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Greinke gets pounded as the Astros fall 8-1 to the Rangers

Making his return, Zack didn’t have a good time on Tuesday at Globe Life Park.

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After smashing the Rangers on Monday with a 15-1 score, the Astros had their ace on the mound to try to have another strong performance on Tuesday. But that wasn’t the case, as Zack Greinke was outpitched by Jordan Lyles and Texas won the second game of the series, beating Houston 8-1.

Greinke made his return after being out since August 29 and it didn’t go well for him. Besides taking the loss (11-6), he surrendered five hits and eight runs (seven earned) across five episodes of three walks, four strikeouts, and three home runs, including Adolis García’s 30th dinger of the season.

With this showing, Zack has been destroyed by the Rangers in his two most recent starts: Nine innings pitched, 14 hits allowed (four left the yard), and 13 earned runs. Could this be a red flag for the Astros getting closer to the postseason? A topic to discuss and think about.

The offense, without Michael Brantley, was not the same on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park as Lyles shut it down for most of the game. Keeping his hot streak going, José Altuve was the only guy to record multiple hits and is now hitting for a .389 batting average through his last nine games (14-for-36). But despite leading off the contest with a single, the Astros’ hitters remained calm throughout the night and ended up registering more strikeouts (9) than hits (6).

The good news is the bullpen had another good performance. Yimi García, Blake Taylor, and Brooks Raley threw the last third of the game without allowing a run. In the last five games, the Astros’ reliever staff has gone 21 2/3 frames of 14-hit, one-run ball with 22 strikeouts (0.42 ERA).

Fortunately for the Astros, who lost for the 60th time in 2021, the Mariners and the Athletics also took losses on Tuesday, so the gap in the race for the American League West Division didn’t shrink.

On Wednesday night (7:05 pm ET), José Urquidy will take the ball to face also righty Kohei Arihara with the Astros going for their 85th win of the campaign.