With two men on base, hanging onto a three run lead in the ninth inning, Chad Qualls struck out Mike Trout, then got Albert Pujols to pop out sealing the Astros 8-5 win over the Angels Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
Qualls earned his sixth save of the season, but didn’t start the ninth inning. After a four run eighth inning, Houston led by five, but the first four Angels reached base against Paul Clemens to start the ninth, forcing Bo Porter to turn to Qualls, who retired all three men that he faced.
The teams traded runs in the first inning, but the Astros jumped in front with a 4-run fourth inning. With runners at the corners, Jon Singleton scored when Robbie Grossman reached on a squeeze bunt attempt. Carlos Corporan and Dexter Fowler knocked in runs later in the inning to give Houston a 4-1 lead.
Los Angeles answered with two runs in the fifth and had Mike Trout at third base with 2-out, but Brad Peacock struck out Hamilton to end the inning.
That was it for Peacock, who allowed three runs on six hits, but still earned his second win. Josh Fields followed and kept the Angels off the board for 1.1 innings. Darrin Downs was next and retired the only batter he faced, as did Kyle Farnsworth. Paul Clemens tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and then the Astros gained some seperation.
Cam Bedrosian walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth and was lifted for Fernando Salas. Jose Altuve doubled home a pair of runs to make it a 3-run game. Then George Springer singled in two runs of his own to stretch the Houston lead to 8-3.
Fowler, Altuve, and Grossman had two hits for Houston, Chris Carter walked four times.
The win gives the Astros a series victory over the Angels, and they have won 15-of-24.Follow @AdamSpolane
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