Houston gets back in the win column

Astros behind Greinke defeat Padres to avoid series sweep

Zack Greinke provided a much-needed eight-inning performance on Sunday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

With another monumental bullpen collapse in Saturday's game to put the series win in San Diego's back pocket, the Astros tried to salvage a game to avoid a sweep by the Padres on Sunday. Despite some last-minute drama when Houston's bullpen would give up late runs, Houston would hold on to their early lead to get the win.

Final Score: Astros 7, Padres 4

Astros' Record: 28-24, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Snell (1-2)

Astros build an early lead against Snell

Houston appeared determined to grab the momentum in Sunday's series finale quickly. After Zack Greinke tossed a 1-2-3 top of the first, the Astros put up four runs in the bottom half. Jose Altuve led things off with a single, then moved to third on a Chas McCormick single in the next at-bat before scoring on an RBI groundout by Alex Bregman. Carlos Correa worked a walk after that, setting up a three-run homer by Kyle Tucker to give the Astros an early 4-0 advantage.

They made Blake Snell's day even worse in the bottom of the third, adding three more on two hits, a two-RBI double by Aledmys Diaz and an RBI single by Taylor Jones, extending the lead to 7-0. That was plenty of padding for Houston's starter, who was holding his own.

Greinke tosses eight much-needed innings

Greinke allowed just one baserunner through the first three frames, giving up a two-out single, San Diego's first hit of the day, in the top of the third. He gave up two more hits in the top of the fourth but left both on base to maintain the 7-0 lead. The Padres got on the board in the fifth, getting a solo home run, but that would be their only run against Greinke, who would get a much-needed lengthy start on the mound. His final line: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 96 P.

Houston avoids the sweep

For the Padres, they sent former-Astro Joe Musgrove out to eat up innings after Snell's early exit. He did well against his old teammates, holding them scoreless and hitless over five innings. After Greinke's eight, it left just one inning for Houston's struggling bullpen to cover, which went to Andre Scrubb.

He allowed a leadoff solo home run to cut the lead to 7-2, then a two-run homer with one out to make it 7-4, putting Astros fans on the edge of their seats once again. He would eventually get through the inning, wrapping up the victory to end the series on a positive note.

Up Next: Houston will pick things back up on Monday with a 3:10 PM four-game series opener against the Red Sox. Boston will send Eduardo Rodriguez (5-3, 5.06 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will hand the ball to Jose Urquidy (3-2, 3.22 ERA), who is making his return from the IL.

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Luis Garcia played his part in a pitcher's duel with Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With an impressive offensive onslaught to overpower Chicago in game one of this series, the Astros entered this second of four games hoping to keep their momentum going. After an impressive pitcher's duel left the game tied late into the game, Houston would edge out the win with a big walk-off in the ninth.

Final Score: Astros 2, White Sox 1

Astros' Record: 41-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Crochet (2-3)

Garcia matches Rodon in a pitcher's duel

Both starting pitchers were very effective, save one inning, in their respective seven innings of work. For Luis Garcia, he had his struggles in the top of the first to start the game, allowing a one-out double and single to put runners on second and third, setting up an RBI single to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

He limited the damage to that one run, both in that inning and the rest of his night, as he would follow that with six straight scoreless frames. Once he found his groove in the fourth, he would retire 12 of 13 batters he faced over that span to get through seven one-run innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

For Houston, it took until one out into the fifth inning to get a hit and their first baserunner against Carlos Rodon. That sparked an opportunity to grab a lead, as they would go on to load the bases still with one out but would get just one run out of it with a two-out RBI walk by Martin Maldonado to tie the game up 1-1.

Astros walk it off in the ninth

Ryne Stanek was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, erasing a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to keep things gridlocked. Still in a stalemate in the top of the ninth, the Astros opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly to try and keep it tied to set up a potential walk-off. He was perfect, striking out Chicago 1-2-3 to send it to the home half.

In the bottom of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel got the winning run on base by hitting a one-out single. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who got the walk-off hit, roping a ball into the right-field corner deep enough for Gurriel to hustle from first to home to win it for Houston, 2-1.

Up Next: Now having won five in a row, the Astros will try to lock up this series in game three of four on Saturday at 6:15 PM Central. Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51 ERA) will try to get a win for the White Sox, while Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his 2021 success for Houston.

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