|Date of game: 6/5/2014
Recap: Houston vs. LA Angels
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - George Springer drove in three runs to help the Houston Astros claim an 8-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the rubber match of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park.
Jose Altuve went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored, while Dexter Fowler collected two hits, an RBI and scored twice for the Astros, who had lost three of their last four games coming into the contest.
"It's not a secret that we've been playing better lately," said Altuve. "Guys are bringing things in all aspects of the game and we've been playing really good defense lately."
Brad Peacock (2-4) picked up the win after giving up three runs on six hits over five frames. Chad Qualls stranded runners on second and third in the ninth to notch his sixth save of the season.
Mike Trout, who left Tuesday's series opener with a back injury and sat out Wednesday's game as well, returned to the lineup and finished 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for the Angels, who have lost five of their last six games.
Erick Aybar added a pair of RBI in the setback, while starter Tyler Skaggs (4-4) surrendered four runs on six hits and three walks over five-plus innings to absorb the loss.
"We just couldn't hold them whenever we cut into the deficit," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "There were some things I liked about tonight, and we'll take those positives and bring them back to the field tomorrow."
Trout made an immediate impact in his return, lacing a one-out triple to left in the first inning before scoring on Albert Pujols' sacrifice fly to center to give the Angels an early 1-0 lead.
The Astros answered in the home half, as Fowler and Altuve ripped back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners for Springer, who scorched a sac fly to center to plate Fowler and tie the game.
Houston broke the deadlock in the fourth after Jon Singleton stroked a one-out single, stole second and moved to third when Skaggs' ball four to Chris Carter traveled to the backstop. Robbie Grossman followed with a bunt single down the first-base line, allowing Singleton to score for a 2-1 lead.
After Carter was thrown out trying to steal third for the second out, Carlos Corporan, Marwin Gonzalez and Fowler laced three straight singles, with Corporan and Fowler's each plating a run for a 4-1 advantage.
The Angels got a pair of runs back in the fifth, as Chris Iannetta clubbed a leadoff double and scored on Aybar's single to center. Aybar then advanced to second on a groundout before scoring on Trout's double to left to bring the Halos within 4-3.
Houston extended its lead with four runs in the eighth.
Grossman and Corporan worked back-to-back one-out walks against Cam Bedrosian before Fowler earned a two-out free pass to load the bases. Fernando Salas promptly replaced Bedrosian on the bump and served up a two-run double to Altuve, and Springer followed with a two-run single to give the home team an 8-3 lead.
Paul Clemens started the ninth on the hill for Houston and served up a pair of singles around a Singleton error to load the bases with no outs.
After walking Aybar to force in a run, Clemens was replaced by Qualls, who induced a fielder's choice forceout from Collin Cowgill that scored Raul Ibanez to bring the Angels within three.
However, Qualls fanned Trout and got Pujols to pop-out weakly to first to end the game.Game Notes
Houston selected left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken with the first overall pick
in the 2014 MLB Draft on Thursday. Aiken became the first high school pitcher
picked first overall since the Yankees took Brien Taylor in 1991 ... The
Angels went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on
base ... Qualls has not allowed an earned run over his last 16 appearances,
spanning 14 2/3 innings ... Houston wrapped up a seven-game homestand at 4-3
... The Angels finished a 10-game road trip at 3-7.