It was Zack Greinke’s night. All he needed was a little bit of run support to steal the show at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Zack was backed up by Kyle Tucker’s first career grand slam and the veteran righty delivered a great performance on the mound. The Astros topped the Angels 4-1.
With 94 pitches, Greinke was almost untouchable. He was invisible to the guy with the second-most home runs in the league (Shohei Ohtani) and the guy with the third-most hits (David Fletcher). Both were 0-for-6 with a strikeout off the ace.
Greinke was threatened by a Max Stassi double to begin the bottom second, but he got the zero after getting a grounder from José Iglesias and striking out youngsters Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh.
After that, it was all dominance for the 37-year-old, who is now 6-0 with a 2.41 ERA in 11 starts on the road this year. He was done after seven strong, scoreless innings, two hits (single, double), no walks, and seven strikeouts. Greinke left his record at 11-3, 3.51 ERA. He also reached 10 outings of at least seven episodes, the second-highest mark in the American League in 2021, only behind Chris Bassitt’s 11.
The first third of the game was dominated by a pitching duel between Greinke and Patrick Sandoval, who put three zeroes on the Astros’ side to kick off the game. But in the fourth frame, everything changed with one at-bat.
Carlos Correa opened the fourth with a six-pitch walk, then Yordan Álvarez battled until he got a nine-pitch base on balls. Seconds later, each one of them advanced a base after Aledmys Díaz registered a single to load the bases without an out.
The at-bat of the night was set to happen. Tucker didn’t wait too much against Sandoval. The first pitch was an 82-mph slider that Tucker launched over the right-field fence to unload the bags with four runs that were enough for the Astros with a brilliant Greinke and a solid bullpen.
After Greinke, Kendall Graveman came for the eighth inning and surrendered two hits and an earned run, which created the save opportunity for Ryan Pressly. The Astros’ closer didn’t even sweat in the ninth episode to get his 19th save of the season, the first one for him since July 25, and his fourth scoreless appearance in August. All of this with only 10 deliveries.
The Astros will try to secure the series on Saturday (8:07 pm CT) with Luis García on the mound for them. Jaime Barría is expected to pitch for the Halos.