Astros' George Springer hits leadoff HR for second straight Opening Day

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A long offseason and six weeks of spring training haven't done anything to cool off Houston Astros outfielder George Springer.

Springer, who set World Series records with eight extra-base hits and 29 total bases in Houston's seven-game victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, drove the third pitch from Cole Hamels over the right-field fence during the Astros' 4-1 win over the Texas Rangers in the teams' season opener at Globe Life Park on Thursday.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first leadoff home run for a defending World Series champion. Springer also is the only player ever to hit a leadoff home run on Opening Day in consecutive years.

"It feels great. It's a good way to start our season," Springer told ESPN after the win. "To hop on the board and get the first one out of the way for us, it's a good day to be an Astro."

Last year, Springer homered off Felix Hernandez in the first inning of the Astros' season-opening 3-0 win over the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park.

On Thursday, Springer worked the count to 2-0 against Hamels before hitting a 90 mph two-seam fastball the opposite way and over the wall for his 100th career home run.

"I went nuts in the dugout," said Josh Reddick, who before the game mentioned the 2017 leadoff homer to Springer. "Not only that, it was his 100th career homer, that's a big milestone. ... Very excited for him, very exciting for the team as well to get us off to a good start."

In late October and early November, Springer went 11-for-29 with five home runs and a .379/.471/1.000 slash line to lead the Astros over the Dodgers and win the World Series MVP award.

Springer hit 34 homers during the regular season last year for the Astros, all from the leadoff spot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.