The Houston Astros finally ended their six game losing streak on the shoulders of a dominant Zack Greinke. While Blake Taylor becomes the next player to hit the injured list with an ankle injury, the left-hander was replaced by prospect Peter Solomon, who is making his first major league stint.
While the bats totaled for 10 hits (nine singles), the Astros only posted one run in route to their first win since April 8. As Ryan Pressly got the ninth inning, it was the right-handers first save of the season, while he struck out one batter. Greinke praised the ability of Pressly in that situation, as well.
Zack Greinke picks up an accolade in his eight scoreless innings.
While the Astros’ bats weren’t much help in the end, the somewhat hometown kid of Seattle, Taylor Jones, recorded the RBI-single to put Houston ahead. Other than that, Greinke dominated the game himself with easy outs made in the field.
Through eight innings of work, Greinke allowed four hits, while striking out six batters. One of these strikeouts put the right-hander in an exclusive club, as he reached 2,700 career strikeouts. Although mainly being a ground ball pitcher lately in his career, Greinke is in an elite company of 25 pitchers to reach the mark.
The former Gold Glove award winner made a beautiful stop on a rocket back to the pitcher’s mound, but although he dropped it, Greinke turned a perfect double play. The right-hander has been an advocate of wanting to turn plays and record his own outs, while usually called off in the field.
While Martin Maldonado has been Greinke’s personal catcher, Jason Castro caught the future Hall of Famer on Saturday, but Maldonado was active on Twitter. As Greinke has moved away from his slider, according to Statcast, the right-hander did not throw one on Saturday, but Maldonado said that was wrong as he watched from home.
Houston is back on the field on Sunday at 3:10 p.m. to close out the series with the Seattle Mariners. With Jake Odorizzi getting the ball, the offense will matchup against left-hander Justus Sheffield, as the Astros look to win their first series since their sweep in Oakland. While not at full strength, it could show how deep this team can get with big names sidelined.
As Lance McCullers Jr. has dealt with his own health issues in the past week, the right-hander could possibly skip his scheduled start in the Colorado Rockies‘ series next week. McCullers was throwing long toss on the field in Seattle, but Manager Dusty Baker said there would be no reason to risk anything. While other pitchers have expected returns in the coming weeks, a next man up mentality stands in the Astros’ clubhouse.