Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The seventh inning proved to be the difference in the Houston Astros 7-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Tied 4-4 in the seventh inning, the Angels started offloading the bases and former Astros third basemen, Luis Valbuena would come up big doubling in two runs off of Chris Devenski. Luckily with no outs, that would be all the Angels go during the inning, as Devenski would get the next two batters out before giving way to Francisco Liriano to finish out the seventh.
While Devenski allowed four base runners during that inning, most of them came via hard luck plays.
The Astros did grab one run back in the bottom of the seventh when George Springer leadoff the inning with a solo home run, his 33rd of the season.
Against Luke Gregerson in the eighth inning, the Angels would get that run right back, when Justin Upton, hit his own solo home run.
Aside from Springer’s home run, all of the Astros offense came in the third inning as they started to get to Tyler Skaggs.
With two outs Skaggs hit Springer with a pitch, and two pitches later Alex Bregman hit a home run to left field. Skaggs followed the home run with back to back walks to Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, and both would get driven in by Evan Gattis with a double to center.
Skaggs would give the Angels five innings of work, but his counterpart on the Astros, Lance McCullers would only end up lasting 3.1 innings.
McCullers who’s been dealing with “arm fatigue” made his first start since September 6th and the righty had flashes of his former self, striking out four during his limited outing, but once he hit 63 pitches, he was pulled.
With McCullers not able to last, the Astros had to piece together the rest of the night in the bullpen, using a total of eight pitchers to get through nine innings.
The most trusted of the eight pitchers out the bullpen, Devenski would get tagged with the loss after his work in the seventh.
Up next for the Astros is a seven-game road trip, three games with the Texas Rangers and four with the Boston RedSox.
With the Astros at 95 wins, they need to go 5-2 down the stretch to become only the second team in franchise history to win 100 games.