Astros fall to 4-4 on the year

Greinke much improved, Astros fall to Angels in extra innings

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After finishing the opening game of this three-game series at approximately 12:30 AM Central on Friday night / Saturday morning, the Astros and Angels were back in action on Saturday evening, with Houston looking to lock up the series win and extend their division lead. Here is a recap of the middle game:

Final Score (10 Innings): Angels 5, Astros 4.

Record: 4-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Ryan Buchter (2-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Nivaldo Rodriguez (0-1, 0.00 ERA).

Greinke looks much improved, but falters in sixth inning

After combining for 15 runs the night prior, both teams had slow starts on Saturday evening. For the Angels, that came at the hand of Zack Greinke, who put together a vastly more impressive start than his 2020 debut where he went just 3.1 innings and allowed three runs.

Greinke did not allow a baserunner until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Angels would get their first hit with one out. That would break the seal on their offense, as Los Angeles would end up tagging Greinke with two runs on a sac-fly and RBI-single, ending his night two outs into the inning as Blake Taylor would get the final out. Greinke's final line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

Angels stay in command through eight

Houston was able to create some chances in the early parts of the game, but couldn't convert them. They had runners on in five of the first six innings, but would not be able to get on the board over that span. Josh Reddick led off the top of the seventh with a double, moved to third on a groundout, then scored to cut the lead in half on a two-out RBI-single by George Springer.

Taylor remained in the game for Houston on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, and he continued his impressive start to his rookie campaign by working around a two-out single to keep it a one-run game. Ryan Pressly would make his 2020 debut out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth to try and give Houston's offense a chance in the top of the ninth. He was greeted with a lead-off triple, which would eventually turn into a run on a two-out RBI-single to push Los Angeles back in front by two at 3-1. That would also mark the end of Pressly's night as Brandon Bailey would come in to get the final out of the frame.

Teams trade blows to go to extras, Angels come out ahead in tenth

In the top of the ninth, Josh Reddick was able to get Houston back within one run with a one-out solo home run. After Garrett Stubbs kept Houston alive with a two-out single, George Springer would give the Astros their first lead of the day with a two-run home run, making it a 4-3 Astros advantage. Now in a save situation, Roberto Osuna came in for the bottom of the ninth. He would get one out, then allow a runner before being taken out mid-at-bat with an injury.

Cy Sneed would enter quickly, and after a wild pitch to move the runner to second allowed an RBI-double to former-Astro Jason Castro to tie the game 4-4. Sneed would hold the Angels there, sending the game to extra innings. Alex Bregman would start the top of the tenth on second base per the 2020 rules and would be joined by Kyle Tucker, who received an intentional walk to start the inning with two on base and no outs.

Though the Astros would load the bases with two outs, the Angels would get out of the jam with a strikeout. Nivaldo Rodriguez would come out of the bullpen for the bottom of the tenth and allowed the walk-off to tie the series at one apiece.

Up Next: The finale of this series will start at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. The pitching matchup will be two pitchers looking to rebound from underwhelming season debuts. Josh James will be on the mound for Houston after allowing three runs over three innings in his first start, and Shohei Ohtani is starting for Los Angeles, who allowed five runs without recording an out in his.

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With so much on the line for the Astros this past weekend, they couldn't possibly get swept by the Royals, could they?

That's exactly what they did thanks to some poor pitching, and an inability to get timely hits with runners in scoring position.

The Astros are currently clinging to the last wild card position as they head to Seattle to face the Mariners, with Justin Verlander on the mound for the 'Stros.

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So how will the rotation look over the final stretch of games? We know for the Mariners series the team is rolling out Verlander, Cristian Javier, and Framber Valdez.

The club is off on Thursday, and they head to Arizona for a 3-game series with the Diamondbacks that starts Friday. We predict JP France will pitch Friday, with Justin Verlander likely taking the ball Saturday.

Then all bets are off for Sunday. It could be Framber on 3-days rest, or all hands on deck for a bullpen game.

Of course, with the division race being so close, things could change on a daily basis. There's even a scenario where Arizona secures their wild card, and the final two games of the season don't matter for them.

The other big factor will be the outcome of the 4-game Rangers-Mariners series that finishes off the season.

Be sure to watch the video above as we examine all the scenarios leading up to the end of the regular season for Houston, and much more!

Watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Thursday on SportsMap Houston's YouTube channel.

And listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

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