland on Monday night. Minor is 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his past three starts.