Porter on Oberholtzer's start on Saturday
The Astros’ four-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday as the Angels evened the series with a 6-2 win at Minute Maid Park. Sunday’s rubber game starts at 1:10 p.m. Jose Altuve had three hits for the Astros, who got their two runs on a Brett Wallace home run in the fourth inning.
Brett Oberholtzer (4-3) couldn’t overcome a three-run fourth inning. The left-hander allowed four runs and six hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks, allowing one home run. Of his 93 pitches, 61 were strikes. In Oberholtzer’s previous seven starts since joining the rotation on July 31, his ERA was 1.91, lowest in the American League in that span.
Jered Weaver (10-8) was effective, leaving after six innings with a 5-2 lead. The right-hander allowed six hits and only one walk with five strikeouts. He also benefited from some outstanding defense.
IN THE BULLPEN
David Martinez pitched three innings in relief of Oberholtzer, allowing two runs and three hits with two strikeouts and three walks.
Michael Kohn and Dane De La Rosa pitched scoreless innings for the Angels in the seventh and eighth respectively, and Juan Gutierrez wrapped it up with a scoreless ninth inning.
AT THE PLATE
Altuve continued his torrid September, with his fourth three-hit game of the month. His 26 hits in September lead the majors. Marwin Gonzalez had two of Houston’s nine hits.
Bret Wallace’s one-out two-run home run in the fourth cut the Angels’ lead to 4-2. Wallace’s 13th home run of the season, a liner to right field, scored Trevor Crowe, who drew a one-out walk from Weaver. Crowe was called out on strikes with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, with the Astros down 4-2. The Astros had three straight singles but failed to score off Weaver in the inning. In the seventh, Crowe grounded out with two runners on for the third out and the Astros trailing 5-2.
Chris Iannetta had two hits and two RBIs, including his 11th home run and Grant Green had a double and triple for the Angels. Mike Trout walked twice, and over the first two games of the series has walked five times, giving him 98 on the season.
The Angels scored three runs in the fourth inning off Oberholtzer to take a 4-0 lead. The inning included back-to-back doubles from Howie Kendrick and Kole Calhoun. Iannetta led off the third inning with a 388-foot home run to left-center off Oberholtzer to open the scoring. Iannetta was the Angels’ first base runner.
IN THE FIELD
Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar was busy in the sixth inning. His throwing error allowed Kendrick to reach first base to lead off the inning. Then on a hard-hit ball to short by Kole Calhoun, Villar had trouble fielding the ball, as the ball went up in front of him. But Villar quickly pulled the ball in, and started a 6-4-3 double play. Iannetta made the final out of the inning by grounding out to short. Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez started a 5-4-3 double play in the fifth inning on a ball hit by Erick Aybar, who batted one spot in front of Trout.
The Angels had three defensive gems. Third baseman Andrew Romine made a spectacular catch for the second out of the sixth inning with a runner on first base and the Angels leading 4-2. On a ball hit by Carlos Corporan, Romine made a long sprint from third base to left field before making an over-the-shoulder catch with his back to the infield. Trout has a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding defensive player. He showed why on the third out of the second inning on a ball hit to deep center by Marc Krauss. Trout caught up with the ball at the base of Tal’s Hill. First baseman Mark Trumbo made a catch leaning over the rail of the Houston dugout to retire Matt Dominguez for the second out of the fourth inning, just one batter after Wallace’s two-run home run.
The three-game series at Minute Maid Park concludes on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Right-hander Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.91 ERA) will make his third major league start for the Astros. He will be opposed by RHP Jerome Williams (7-10, 4.81 ERA). Williams will be making his fourth start against Houston this season. Williams is 0-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 17 2/3 innings against the Astros in 2013.
The Astros will start a three-game home series with Cincinnati on Monday. All three games begin at 7:10 p.m. The Astros rotation respectively is LHP Erik Bedard (4-10, 4.47 ERA), RHP Jordan Lyles (7-7, 4.92 ERA) and RHP Brad Peacock (5-5, 5.27 ERA). The Reds have not announced their starting pitchers on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday the Reds will start RHP Mat Latos (14-6, 3.14 ERA) against Peacock.