Opening statement: Starlin ignites new team

Yankees' 2B delivers two-run double in first AB; middle-infield partner Gregorius goes deep

Opening statement: Starlin ignites new team

NEW YORK -- There were some raw nerves for Starlin Castro as he made his Yankees debut in Tuesday's season opener, but the second baseman recovered in time to collect the team's first extra-base hit and RBIs of the young campaign.

Castro introduced himself to the Yankees' fan base with a two-run double off Dallas Keuchel in the second inning of New York's 5-3 loss to the Astros. He hopes that will be the first of many memorable experiences to come.

"It's a big moment for me," Castro said. "I don't feel really good because we lost, and the first thing we want to do is win. But it's a really good moment for me to wear that uniform, the pinstripes, and to be with the kind of team like the Yankees."

Castro's barehanded play

Castro went 1-for-3 and now has 993 big league hits to his name. Even though he wasn't part of it last year, Castro said that it was nice to snap Keuchel's scoreless streak against the Bombers, which ended at 29 innings.

"It's pretty good. He knows how to pitch," Castro said. "I came to the plate aggressive, just looking for something to hit. I was looking for something on top of the plate and just hit it hard."

"I thought he put a good at-bat on him," manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought our guys put some better at-bats on [Keuchel] today than we did six months ago. It was good to see Starlin get off to a good start."

Castro's fancy play

This marked Castro's first Opening Day start at second base, having started five prior openers at shortstop for the Cubs before being acquired in December. Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius later contributed an eighth-inning homer off Ken Giles.

Gregorius' solo shot

"Both of our middle infielders had really good games, and we're going to build on that, that's for sure," Alex Rodriguez said. "We thought Castro, all spring we've been talking about how he's going to solidify our lineup, especially against lefties."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.