Thanks to Carlos Correa’s two-run shot in the ninth and Zack Greinke’s dominant outing, the Astros broke the tie for first place in the AL West and sat alone at the top of the division. On Tuesday, both studs helped Houston beat the Angels 4-2 and begin the season with a 5-1 record.
It didn’t start quite so well for the Astros, as Greinke allowed an infield single to Shohei Ohtani and a two-run home run to Mike Trout off a slider in the first inning. But after giving up three hits to start the game, he returned to vintage Greinke, surrendering only two more hits in six more frames.
Greinke’s biggest pitch today against the Halos was his marvelous changeup. The veteran righty threw 25 of them, got five whiffs out of 11 swings and generated soft contact with ease, as opponents’ average exit velocity off that pitch was 45.9 mph according to Baseball Savant. Using that weapon, Zack recorded three of his four strikeouts: José Rojas, Jared Walsh, and Mike Trout.
Greinke finished his work with 96 pitches (62 strikes) across seven innings of five hits and two earned runs. He gave up one walk and Trout’s four-bagger, but saw how his ERA fell to 1.38 after his first two starts of the young campaign (13 IP).
Offensively, the Astros took vengeance against the Angels’ pitching in the second inning with back-to-back homers by Kyle Tucker and Aledmys Díaz. Tucker, who also homered on Monday’s game, has hit for a .356 with four doubles, a triple, five dingers, and 16 runs batted in off Anaheim over 12 games since 2020.
Zeroes went back and forth until the ninth inning, when Correa took business into his own hands. After Yordan Álvarez —the only Astro to record more than one hit— welcomed countryman Raisel Iglesias with a single, Carlos Correa exploded a 95.8-mph fastball and took him deep with an opposite-field, two-run goner. It was his 15th career shot off the Halos, most against any team (tied with the Rangers).
Correa overcame a 1-for-8 start at the plate and carries a four-game hitting streak in which he’s 6-for-17, along with two doubles and today’s home run. “I like hitting 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 Dusty Baker used only two pitchers. He went to Ryan Pressly right after Greinke’s departure and Pressly came through with two scoreless frames to get the win and seal Houston’s fifth victory.
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 home opener at Minute Maid Park.