Houston has lost three straight

A.J. Hinch's Tigers get best of Greinke, take opener against Astros

Zack Greinke had his worst start of the early season Monday. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

After dropping the final two games against the A's over the weekend to lose the series and fall to 6-3 on the year, the Astros welcomed in the 3-6 Tigers hoping to get back on track against a beatable team. Detroit's new manager had a warm welcome back in Houston, as A.J. Hinch, former Astros manager, made his first appearance in Minute Maid Park since he handed a one-year suspension from the league in 2020 for Houston's sign-stealing of 2017 and 2018.

Hinch's team would perform as well as the Astros did under his command, dominating Houston en route to a lopsided win to take the series opener and hand the Astros their third-straight loss.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-4, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Casey Mize (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Zack Greinke (1-1)

Greinke struggles on the mound

Instead of the Astros' potent offense getting the better of a young pitcher in Casey Mize for the Tigers, it was Detroit roughing up Houston's veteran ace, Zack Greinke. They started by battling him for an extended first inning, getting a hit and two walks. They got on the board in the top of the second, sending seven batters to the plate and hitting a two-run homer to go up 2-0.

Before Greinke could try and settle in, the Tigers went back-to-back two-out solo homers in the top of the third, doubling the lead to 4-0. Greinke would get a scoreless fourth but then allowed two more runs on his way out in the top of the fifth, ending his shortest and the most disappointing start of the young season. His final line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 90 P.

Mize and Detroit's bullpen handle the Astros

Meanwhile, Mize was making relatively easy work of Houston's bats. The Astros had a runner in scoring position three times over the first four innings but could not get a run across to shift momentum and throw him off his game. After Mize would finish seven shutout frames, Michael Brantley would get the goose egg off the board with a solo home run off of Detroit's bullpen.

After Greinke, Luis Garcia, who recently moved to the bullpen after filling in as the temporary fifth starter in the rotation, took over to eat up innings in the lopsided game. He would have an impressive outing, albeit to no avail, finishing the remaining four and one-third innings for his team without allowing any runs. Carlos Correa would attempt to start a magical rally with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, but no more runs would come as Houston would be unable to undo the damage done by Detroit earlier in the night.

Up Next: This series will roll on Tuesday night with another 7:10 PM first pitch. Jake Odorizzi, a late off-season acquisition for the Astros, will make his first start for his new team after working his way back to starting form. Detroit will send Matthew Boyd (1-1, 2.13 ERA) to the mound.

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Houston went yard several times

Astros take series from Angels with a home run parade

Houston homered their way to another series win Wednesday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After losing the opener then winning an exciting game Tuesday night, the Astros were seeking another series victory by winning the rubber match on Wednesday. They would blast homers all through the night, pushing them over the Angels in the finale.

Final Score: Astros 9, Angels 1

Astros' Record: 20-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Andrew Heaney (1-3)

Astros grab an early lead, Urquidy exits with injury

Houston made early noise in Wednesday night's game, with Jose Altuve turning around the very first pitch of the bottom of the first inning for a solo homer. A two-out single later in the inning set up Yuli Gurriel for his seventh home run and 30th RBI of the season, putting the Astros out to an early 3-0 lead.

Jose Urquidy looked in control through the first three innings, allowing just two hits while maintaining the lead. However, after recording the second out of the fourth, he would be visited by training and coaching staff on the mound before being removed, later diagnosed with posterior shoulder discomfort. Brandon Bielak would quickly enter the game, picking up where Urquidy left off by keeping the Angels off the board.

Tucker stays hot as Bielak locks in out of the bullpen

Still 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Kyle Tucker would extend his recent hot streak by putting two more runs on the board with a blast to extend the lead to 5-0. Bielak remained in the game in the top of the seventh, having allowed just one hit while retiring all other batters since entering in the top of the fourth. He made it through that inning, putting Los Angeles down 1-2-3, and stayed on the mound in the top of the eighth.

He wouldn't be able to get any further, allowing a leadoff walk followed by a single, putting runners on the corners and prompting Dusty Baker to go to the third pitcher of the night, Andre Scrubb. The Angels would get on the board with a sac fly to make it 5-1, but Scrubb would finish the inning with no further damage.

Astros continue the home run barrage to take the series

Yordan Alvarez would get the run back with Houston's fourth dinger of the night, a solo shot to make it 6-1. They continued to pour it on, with Chaz McCormick joining the home run parade with a three-run blast later in the inning, making it 9-1. Joe Smith would take over on the mound in the top of the ninth, finishing off the lopsided win to give Houston the series victory as they turn the page to another division opponent.

Up Next: Having already faced the rest of the division in 2021 multiple times, the Astros will have their first series against the Texas Rangers starting Thursday at 7:10 PM Central at Minute Maid Park. In the opener, Cristian Javier (3-1, 2.90 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston, going up against Mike Foltynewicz (1-3, 4.50 ERA).

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