• Brian L. Barefield

TAKE IT BACK: Astros defeat the Rays 5-1 on Opening Day 2019

The 2019 mantra for the Houston Astros is, “Take It Back.” After a season where Houston came up short against the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, the Astros made a strong opening day statement by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 5 – 1.

“There definitely is more intensity to it,” said Astros ace Justin Verlander who gave up only one run while striking out nine batters in seven innings of work. “It’s kind of somewhere between a playoff game and a regular-season game, so I just kind of used the adrenalin, and you go from there.”

This wasn’t your average opening day as this game featured a matchup between two pitchers (Verlander and Snell) who finished first and second in the American League Cy Young voting in 2018. Rays starter Blake Snell who was the A.L. Cy Young Award winner had a rough outing allowing three homeruns over six innings of work.

George Springer hit a three-run “Springer Dinger” 427 feet to dead center field to get the scoring started for Houston. Newly acquired outfielder Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve each added solo shots to finish Snell’s day

“I was happy with a lot of things I did, but I was upset with sequencing,” Snell said. “Threw first pitch curveballs to Springer twice. Right there credit him. He was waiting for it. I fell in love with the curveball and didn’t mix pitches like I should have been doing.”

The Astros will be back in action on tomorrow against the Rays as they face their former teammate RHP Charlie Morton. First pitch is at 6:05 pm.

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