June 26, 2022

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Astros smash back-to-back homers off Houston villain Ryan Tepera

3 min read

It’s been six months since Ryan Tepera talked about the Astros doing “some sketchy stuff over there,” but the Astros are still making him pay for it.

On Opening Day, the Astros welcomed Tepera to his new team in Southern California with back-to-back home runs by Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez in the eighth inning of a 3-1 win over the Angels on Thursday night.

The Astros were clinging to a 1-0 lead over the Angels when Tepera, who signed a two-year, $14 million contract with Anaheim in the offseason, entered the game in the eighth. Bregman took Tepera’s first pitch and deposited it over the left field wall barely out of reach of left fielder Jo Adell’s glove. Three pitches later, Alvarez followed with a no-doubter, rocketing a ball 422 feet to center. Tepera was able to finish the inning, but the Astros continued to hit him hard with Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker flying out to the warning track. Jeremy Peña nearly made his first big league hit a home run off Tepera, but his shot barely hooked foul down the left-field line. He ended the inning by lining out to center.

Bregman downplayed the fact that his home run came against Tepera, when he was asked what it meant to hit a homer off him.

“Oh, nothing,” Bregman told reporters in the visitors’ clubhouse. “Just excited to get a knock and put us up by two.”

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During last year’s American League Championship Series, Tepera, who then pitched for the White Sox, talked about the difference he sees in the Astros hitters when they’re playing at home and when they’re playing on the road. Although he didn’t use the word “cheat,” he clearly was referencing the 2017 scandal in which the Astros decoded opponents’ signals and relayed them to hitters by banging on a trash can near their Minute Maid Park dugout.

“They’ve obviously had a reputation of doing some sketchy stuff over there,” Tepera said after the White Sox got a win over the Astros in Game 3 of last year’s ALDS. “We can say that it’s a little bit of a difference. I think you saw the swings and misses tonight compared to the first two games at Minute Maid, but that’s not really the story. We come here to play. We’re going to compete. We’re not even going to worry about what they’re going to do. All we have to do is execute pitches and they can’t hit them anyway.”

In the next game, the Astros pounded the White Sox 10-1, including tagging Tepera for a run. After that win, then-Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said he rallied his teammates after hearing Tepera’s comments telling them, “We’re coming for their heads.”


Since those comments, Tepera, who starred at Brazoswood High School and Sam Houston State, has faced the Astros twice, giving up three runs in 2 2/3 innings.



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