Yuli Gurriel lifted off in Friday's game against the Angels. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.
By starting this four-game series and eight-game homestand with an impressive win over the Angels on Thursday night, the Astros looked to repeat that success to continue turning the tide on recent struggles. Friday night, they had their ace, Zack Greinke, on the mound to try and help them get back-to-back wins, and hopefully a repeat performance of when he was last on the bump when he went eight scoreless innings. Greinke would have a good night on the mound, but it would take extra innings for the Astros to pull out the win over the Angels:
Final Score (10 innings): Astros 5, Angels 4
Astros' Record: 9-10, fourth in AL West
Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (2-0)
Losing Pitcher: Raisel Iglesias (1-2)
Greinke gets hit around but finishes another quality start
After allowing two hits each in the first and second inning, though no runs, Zack Greinke tried to settle in to get his pitch count and momentum back on track. He did so in the third and fourth innings, allowing just one hit over that span, but then the Angels would tag him in the fifth.
Los Angeles would get four hits and two runs in that inning, including an RBI-double by Shohei Ohtani, re-elevating Greinke's pitch count that he had just worked back under control the innings prior. After a scoreless sixth, Greinke remained in the game in the seventh, getting through another inning and hitting the highest pitch count by an Astros pitcher this season. His final line: 7.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 107 P.
Astros finally crack Heaney before tying the game
Unfortunately for Houston's offense, Andrew Heaney was doing even better to that point. They put just two runners on base against him through the first six innings, one on a single in the bottom of the first and another on a hit batter in the fourth.
That changed in the bottom of the seventh, with Yordan Alvarez getting the second hit of the night with a one-out double to force Heaney out of the game, followed by a game-tying homer to the Crawford Boxes by Yuli Gurriel, making it a brand new game at 2-2.
The game heads to extras
Ryne Stanek took over in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning to keep the game tied. Houston's offense had that same outcome in their half, sending the game to the ninth. Hoping to give his team the chance to walk it off in the bottom of the inning, Ryan Pressly would enter in the top of the ninth to keep the game tied.
Pressly would erase a leadoff double, keeping the score pat at 2-2. Michael Brantley started the inning by laying down a gorgeous bunt down the vacated third-base line, putting the winning run on base before being pinch-run for by Chas McCormick. Yuli Gurriel would come through with another big hit to extend the inning with a two-out single to move McCormick to second, but they would both get left stranded as the game would go to extras.
Houston gets an incredible rally in the tenth to win
Ryan Pressly, who used 13 pitches to get through the ninth, remained in the game for the top of the tenth and was greeted by a first-pitch RBI-single by David Fletcher to score the free runner on second to put Los Angeles back in front 3-2. Albert Pujols would add another with two outs, an RBI-single to make it a 4-2 game.
Houston would try to rally in the bottom of the tenth, moving the free runner Kyle Tucker to third with a sac fly, then home on an RBI-single by Myles Straw, making it a one-run game. Jason Castro would nearly tie the game with a ball into the right-field corner that would bounce out of play for a ground-rule double to keep the tying run on third and winning run on second.
That brought Carlos Correa to the plate, who tied the game with a sac fly and moved Castro to third. Robel Garcia would pinch-hit next and would play hero to bring in the winning run on a walk-off RBI single making it a three-run inning to complete the incredible rally to get back-to-back wins.
Up Next: The third game of this series will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch at 3:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Griffin Canning (1-1, 5.68 ERA) for Los Angeles and Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 10.57 ERA) for Houston, looking to provide his new team better stuff than he's given so far this year.
The Houston Texans may not have come away with a victory over the Jags on Sunday, but they did come away with a ringing endorsement from Skip Bayless.
While that may scare some people reading this, he does make some good points. His two main reasons for backing the Texans over Jacksonville should be no surprise. DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud.
Skip loves DeMeco's demeanor on the sideline and how he appears in total control of his team. And with CJ, Skip can't remember a quarterback with this much poise in his rookie season. His ability to use his legs and make accurate throws is something he's never seen. He already looks like a player 10 years into his career.
Plus, Skip says he felt like Stroud outplayed Lawrence even in the loss. Which led him to look up their QBR scores from the game. And sure enough, Stroud had a higher score.
Be sure to watch the video above as the guys discuss Houston's playoff chances, why free agents will want to come to the Texans, and Richard Sherman shares some inside information on DeMeco Ryans.
If you want to jump ahead to Skip's Texans praise, simply hit play on the video below.