HOUSTON – Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer early to back up a strong start from rookie Cristian Javier and the Houston Astros held on for 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
Brantley, who had a three-run shot in a loss on Tuesday night, connected off Kolby Allard (0-4) with one out in the first on his homer to the seats in right field to give the Astros an early lead.
Allard shut the Astros down after that, but with Javier’s pitching performance it was enough for Houston to hold on for the win.
Houston's rookie allowed only a solo home run to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a single by Joey Gallo in a career-high 6 2/3 innings to win his third straight decision.
Javier, who only pitched two games in Triple-A last year before making the big league roster this season, has given Houston's rotation a much-needed boost with ace Justin Verlander out with an injury.
“This was an opportunity that he has seized," manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re proud of him. We need him and he’s come through when we needed him."
Javier is happy that he's been able to contribute to this team in his first season.
“It feels really good to have that vote of confidence from my manager," he said in Spanish through a translator. “It feels really good to have that opportunity and take advantage of it this season."