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Alex Bregman plays hero as Astros win series against Halos

The Astros’ third baseman got a huge two-run single to make the difference at Angel Stadium on Sunday.

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There’s no doubt Alex Bregman wants to recover his star status. On Sunday’s game, he played a key role for the Astros en route to a 4-1 victory against the Angels to win the 2022 opening series three games to one. Alongside Bregs, José Urquidy was effective from the mound and Kyle Tucker did his part defensively.

The Astros’ offense was silenced by Angels’ starter José Suárez until the fifth inning, when they overcame a 1-0 score (solo shot by former Astro Jack Mayfield). After two straight walks from Suárez to Martín Maldonado and José Sirí, Bregman recorded a two-out, two-run single to put the Astros ahead 2-1.

The key defensive play, however, came in the bottom of the third inning with one out, two runners in scoring position, and Mike Trout at home plate. Trout hit a high fly ball to right field and Tucker got Tyler Wade at home with a beautiful throw to Martín Maldonado’s glove to end the inning with a huge double play.

At the same time the Astros kept a close score 2-1, Urquidy figured things out after being down 1-0 for the first period of the game. The young righty got the first W of the season for him after covering five frames of four-hit, one-run ball with no walks and two strikeouts.

Urquidy’s afternoon ended after 72 pitches as Phil Maton took the hill. Maton, who struck out Shohei Ohtani to begin his appearance, worked a scoreless inning, the same as Rafael Montero, Héctor Neris, and closer Ryan Pressly. The latter registered his second save of the young campaign.

After the first four saves of 2022, the Astros’ relievers have a 1.88 ERA across 14 1/3 innings in which they allowed three earned runs, gave up only three bases on balls, and struck out 15 hitters.

Jeremy Peña, who went 3-for-5 and is 6-for-16 to begin his MLB career, got a leadoff single in the top of the eighth inning. Then, Bregman followed him with a single of his own and reliever Archie Bradley threw a wild pitch that let Peña score and make it 3-1. A Chas McCormick single drove in Bregman to leave it 4-1.

The Astros will enjoy a day off on Monday and will begin a two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Luis García is the announced starter for the Astros while also righty Zac Gallen is called to take the ball for the D-Backs in the first game of the series.