Thanks to Carlos Correa’s two-run shot in the ninth and Zack Greinke’s dominant start, the Astros broke the tie for first place in the AL West and sat alone at the top of the division. On Tuesday, both stallions helped Houston beat the Angels 4-2 and start the season with a 5-1 record.
It didn’t start so well for the Astros, as Greinke allowed an infield single to Shohei Ohtani and a two-run homer to Mike Trout on a slider in the first inning. But after allowing three hits to start the game, he returned to classic Greinke, yielding just two more hits in six more frames.
Greinke’s biggest pitch today against the Halos was his wonderful turnaround. The veteran right-hander threw 25 of them, landed five 11-shot puffs and generated soft contact with ease, as opponents’ average exit velocity off that field was 45.9 mph according to Baseball Savant. Using that weapon, Zack recorded three of his four strikeouts: Jose Rojas, Jared Walsh and Mike Trout.
Greinke finished his job with 96 pitches (62 strikes) in seven five-hit innings and two earned runs. He allowed one walk and Trout’s four, but saw his ERA drop to 1.38 after his first two starts of the young season (13 IP).
Offensively, the Astros took revenge on the Angels’ pitching in the second inning with back-to-back homers from Kyle Tucker and Aledmys Diaz. Tucker, who also homered in Monday’s game, has hit .356 with four doubles, a triple, five dingers and 16 RBIs against Anaheim in 12 games since 2020.
The zeros came and went until the ninth inning, when Correa took matters into his own hands. After Yordan Álvarez – the only Astro to record more than one hit – welcomed compatriot Raisel Iglesias with a single, Carlos Correa exploded a 95.8 mph fastball and carried it deep with a two-run loss at the opposite field. It was the 15th shot of his career against the Halos, the most against any team (tied with the Rangers).
Correa outscored a 1-for-8 start at the plate and has a four-game hitting streak in which he is 6-for-17, along with two doubles and a home run today. “I like to hit late in the game when the game is on the line. That’s when I feel sexy, ”he said after the game.
Another good thing for the Astros is that Dusty Baker used just two pitchers. He headed to Ryan Pressly right after Greinke’s departure and Pressly came out with two scoreless frames for the win and seal Houston’s fifth win.
The Stros will begin their second series of the season against the Athletics on Thursday (8:10 pm ET), when Cristian Javier takes the hill for the first home game at Minute Maid Park.
Box Score and videos HERE.