Zack Greinke reminded the Oakland A’s tonight just how good he can be, even with max velocity around 90 mph. Greinke allowed only one run in eight baffling innings. He recorded eight strikeouts, no walks, and scattered four hits. He threw 63 strikes out of 89 pitches, 15 of those were whiffs. 21 of his 27 batters saw a strike on their first pitch.
Greinke’s only blemish was an RBI double to Zack Murphy in the second inning.
Meanwhile, the Astros scored early and often. Jose Altuve set the tone with a lead-off homer on the first pitch of the game against A’s starter Frankie Montas.
The Astros added another run in the first with a two-out Carlos Correa blooper that barely got over the second baseman’s head but scored Alex Bregman, who walked earlier and advanced to second on a Yuli Gurriel single.
The Astros were quiet until the seventh inning when they added three more runs, all three by runners who reached based after two outs.
It began with an Alex Bregman walk, followed by a Yordan Alvarez single against Deolis Guerra. Then Yuli Gurriel doubled both runners home with a long fly to the wall in left that just missed being a home run. No matter, Carlos Correa singled him in against Sergio Romo.
The Astros piled on in their eighth inning, starting with a lead-off single by Myles Straw against Adam Kolarek. Straw advanced to second on a Martin Maldonado ground out and scored on a Michael Brantley single. The bases were loaded with consecutive walks to Bregman and Alvarez, and Brantley and Bregman scored on another Gurriel double.
The Astros got six of their eight runs after two outs, and even with eight runs, they managed to leave 18 runners on base, thanks to 15 hits and five walks.
The Astros officially have five batters hitting over .300, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel. Gurriel’s four RBI gives him 36 for the season, which leads MLB.
Tomorrow Luis Garcia takes the mound for the Astros against A’s ace, Cole Irvin. Early game, 2:37 CDT.
Box score and videos HERE.