2018 – Houston opens their first title defense with a 4-1 win over the Rangers in Arlington. George Springer led off the game with a home run, just as he did the year before. Justin Verlander tossed six shutout innings for the victory. Before the game, a moment of silence was held in memory of former Astros All-Star Rusty Staub who passed away that morning at the age of 73.
2002 – Lance Berkman drills two home runs and Roy Oswalt scatters seven hits as Houston tops the Boston Red Sox, 5-1, in an exhibition at the newly-renamed Astros Field. Scrubbed are virtually all signs of Enron, whose naming-rights deal for the ballpark fell into bankruptcy court. The win is also a little sweeter for manager Jimy Williams who was fired by the Sox midway through the 2001 season.
1978 – Eric Bruntlett is born in Lafayette, IN. The utilityman bats .250 with nine homers during his five seasons with Houston (2003-2007). His turn of a double play in Game 4 of the 2005 N.L.C.S. seals a pivotal 2-1 victory. He later would make an unassisted triple play as a member of the Phillies in 2009.