Correa breaks tie in 9th, Astros hold off Angels 4-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) For most of the night Monday, the Astros trailed. Yet manager A.J. Hinch was confident if Houston could simply catch the Angels, the game would swing.
''When we can get into a game of bullpens, we feel pretty good about it,'' Hinch said. ''They get their outs. I like going to our `pen, certainly when it's a close game.''
After the Astros rallied to tie the score with two runs in the seventh and then took the lead with two more in the ninth, closer Will Harris wriggled out of major trouble in the bottom of the inning to preserve a 4-2 victory.
Los Angeles loaded the bases with nobody out, but Harris struck out Jett Bandy and snagged Andrelton Simmons' comebacker to start a 1-2-3 double play that ended the game.
''Give Harris credit, he pitched out of a jam,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''Our guys are battling, we're playing hard. We're just not winning enough situations in games to keep them on our terms. We did a lot of good things tonight, and the Astros did a couple of things better.''
Carlos Correa's sacrifice fly on a 3-0 pitch in the ninth with the bases loaded drove in the go-ahead run for the Astros. Houston scored its second run in the inning on a wild pitch by J.C. Ramirez.
The surging Astros have won six straight against the Angels and eight of nine overall.
''(Correa) loves a big moment and is pretty calm under pressure,'' Hinch said. ''He knows how to get runs in from third base, whether it be with a hit or the sac fly on a 3-0 count. That's a mature approach and the way to win the game. I want no one else up in the middle of our order.''
The comeback enabled the Astros to overcome another productive night from Angels star Mike Trout. He homered in his third consecutive game for Los Angeles, which has lost seven of eight. Trout added a pair of doubles and scored both Angels runs.
Trout's home run, his 17th, came on a pitch that was just inches off the ground.
''He's probably the best player on the planet,'' Hinch said. ''He always factors in, one way or another.''
Luke Gregerson (3-1) tossed a scoreless inning for the win, and Harris earned his seventh save in as many chances.
The Astros have the top bullpen in the majors since May 1. Harris has only been Houston's closer since June 5.
''That was the biggest test to date for him,'' Hinch said.
Angels starter Matt Shoemaker left with a 2-0 lead after six innings. In his last eight starts, he is 1-3 with a 1.87 ERA.
But the Angels' bullpen was no match for Houston. Los Angeles used five relievers and all of them struggled.
''We have confidence in our guys in the bullpen,'' Scioscia said. ''These guys pitched well last year. This year they're not quite as crisp. We haven't gotten the same production from them.''
Collin McHugh went six innings for the Astros, allowing two runs and six hits.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday night with the beginnings of a blister on his right index finger. Hinch said McCullers could rejoin the rotation Friday or Monday (which would be his next regular turn).
Angels: Mixed results from a pair of ultrasounds on starting pitchers Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney. Both had stem-cell injections in the hope of avoiding elbow surgery. Angels GM Billy Eppler said Richards was asymptomatic and will be re-evaluated in six weeks. Heaney, however, did not show improvement and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. ... Eppler also said LHP C.J. Wilson will get a second opinion on his sore shoulder. ... LHP Tyler Skaggs, coming back from Tommy John surgery, started for Class A Inland Empire and threw for the first time in 10 weeks, allowing one run and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five.
Astros: RHP Scott Feldman (4-3) will make the spot start for McCullers. The 6-foot-7 Feldman has appeared in 20 games for Houston, with four previous starts. For the last eight seasons he has primarily been a starter.
Angels: RHP Tim Lincecum (1-1) makes his third start with Los Angeles. Lincecum, coming back from hip surgery, had one highly effecting performance against the A's (one run, six innings) and one rough outing (four runs, three innings).