OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Zack Greinke pitched six scoreless innings, Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth and the Houston Astros silenced a hostile crowd Thursday by trailing 8-1 to the Oakland Athletics, current champions of the American League West Division.
Athletics fans had to wait another year to boo the Astros, who were due to play their first road game there in a last season that was reduced by the coronavirus pandemic, there. The Houston sign stealing scandal was uncovered by Oakland right-hander Mike Fiers against his former club, with many of the spectators shouting “Cheats!”
One of the most celebrated moments of the night was when Puerto Rican Carlos Correa was hit by a Chris Bassitt fastball in the fourth inning. With a running back in scoring position, it didn’t appear to be intentional.
Backed up by a two-run double by Cuban Yordan Alvarez, Greinke (1-0) allowed three hits, fanned four and did not walk for the Astros, who broke their record with their ninth consecutive victory in the first game of the season.
This is the longest active streak in the MLB and, according to Elias, it equates Houston with the Mariners (2007-2015), Reds (1983-1991), Mets (1975-1983) and the St. Louis Browns (1937-1945).
Bassitt (0-1) took the loss after conceding three plate appearances and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. In addition, he struck out three and gave two passes on balls.
For the Astros, Venezuelan José Altuve 4-1, with two runs scored. The Dominican Robel García 0-0, with one noted. Puerto Ricans Carlos Correa 3-1; Martín Maldonado 4-0. The Cubans Yordan Álvarez 3-1, with three RBIs; Yulieski Gurriel 4-1.
For the Athletics, the Dominican Ramón Laureano 4-2, with one scored. Venezuelan Elvis Andrus 3-1.