Houston takes the opener against LA

Astros' big inning pushes them over the top against Angels

Alex Bregman was 3-for-4 with 4 RBI in Friday's game against the Angels. Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

After winning the series by taking two of three against the Mariners earlier in the week to keep their lead in the AL West intact, the Astros welcomed in a more beatable AL West foe on Friday in the Angels. They would endure some back-and-forth early in the game, ultimately using a big inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 82-58, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (10-5)

Losing Pitcher: Shohei Ohtani (9-2)

Teams trade runs early

There were plenty of runs to go around in the early stages of Friday's opener, with the Angels tagging Framber Valdez with an unusually poor start. They knocked solo homers in each the first and the second, with Shohei Ohtani starting the scoring in the top of the first with his to put the Angels in front 1-0.

The Astros put together a three-run go-ahead inning in the third, getting three straight two-out RBI hits: a single by Alex Bregman, a double by Yordan Alvarez, and then a single by Carlos Correa to grab a 3-2 lead. Los Angeles responded in the top of the fourth, retaking the lead with two RBI of their own against Valdez to make it 4-3. Valdez would go on to finish one more inning, with the Angels scoring another run on an error, finishing his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 2 HR, 97 P.

Houston scores six in the fourth

Valdez would still leave in line for the win despite the poor start, thanks to a huge fourth inning by his offense. They started by knocking Ohtani out of the game, putting two on base before getting a game-tying RBI single by Jose Altuve.

Both of Ohtani's runners would eventually score as the Angels' bullpen would give up a two-RBI double to Alex Bregman to give Houston the lead, then later allowed a run on catcher's interference and an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz, who started the frame by being hit by a pitch. The game remained at 9-5 until the bottom of the seventh, when Alex Bregman would get a one-out sac fly to put Houston at double digits, 10-5.

Astros take the opener

As far as Houston's bullpen went, Phil Maton entered to relieve Valdez in the top of the sixth, working around a one-out single for a scoreless inning. Brooks Raley was next, and he lasted two innings, both scoreless, to get through the seventh and eighth. Ryne Stanek took over in the top of the ninth and erased a leadoff single to finish Houston's win. The victory puts them in line for yet another series victory and keeps their lead in the division put as they start to consider their magic number as September reaches its mid-point.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game series will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. The pitching matchup is expected to be Jose Suarez (6-7, 3.74 ERA) for Los Angeles and Luis Garcia (10-6, 3.29 ERA) for Houston.

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TEXANS TRAINING CAMP WATCH

11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorset had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Tegan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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