Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – Offense, offense, and more offense, between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels, the two teams combined for 22 hits and 18 runs during the Sunday afternoon rubber game.
Unfortunately for the Astros, they’d end up on the losing end of a 12-6 score to the Angels.
On Sunday, much like in Friday’s game against the Angels, the pitching just wasn’t there.
David Paulino again for the third time this season, stepped in for the Astros, in what would have been Charlie Morton’s spot in the rotation Sunday afternoon.
Four innings would be all the young righty would last, he’d have a 1-2-3 second inning, but aside from that, every frame was marred with some type of hit or walk.
In the first inning, it was Albert Pujols hitting his 601st career home run with a solo shot to centerfield. In the third inning, it was Kole Calhoun singled in two runners in scoring position and the final straw would come in the fifth when the first two base runners reached base.
“He gave up the home run early and then I thought he settled in, and then just miss-executed some pitches,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Paulino’s start. “His stuff really does play in the strike zone if it’s set up correctly, I just think he had a hard time as the innings grew, they started to put a few things together on him.”
While Paulino would leave the game without getting an out in the fifth inning, he did it with the team leading, thanks to the Astros offense scoring six runs between the third and fourth.
George Springer’s two-run homer with two outs in the third inning put the Astros on the board. They’d go ahead in the fourth with a RBI double from Nori Aoki and a RBI single from Jose Altuve.
The lead, however, would only last a half inning.
Hinch with two runners on and no one out gave the ball to Michael Feliz to try and get out of the jam, but the inning quickly got out of control. Feliz got Pujols to strike out but then gave up back to back RBI hit’s to tie the game 6-6.
Two batters later, Eric Young Jr blasted a three-run homer to re-take the lead for the Angels 9-6, Feliz rebounded getting Danny Espinosa to strike out, but the damage was done.
“I missed my spot and he took advantage,” Michael Feliz said of Young’s home run.
The game would not get any prettier for the Astros as the Angels kept scoring. Until the ninth inning everyone Hinch put in the game was not able to stop the bleeding.
“They created some of their own opportunities, we gave them a few free 90 feet and they took advantage of it,” Hinch said summing up Sunday’s game. “They outplayed us this series, we had a tough series and we’ll move on to the next one.”
While there were not many bright spots for the Astros, Norichika Aoki did eclipse 2,000 hits between Nippon Professional Baseball and MLB. Aoki finished with three hit’s giving him 2,001 career hits.
“Tip of the cap to him and congratulations for a really cool accomplishment,” Hinch said. “2,000 hits takes a long time, takes a lot of success, it’s over two countries and two major leagues. We had a nice time celebrating him and we pay our respect to him for what it takes to go from 0 to 2,000.”
Following the game, the Astros presented Aoki with a special bottle of champagne, signed by everyone on the team.