Right when everything seemed to be on the Padres’ side, the Astros made a statement. Two home runs —one by Carlos Correa and the other from Kyle Tucker’s bat— and a huge bullpen performance made it for Houston to defeat San Diego 6-3 in the first game of the series.
Making his comeback from the injured list, José Urquidy got into a pitching duel with veteran Jake Arrieta through the first three innings of the contest. But in the fourth episode, with the Astros down 1-0, Carlos Correa hit a go-ahead mammoth home run to center field with two men on board to leave things 3-1.
However, the Padres came from behind and tied the game in the sixth frame with an RBI single from Austin Nola.
Right after that, the Astros built some momentum in the seventh, with a remarkable zero thanks to righty reliever Kendall Graveman and lefty Blake Taylor, who struck out Erick Hosmer to leave the bases loaded and end the inning on a high note for the Astros.
Immediately, the Astros took advantage of that scoreless episode. After two outs, Alex Bregman battled in a nine-pitch at-bat to get a single against Emilio Pagán, one of baseball’s most consistent relievers in recent years. Then, Tucker came to home plate, and three pitches later, he connected a 94.9-mph fastball over the right field fence for a go-ahead, two-run home run. It was Tucker’s second four-bagger since August 13, but he’s making every long ball count.
With the Astros up in the score by two runs, it was just a matter of time. Ryne Stanek kept his hot streak going and threw a scoreless eighth to record his 18th hold of the season. And Ryan Pressly came out in the ninth and got his 23rd save with his fifth consecutive appearance without a run.
The second game of the series will start at 8:40 pm ET, on Saturday, in what will presumably be a good pitcher’s duel between left-hander Framber Valdez and righty Joe Musgrove at Petco Park.