Houston Sports: Jeremy Peña hits first home run as his parents are interviewed from the stands during Astros win
The Astros newbie could see his parents’ faces as he made that dream a reality.
Peña was first linked while parents Gerónimo and Carmen Cecilia were being interviewed on the show, a moment that made for highlights as Houston beat the Los Angeles Angels 13-6 on Friday night.
Justin Verlander told Peña about the interview when he returned to the coaching bench and the 24-year-old was allowed to watch it after the game.
“It was pretty cool,” said Peña, who had balls from his first goal and homer in his locker after the game. “You’re not planning this. When they told me they have this on camera it was great to see.”
Kyle Tucker hit two of Houston’s six homers, as did Jose Altuve, Aledmys Díaz and Alex Bregman. It’s the 16th time Houston has had at least six home runs in a game, and five of those have come since 2019. The Astros had 14 hits.
“I mean, this team is capable of that. When I got here (2020) people said it was fast. It’s going fast,” said manager Dusty Baker.
Jared Walsh had three hits and drove in two for the Angels.
Peña, Houston’s rookie replacement at shortstop after Carlos Correa signed with Minnesota, notched his first major league hit with a single in the second inning. He then led the seventh with a left-center drive while his mum and dad were being interviewed in the stands by Apple TV+.
“I’m happy, happy now,” said Geronimo Peña.
The homer set off an eight-run inning that also included a three-run shot from Tucker and extended Houston’s lead to 12-2. Tucker added a solo shot in the ninth.
Peña said scoring in the third game helped ease the pressure.
“I’m just playing the kid. You have plenty of time to be serious,” Baker said. “Just go out and play as best you can. It’s great when you see a kid achieve something extraordinary.”
Rafael Montero (1-0) was the winning pitcher while Oliver Ortega (0-1) suffered the defeat.
Altuve went deep to leave Reid Detmers in fifth place of the game. It was the 22nd career leadoff homer for the Astros second baseman.
The Angels responded with two runs under first. Reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani led forward to second with Anthony Rendon’s hit with his first hit of the season, a bloop single down the middle, and scored with Walsh’s single. Rendon later scored on a passed ball.
Both starting pitchers went four innings and allowed two runs. Houston’s Jake Odorizzi hit out two while Detmers rebounded from Altuve’s leading homer to strike out three.
“His early pace was maybe a little too much,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Detmers. “I thought he sort of settled in better. He started using the slider more than just curveballs.”
While Apple TV+ was showing the game, Jose Siri made a jump catch down the middle to rob Brandon Marsh of a hit and got the go-ahead in heat five.
Siri clinched fifth place, stole second place and moved up to third place with Martín Maldonado’s flyball to the left.
Siri seemed to stay in third after Altuve’s grounder, but he went home as soon as Rendon threw first. Walsh might have had a chance to get Siri out with a good throw, but it was a high throw
The Angels were close to taking a 3-1 lead in the first round after Marsh’s single to the left, but Michael Brantley made a great throw that took a bounce before catcher Maldonado tagged Walsh at the plate.
Brantley has 57 outfield assists as of 2011, ninth among active players.
Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel is on the paternity list after flying back to Houston Thursday night. Manager Dusty Baker said he expects Gurriel to rejoin the team ahead of Tuesday’s game in Arizona. IF Joe Perez was recalled from Taxi Command to fill Gurriel’s roster spot.
Angels: OF Justin Upton has been released. He was drafted into action on April 2nd. The four-time All-Star is owed $19.5 million by the Angels this season after they couldn’t agree on a deal.
Astros: RHP Verlander starts regular season for first time since July 2020. The two-time Cy Young Award winner did not appear last season after undergoing surgery on his right elbow by Tommy John in September 2020.
Angels: RHP Noah Syndergaard (0-1, 9.00 ERA in 2021 with Mets) makes his Halos debut. He missed most of last season and all of 2020 while recovering from Tommy John’s surgery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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