Mike Trout is one of the game's best players and if anyone attending Friday night's contest at Minute Maid wasn't sure about that, he must have changed their minds. Trout blasted two home runs - one to left and one to right - that drove in five of Anaheim's runs in a 6-3 verdict over the Astros.
Trout: Five-RBI night
(c) Houston Chronicle/Associated Press
His first homer came in the sixth to spoil the night of Roberto "Fausto" Hernandez and snapped a 1-1 tie. Hernandez, who has never beaten the Angels in his 10-year career, allowed just three hits and struck out six over six innings but that full count pitch Trout sent beyond the Crawfords laid a good effort to waste.
The Astros battled back, however. Jason Castro drilled his first homer of the season to bring Houston back within 3-2 then the Astros filled the bases with none out in the seventh but could get only a game-tying sacrifice fly from George Springer to show for it.
Still, it got Hernandez off the hook and the revamped Houston bullpen could now take center stage. Unfortunately, Chad Qualls wasn't up to it. He put the first two Halos aboard in the eighth then Trout, down 0-2, smoked a three-run blast into the right field seats for the decisive runs.
Trout is now the youngest player in baseball history with over 100 home runs and over 100 stolen bases, breaking Alex Rodriguez' mark by 58 days.
Evan Gattis did have two hits in the loss and Chris Carter stroked one as the Astros, in a rarity, amassed more hits (8) than strikeouts (5). The Astros can't seem to get many big hits with men in scoring position however.
A pair of southpaws are scheduled to pitch on Saturday as Dallas Keuchel (1-0) duels against veteran C.J. Wilson in a 6:10 Central start which will be preceded by 50th Anniversary ceremonies including an appearance by six Astros who were with the 1965 club - Bob Aspromonte, Ron Brand, Bob Bruce, Danny Coombs, Larry Dierker and Jim Wynn, who will take part in a free autograph session.
In other news, Brad Peacock, who came off the disabled list to start Tuesday's game, went back on the disabled list with a strained ribcage muscle. Asher Wojciechowski, who was sent down when Peacock was activated, will return from AAA Fresno to rejoin the rotation.
- Bob Hulsey