Houston pulled ahead late
McCullers Jr. deals, Astros pull out the win over Angels
After watching the Angels come from behind to win the opener on Monday night, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Tuesday night to try and even the series to set up a chance to win it on Wednesday in the finale. After an enticing pitching matchup kept the game very close late into the game, Houston would pull ahead in the eighth inning to get the win.
Final Score: Astros 5, Angels 1
Astros' Record: 19-17, second in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1)
Losing Pitcher: Aaron Slegers (2-1)
McCullers Jr. and Ohtani both impress
As expected, the two starting pitchers on Tuesday night provided most of the excitement in the game's early goings. Shohei Ohtani allowed just two hits and no runs over the first four frames, with Lance McCullers Jr. doing slightly better by allowing just one hit over the same span. The first run of the night came off the bat of Kyle Tucker, who launched an opposite-field solo home run to the Crawford Boxes to put the Astros in front 1-0.
That proved to be a critical hit, as that would be the only run scored through seven innings as both Ohtani and McCullers Jr. settled in to keep it a 1-0 game. McCullers Jr. returned in the top of the eighth hunting a complete-game shutout but would see the game tied on a one-out solo home run by Taylor Ward, though he would finish the inning without any more damage. That would be it for him, posting an excellent final line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 96 P.
Houston puts it away in the eighth
Ohtani's night would end at seven innings, with the Angels moving to their bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. Houston would take advantage, getting runners on base to set up Michael Brantley for a go-ahead RBI single. With two runners still on, Yuli Gurriel would provide the exclamation point on the inning, adding some major insurance with a three-run homer to extend the new lead to 5-1. Ryan Pressly would take over in the top of the ninth, getting a 1-2-3 inning to finish off the win to even the series, setting up a rubber game in the finale.
Up Next: The third and final game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Wednesday. Jose Urquidy (3-2, 3.51 ERA) will take the hill for the Astros, while Andrew Heaney (1-2, 4.11 ERA) will start for Los Angeles.
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