Houston's four-game streak is snapped

Astros held to one run as Angels salvage a game in series finale

Astros' Lance McCullers Jr.
Lance McCullers Jr. received his first road loss of the season on Sunday in the finale against the Angels. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Lance McCullers Jr. received his first road loss of the season on Sunday in the finale against the Angels.

Winners of their last four games, and having already secured the victory in this three-game series by winning the first two matchups, the Astros looked to keep their momentum going into Sunday's finale. Instead, the Angels grabbed momentum to hold Houston's offense at bay to salvage a win in the series.

Final Score: Angels 3, Astros 1

Astros' Record: 70-47, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Reid Detmers (1-2)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (9-4)

McCullers Jr. gets his first road loss of 2021

Lance McCullers Jr. dealt with some high-stress situations early in his start. He worked around a single in the first, but in the bottom of the second would load the bases on a single, walk, and hit batter. He got out of it in a big way, striking out MVP hopeful Shohei Ohtani to end the inning and get out of the jam.

After Michael Brantley gave him a lead with a solo homer in the top of the inning to go ahead 1-0, McCullers Jr. rebounded with a 1-2-3 third inning, then did the same in the fourth. LA would get on the board against him in the fifth, getting back-to-back one-out singles to get a runner to third to set up an RBI groundout to tie the game. They pressured him again in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff double and a one-out bunt single to set up another RBI groundout, this one to take a 2-1 lead and end McCullers Jr.'s day and send him on the way to his first road loss of the year. His final line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 108 P.

Houston drops the finale

After Ryne Stanek came in to get the final out of the sixth, Cristian Javier took over out of the bullpen in the 2-1 game in the bottom of the seventh. He got through that frame without trouble, but after returning in the bottom of the eighth, he would watch a one-out homer fly out to extend the Angels' lead to 3-1 before he finished the inning. That score would go final as Houston's offense would get held to just the lone run off of the bat of Brantley back in the third inning. The loss snapped Houston's four-game streak and prevented them from getting the series sweep as they head out to their next destination.

Up Next: With this series in the books, Houston will travel to Kansas City for the next part of this road trip. They'll kick off a four-game set with the Royals on Monday at 7:10 PM Central, with an anticipated pitching matchup of Jake Odorizzi (5-6, 4.59 ERA) for Houston and Carlos Hernandez (3-1, 4.11 ERA) for Kansas City.

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Astros drop the series to the Angels. Composite Getty Image.

Rookie Kyren Paris hit a two-run shot for his first major league home run and Tyler Anderson pitched eight strong innings to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

The Angels took two of three games from the Astros to give them three straight road series wins in a single season for the first time since 2019.

Anderson (5-4) allowed six hits and one run in his third consecutive win, which came in his longest start of the season. Luis García struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Mickey Moniak walked with one out in the fifth inning before Paris launched an off-speed pitch from Hunter Brown (1-5) off the wall in left-center field to make it 2-0.

Jake Meyers opened the bottom of the inning with a walk before scoring on Mauricio Dubón’s double to the corner of left field to cut the lead to 1. But Dubón was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

Meyers and Dubón hit consecutive singles with two outs in the seventh and Meyers advanced to third on the play after an error by left fielder Taylor Ward. Anderson escaped the jam when Victor Caratini grounded into a force out to end the inning.

Brown gave up two hits and two runs while walking three in six innings.

Paris walked with one out in the third and advanced to third on a single by Nolan Schanuel. Luis Rengifo hit a grounder to Jose Altuve and his throw home was just in time for Caratini to tag a sliding Paris at the plate.

The Angels challenged the call, but it was upheld.

Houston’s Jeremy Peñahit a ball that bounced off the wall in left field with two outs in the fourth that initially was called a homer. But umpires reviewed the call, and it was changed to a double.

Los Angeles shortstop Zach Neto left the game with two outs in the sixth inning with right elbow soreness. Luis Guillorme entered the game to play second base and Paris moved from second to shortstop to replace Neto.

ABREU’S NEXT STEP

Struggling first baseman José Abreu is scheduled to play two games for Triple-A Sugar Land this weekend before returning to the Astros. The move comes less than a month after the 2020 AL MVP agreed to be optioned to the minors to work on his swing.

Abreu batted .099 with just one extra-base hit and three RBIs in 22 games this season before his demotion.

Manager Joe Espada said the Astros want Abreu to play a full nine innings in the games this weekend to prepare for his return to the majors.

UP NEXT

Angels: Los Angeles is off Thursday before hosting Cleveland in the opener of a three-game series Friday night, when LHP Patrick Sandoval (2-6, 4.59 ERA) opposes LHP Logan Allen (5-2, 4.91).

Astros: Houston is also off Thursday before opening a series at Oakland on Friday night with Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97) on the mound. The Athletics haven’t named their starter.

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