ARLINGTON, Texas - A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer, Nelson Cruz had a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning and the Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 5-4 on Sunday.
Five Texas relievers, including right-hander Joakim Soria in his first appearance in nearly two years, pitched a scoreless inning apiece after rookie starter Justin Grimm couldn't get an out in the fifth.
Cory Burns (1-0) got the win, and Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 29th save in 30 chances a day after making his sixth All-Star team and second in two seasons with Texas.
Pierzynski gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the first inning with his 8th homer, a shot into the Texas bullpen in right field after consecutive walks to Elvis Andrus and Cruz by Erik Bedard (3-5).
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