By Derek Fogel

Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – Astros starting pitcher Charlie Morton had to work hard to get through five complete innings of work Monday night. He gave up five hits, struck out three, walked two and hit a batter, but did not allow a run to cross. The bullpen held on the rest of the way thanks in part to Chris Devenski and the Astros beat the Angels 3-0 for their fifth win in a row.

Morton needed 92 pitches to grind out his five innings of work and it took 59 of those just to make it through three. Of the overall 92 on the night, 50 were strikes. Despite going deep into counts, Charlie stranded all nine base runners he had to maintain the shutout and earn his first win as a Houston Astro.

“I get frustrated with myself pretty easily though if I don’t execute a pitch. So there was a lot of that, not executing. It wasn’t like I wasn’t trying to challenge guys, I was,” Morton said. “My misses were in weird spots. Spots that they hadn’t been… My misses were down, my misses had been kind of sprayed so I think it’s a good sign.”

Regardless of Charlie’s discontentment, Manager A.J. Hinch was still very pleased with his ability to escape tough spots.

“That was a lot of traffic every inning. He didn’t have it tonight and somehow found a way to put up zeros,” Hinch said. “All in all, he was rescuing innings every single inning and he did a great job.”

Chris Devenski came out of the bullpen and cruised for two innings. He again showed his dominance by striking out the side in the 6th. And then in the 7th Chris struck out one more, reigning American League MVP Mike Trout.

“Devenski and Gattis did a good job of winning the cat and mouse game with the two innings he pitched,” Hinch said.

The Astros will look to make it six wins in a row Tuesday night. They will also look to be the first team with double-digit wins in the MLB. The probable starter for Houston is right-hander Joe Musgrove against Anaheim right-hander Ricky Nolasco.

Derek Fogel, reporter/host @FogelSaidWhat


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