Astros slug 5 HRs, crush Angels 12-4
HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman and Trey Mancini hit two of Houston’s five home runs, and the AL West-leading Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 12-4 on Sunday for their 90th win of the season.
Trailing 3-0, the Astros rallied for five runs in the third. Mauricio Dubón led off the inning with a solo home run, and after Tucker Davidson (2-6) hit Yordan Alvarez to load the bases, Davidson was replaced by Mike Mayers, who Bregman greeted with his grand slam to right-center.
It was Bregman’s fourth career grand slam and first since May 5, 2019, against the Angels.
“I think consistency of at-bats is extremely important,” Bregman said. “That’s something we want to have going down the stretch and going into the postseason. The guys in (the clubhouse) know how to put together really good at after really good at bat. I think when we do that, we’re a really good offense.”
Mike Trout, who has homered in a club record six straight games, was given the day off. He has hit a home run in an Angels-record six straight games. Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long share the major league record of eight games in a row with a home run
Mancini hit his three-run homer to left in the fifth. Alvarez hit a solo home run in the eighth for his 32nd of the season, and Kyle Tucker launched a two-run shot to right two batters later.
“It’s really fun, especially with an unideal start to the game,” Mancini said of the home run outburst. “Luis (Garcia) did such a good job of bouncing back and throwing four great innings after the first, and he kept us in the game. Luckily, our offense had a great day.”
Jose Altuve, who had three hits, scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Luis Garcia (12-8) allowed three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts in five innings. Garcia has given up at least three runs in seven straight starts.
The Astros, who have the best record in the AL at 90-50, reached 90 wins for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
“That’s the benchmark that I have for myself and the team every year,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “I always say if we can get 15 victories per month and add on from there, there’s a good chance that you’ll be somewhere in the playoff hunt. We’re there not even in the middle of September, so that’s a good sign for us as a model of consistency.”
Shohei Ohtani hit his 34th home run of the season in the first, a two-run shot to right, and Andrew Velazquez hit a solo home run in the second as the Angels built a 3-0 lead. Mickey Moniak had an RBI double in the ninth.
“I liked the at bats to begin with,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “We made some hard outs, too. … I thought our at bats were okay. We have to do a better job throwing strikes. I think we were pretty close to throwing more balls than strike today. Throw it in the zone or it’s not going to be a good day.”
Davidson yielded four runs on five hits in two innings.
Angels: 2B David Fletcher was out of the lineup on Sunday after exiting Saturday’s game with a right hand contusion after being hit by a pitch in the first inning. … Ohtani is expected to throw a bullpen and not miss his next start after leaving Saturday’s start due to a blister on his right index finger, Nevin said.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right calf) threw a bullpen session on Sunday and felt “great” afterward, he said. “I did my pregame a bit and kind of simulated one inning,” Verlander said. “Obviously, not being off the mound with intensity in awhile, I kind of wanted to try at least do the best I can to trick my body feeling like ‘Alright, this is a start day’ and then, hopefully, I can get into my regular routine from here.” Verlander said he was hopeful he could return soon.
Angels: LHP Reid Detmers (5-5, 3.57 ERA) starts Monday in Cleveland in the first of three games against the Guardians, who will send LHP Konnor Pilkington (1-2, 3.99 ERA) to the mound.
Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (14-5, 2.64 ERA) will look to extend his quality starts steak to 24 games when he starts Monday in Detroit against the Tigers, who will start LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-4, 4.13 ERA).