Houston starts 2022 with a win
Astros grab tenth-straight Opening Day win in victory over Angels
The Astros start the 2022 season with nine games on the road before they get their home opener on April 18th. That didn't prevent them from spoiling things for the Angels in Anaheim in Thursdays season opener, though, as they kicked off the year with a win in a division rival's home stadium.
Final Score: Astros 3, Angels 1
Astros' Record: 1-0, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (1-0)
Losing Pitcher: Shohei Ohtani (0-1)
Although Ohtani was able to rack up some impressive strikeouts, getting up to nine over his 4.2 IP, it came while allowing the Astros to jump out in front. Houston put up the first run of the season in the top of the third, getting a two-out double by Michael Brantley who would come in to score on a RBI-single by Alex Bregman, looking to put together a MVP-like season in 2022 now that he is fully healthy.
While Ohtani would reach the early-season max of 80 pitches in the fifth, leaving with a 1-0 deficit, Framber Valdez was able to work his way through an efficient six and two-thirds innings on around the same amount of pitches, getting two outs into the seventh before Dusty Baker would bring in Phil Maton to finish the inning and preserve the one-run lead.
The Astros extended the lead in the top of the eighth, getting back-to-back homers to start the inning by Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez, making it a 3-0 advantage in an inning where Houston would get heavy contact against reliver Ryan Tepera. Los Angeles got on the board in the bottom of the eighth, taking advantage of a hit batter as David Fletcher would get a RBI-triple against Maton, making it 3-1.
Houston held on to the two-run lead though, as Hector Neris would enter to finish the eighth, and then brought in closer Ryan Pressly in the bottom of the ninth to get his first save of the season. Despite a leadoff single by Mike Trout to bring the tying run to the plate, Pressly would overcome it with a flyout then a double play to win their tenth straight Opening Day game, tying the major-league record set by the 1887-1896 Boston Beaneaters.