OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Zack Greinke wanted to throw harder, and he surprised himself when the radar gun read 93 mph on a fastball in the first inning — and it sure felt great.
“I was surprised, for sure,” he said.
José Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, Yuli Gurriel drove in four runs to back Greinke, and the Houston Astros won for the seventh time in eight games by beating the Oakland Athletics 8-1 on Wednesday night.
Greinke (4-1) struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter, allowing one run on four hits over eight impressive innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season.
“It ended up being a lot harder. I don’t really know completely what it is,” Greinke said of his fastball. “It was nice, and I was throwing strikes with it, too, so that was good.”
Gurriel hit a pair of two-run doubles among his four hits, Carlos Correa contributed two RBI singles and Michael Brantley also singled home a late run for Houston.
“Yuli was awesome. He’s been awesome all year long,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s been clutching up. He’s been driving in runs.”
The Astros pulled back within a half-game of the defending AL West champion A’s in the division race — with everybody realizing it’s still early but fully expecting these two clubs to chase each other down to the end. Houston hasn’t led the West since April 8.
Greinke joked with his team that the high winds helped his cause. Baker was thrilled Greinke produced one of his best starts this year, with “pinpoint control” to save the bullpen.
“You know Greinke, he has that same look on his face all the time. He came in and had a couple smiles on his face, that’s about it,” Baker said.
Sean Murphy had an RBI double in the second for Oakland, coming off its…
Leave a Reply