Houston splits the series

Correa's ninth-inning homer lifts Astros over Angels

Carlos Correa's first home run of the season was a big one. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With their first loss in the books, the Astros returned to Angel Stadium on Tuesday afternoon to try and end their opening road trip with a win to split the two-game set with the Angels and move back into sole possession of first place in the AL West. They had their current ace, Zack Greinke, on the mound to try and get it done.

Greinke did his part, providing seven innings of two-run baseball. It would take a late spark to get the job done for Houston, though, as the game stayed tied for most of the afternoon.

Final Score: Astros 4, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 5-1, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Raisel Iglesias (1-1)

Both teams trade two-run innings early

In this game, the Angels would get on the board first. In the bottom of the first inning against Greinke, Shohei Ohtani reached on an infield single, setting up a two-run homer by Mike Trout to make it a 2-0 Los Angeles advantage. The Astros responded quickly, getting back-to-back solo shots by Kyle Tucker and Aledmys Diaz to tie the game in the top of the second.



Both starters settle in as game stays tied

The teams stayed gridlocked 2-2 as both Greinke and Angels starter Dylan Bundy settled in over the next several innings. Bundy would keep Houston off the board through six innings while striking out ten, giving way to the bullpen starting in the seventh. Greinke, meanwhile, was able to complete seven innings, allowing just two hits after the first inning. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 96 P.

Correa's clutch home run seals the deal

Ryan Pressly would take over for Greinke to try and keep the game tied in the bottom of the eighth. He did so, working around a two-out single to send the tied game to the ninth. Houston would finally break the stalemate, with Yordan Alvarez leading off the top of the ninth with a broken-bat single, setting up Carlos Correa's first home run of the season, a two-run shot to give the Astros their first lead of the day, 4-2.


Pressly remained on the mound in the bottom of the ninth for a rare two-inning outing and would earn the win by erasing a one-out single to end the game, splitting the short two-game series. The victory also put the Astros back in sole possession of first place in the AL West.

Up Next: Houston will travel back home for an off-day tomorrow before their home opener Thursday night. They'll get to face the A's for three more, with the opener starting at 7:10 PM Central and featuring Cole Irvin (0-1, 8.31 ERA) on the mound for Oakland and Cristian Javier (0-0, 4.91 ERA) making his second start for the Astros.

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The Astros suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Yankees Thursday. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

After an impressive two-game sweep of the NL-best Mets at home earlier in the week, the Astros took to the road to begin a four-game series with the league-best Yankees on Thursday night. To little surprise, the series started with a bang (no, not a trash can bang) in more ways than one, confirming that this series should be a must-watch this weekend.

New York's comeback proves no lead will be safe

Right from the get-go, the loud Yankee Stadium faithful had their chance to rain boos down on Jose Altuve before showing some pleasure as he led off the series by being hit by a pitch. They were quickly, though only temporarily, quieted as Altuve would come in to score two batters later on a three-run blast by Alex Bregman.

Three-run homers seemed to be a theme, as New York would get one of their own to tie the game off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton to tie the game, then Yordan Alvarez continued his dominant June by pushing the Astros back in front by three with another three-run bomb in the third, making it 6-3. That lead held through to the bottom of the ninth, where instead of holding it, Ryan Pressly issued two walks to set up the fourth homer of the game to tie things again before Aaron Judge would get a walk-off single to complete the impressive comeback.

Not only will we get to sit back and watch the slug-fest between Yordan and Judge this weekend, but it looks like with Alex Bregman swinging well again to round out the top of Houston's order, the Astros may be getting closer to their full power. So far in June, these two teams sit third and fourth in on-base percentage, with the Astros at .351 and the Yankees right behind at .350. That means we should continue to see scoring opportunities on both sides that can tilt momentum one way or the other as these lineups try to battle against the opposing pitcher.

How will the aces fare

Verlander vs. Judge, and Cole vs. Alvarez, need I say more? Although we won't see Justin Verlander go up against Gerrit Cole in the same game in this series (they should go head to head next Thursday, however), they will pitch on back-to-back days, with Houston's ace going Friday night and New York's on Saturday afternoon. Verlander is coming off his worst start of the year, a three and two-thirds inning outing where the White Sox put up seven runs, four earned, against him and knocked him out early to give him his third loss and increased his ERA from 1.94 to 2.30.

The last time he faced the Yankees was in the Bronx in the 2019 playoffs, in ALCS Game 5, where he went seven frames while allowing four runs, all on two homers in the first inning, which is all New York needed to grab the 4-1 victory to make it a 3-2 Houston lead in the series, which the Astros would go on to clinch in Game 6. So, with the double dose of bad taste in his mouth, it will be interesting to see if he can use that as the fuel to get back to the phenomenal form he's had this year or if the Yankees try to jump on him early like they did nearly three years ago.

Cole, meanwhile, is fresh off of two quality starts in a row against the Rays, where he allowed just one run on six hits with nineteen strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work. He's had his share of strife this season, though, including a seven-run shelling by the Twins earlier this month, along with a start in April where he couldn't make it through two innings against the Tigers. He's had success against his former club, most notably a complete-game shutout in Houston last July with twelve K's and holding the Astros to just three hits.

If the series opener was any indication, we are in for the treat of a playoff-caliber matchup, if not a potential ALCS preview that we may see in October. The Yankees showed why they have the best record and are the hottest team in baseball on Thursday night, but the Astros were only a good outing from their closer away from having a relatively lopsided win. The rivalry is real; the competition is close, and we get to enjoy the show.

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