Porter on Astros 7-5 win over Angels
Matt Dominguez delivered the big blow, a three-run homer run in the seventh inning that broke a tie, lifting the Astros to a 7-5 series-clinching win over the Angels on Sunday at Angel Stadium.
Dominguez had four hits and was 8-for-14 in the three-game series. The Astros started their road trip with a series win at Oakland and have won four of six games heading into a three-game series at Texas starting on Monday. L.J. Hoes had his first major league home run and had his second three-hit game of his brief career.
Brett Oberholtzer (3-1) has been one of the bright spots in the second half of the season for the Astros, and the left-hander had another quality start, allowing three runs in six innings. He earned the win while allowing seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Jason Vargas had a below-average start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out three and walked three.
In the bullpen
Monday’s scheduled starter at Texas, Jordan Lyles came in relief of Oberholtzer in the seventh inning, retiring the side. In the eighth, Lyles gave up a two-run home run to Mark Trumbo that cut the Houston lead to 7-5. Lyles left with one out and two on in the ninth inning.
Left-hander Kevin Chapman came in to face right-handed pinch hitter Peter Bourjos after left-handed pinch hitter Hank Conger was announced. Chapman faced only one batter and got two outs, getting the speedy Bourjos to hit into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Juan Gutierrez (0-4) took the loss as he allowed Dominguez’s 16th home run of the season.
At the plate
Moved up to the second spot in the batting order, Hoes homered in the first inning off Vargas to left-center to begin his big game, which included reaching base four times and scoring twice. The Astros had five hits in a two-run second inning to go ahead 3-0. The Astros failed to score in the third despite having the bases loaded with one out.
Josh Hamilton has had more success this season hitting against the Astros than against any other American League team. Hamilton homered for the 19th time this season and had a triple, giving him 12 extra-base hits against the Astros in 2013. On Saturday his walk-off home run in the 10th inning gave the Angels a 6-5 win over Houston. Trumbo had two hits and three RBIs. Mike Trout had two hits to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 40 games before leaving the game after five innings.
In the field
Second baseman Jake Elmore started the game-ending double play. Elmore fielded the hard-hit by Bourjos, flipped to shortstop Marwin Gonzalez for the out at second, and Gonzalez threw to first baseman Chris Carter for the final out. Hoes had to battle the sun but caught a ball hit by Grant Green for the second out of the ninth inning with the tying run at first base.
The Astros are fortunate to have a backup catcher as valuable as Carlos Corporan. In the second inning Corporan gunned down Chris Iannetta trying to steal second base for the third out.
Trout left the game after five innings with a tight right hamstring. Trout appeared to be in a little discomfort after flying out to center field for the second out of the fifth inning.
The Astros are off to Arlington for a three-game series with Texas starting on Monday with former starter RHP Lucas Harrell (6-13, 5.16 ERA) starting on Monday vs. Texas RHP Matt Garza (2-1, 3.86 ERA).
The Astros will start RHP Jarred Cosart (1-0, 1.15 ERA) on Tuesday and LHP Erik Bedard (3-9, 4.49 ERA) on Wednesday. The Rangers have not announced a Tuesday starter. LHP Derek Holland (9-6, 2.95 ERA) will start Wednesday for the Rangers.