August 24, 2019 / 3:43 AM / 23 days ago

Astros hold off Angels despite shaky Greinke

EditorsNote: Notes Houston home team in lead; reworks wording in graf 4; corrects Suarez’s first name to Jose; clarifies Upton, Calhoun RBIs in different innings

Aug 23, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) walks on the field prior to the game against the Houston Astros during an MLB Players' Weekend game at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Greinke remained unbeaten over his four starts since joining the Houston Astros at the trade deadline despite pitching in and out of trouble in a 5-4 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Friday at Minute Maid Park.

After falling into a 2-0 hole in the second inning, Greinke (14-4) darted in and out of effectiveness and departed with two outs in the seventh inning with a one-run lead despite allowing 10 hits and recording only one strikeout.

Right-hander Will Harris handled the final bit of drama Greinke created with Anthony Bemboom at third base by striking out Shohei Ohtani to preserve the lead.

Before that, Greinke induced an inning-ending double play in the third, worked around leadoff doubles from Kole Calhoun in the fourth and Matt Thaiss in the fifth, and initiated another inning-ending double play in the sixth after the Angels scratched across an unearned run in the inning that cut the deficit to 4-3. Greinke helped his own cause by not allowing a walk.

The Angels finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded six baserunners.

Houston tallied run-scoring singles from Jose Altuve in the third inning and Jake Marisnick in the fourth against Angels left-hander Jose Suarez (2-5). Suarez departed after surrendering a two-out double to Alex Bregman in the fifth just prior to first baseman Yuli Gurriel greeting Angels right-hander Noe Ramirez with an opposite-field, two-run homer to right.

For Gurriel, it marked his 26th home run on the season. But the Angels did not relent, twice clawing to within a run. The first came on a fielder’s choice groundout by Justin Upton in the sixth to make it 4-3. Then Calhoun capped a 4-for-4 effort with a leadoff home run on the first pitch of the eighth against Hector Rondon to make it 5-4.

The Calhoun blast, his 28th, negated the insurance run the Astros tallied in the bottom of the seventh when Bregman plated Altuve with another two-out hit, a single to center field.

Rondon recovered from the Calhoun homer with three successive outs and closer Roberto Osuna notched his 31st save while making his fifth appearance in six games.

—Field Level Media

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