Robel García steps up to the plate as a pinch hitter… A baseball globe-trotter —who is 28 years old and has only 37 MLB games under his belt— comes in the bottom of the tenth inning to face established closer Raisel Iglesias with a man in second and the game on the line. Against all the odds and after two ugly swinging strikes, García immediately walks it off with an RBI single to crown a memorable night for him.
García, who was playing in Italy as recently as 2018, entered the game with two outs replacing Chas McCormick. It was his first at-bat since April 13, his first run batted in since 2019, and only his second hit of the season.
But this couldn’t have been done without Zack Greinke’s good effort and Yuli Gurriel’s seventh-inning home run.
Greinke began the game, getting out of two jams in the first and second episodes. And despite early struggles, he made it to the fifth inning with four zeroes on the score for the Halos. But two singles and two doubles, including one from Shohei Ohtani, brought in the first two runs of the game.
The veteran righty finished his night in fashion with only one hit in his final two frames. He completed a 7-inning work of 10 hits and two earned runs. He didn’t surrender a walk and struck out six hitters. His ERA lowered to 2.76. So far, four of Greinke’s five outings have been quality starts, all won by the Astros.
Regarding Gurriel, he was 2-for-4 with a long two-run shot to tie the game in the seventh against reliever Aaron Slegers. He got two ribbies (11 in the season) and registered one scored run. That four-bagger was a key to the Astros’ first consecutive wins since April 6-8.
With those two hits, Gurriel has now recorded 265 hits in Minute Maid Park since 2017, most for any other player and seven more than José Altuve and Alex Bregman (both with 258 in second place).
After Greinke was pulled out of the game, Ryne Stanek came in and dominated again with one perfect inning of two punchouts. Ryan Pressly retired the ninth and got into trouble in the tenth due to two RBI singles by David Fletcher and Albert Pujols.
Right when the Astros were on the verge of another loss, Myles Straw hit a single to drive in Kyle Tucker, Jason Castro connected for a double, and Carlos Correa tied the game thanks to a sacrifice fly. Then, the magical scenario just happened: García ended the game with his hard single against Iglesias.
After winning the first two contests of the four-game series, the Astros are now with an 8-10 record. On Saturday (4:10 pm ET), Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 10.57 ERA) will take the hill and go after his first win of the season. He’ll face young righty Griffin Canning (1-1, 5.68 ERA).