MLB round-up: Zack Greinke and the Houston Astros ignore the jeers to thrash Oakland Athletics on opening day

Atro's coach Bake says pitcher is 'in much better shape this year'

Zack Greinke threw six shutout innings while leading the Houston Astros to an 8-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics. AFP
Zack Greinke threw six shutout innings while leading the Houston Astros to an 8-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics. AFP

Zack Greinke pitched six shutout innings, Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman homered back-to-back in the eighth, and the Houston Astros hushed an unwelcoming crowd in beating the reigning AL West champions Oakland Athletics 8-1 on Thursday night.

A’s fans had to wait an extra year to properly boo the Astros, who were supposed to play their first road game of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season here last spring. Houston’s sign-stealing scandal was brought to light by A’s right-hander Mike Fiers against his former club, and many in the crowd chanted “Cheaters!”

Among the biggest cheers of the night: when Carlos Correa was drilled by Chris Bassitt's fastball in the fourth inning. With a runner in scoring position, it didn't appear to be intentional.

Backed by a two-run double from Yordan Alvarez, Greinke (1-0) allowed three hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter in Houston’s club-record ninth straight win on opening day.

“He was kind of in midseason form," Astros manager Dusty Baker said of Greinke. "He’s in much better shape this year."

Greinke hopes wins like this might help silence some of the haters. “Got to hear some boos finally, that wasn’t that fun to listen to,” Greinke said, “but we played good so it ended up being better.”

Albert Pujols' stellar career has included many big hits and big home runs, but the Los Angeles Angels first baseman got the job done with an infield chopper that traveled all of about 50 feet.

Still, it was enough to drive in the winning run in the Angels' 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox in Anaheim, California.

The Angels scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, turning a 3-2 deficit into a win. The rally included an RBI single by Mike Trout and a clutch plate appearance from Justin Upton, whose 11-pitch walk set the stage for Pujols.

Pujols, making an opening day start for the 21st consecutive season, came to the plate with the bases loaded, one out and the game tied at 3-3.

White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer got Pujols to hit a high chopper that hugged the third base line. Pujols was thrown out, but Shohei Ohtani scored from third.

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols made an opening day  start for the 21st consecutive season. AFP
Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols made an opening day start for the 21st consecutive season. AFP

Chris Owings had three hits and scored three runs, Trevor Story and C.J. Cron had two hits apiece, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 in at Denver.

Jake Cronenworth tripled leading off the seventh inning and scored on a sacrifice fly to snap a tie and give host San Diego Padres an 8-7 win over Arizona Diamondbacks.

Randal Grichuk hit a tiebreaking double in the 10th inning, lifting Toronto Blue Jays to a 3-2 win at New York Yankees.

Miguel Cabrera smacked a two-run homer in the first inning and host Detroit Tigers blanked Cleveland Indians until the ninth, holding on for a chilly opening day 3-2 victory.

Orlando Arcia drove in the winning run in extra innings as host Milwaukee Brewers rallied from a three-run deficit in the ninth to beat Minnesota Twins 6-5.

Ke'Bryan Hayes belted a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the season and Adam Frazier drove in two runs as Pittsburgh Pirates opened the season with a victory at Chicago Cubs.

Dylan Carlson's three-run homer highlighted a six-run first inning, and Paul Goldschmidt had four hits as visiting St Louis Cardinals recorded a season-opening 11-6 win over Cincinnati Reds.

Jean Segura hit the game-winning single to left field with two outs in the 10th inning to score Bryce Harper and lift hosts Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-2 win over Atlanta Braves.

Michael A. Taylor made his Royals debut with three hits and three RBIs as Kansas City Royals defeated visiting Texas Rangers 14-10. Taylor also threw out two runners at the plate.

Austin Meadows broke open a scoreless pitching duel with an eighth-inning homer, leading Tampa Bay Rays to a win at Miami Marlins.

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera celebrates with Nomar Mazara after hitting a two run home run  in the snow against the Cleveland Indians. Reuters
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera celebrates with Nomar Mazara after hitting a two-run homer in the snow against the Cleveland Indians. Reuters

Published: April 2, 2021 10:46 AM

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