Pujols being Pujols
(c) Associated Press
A familiar foe helped bring the Astros 5-game win streak to an end Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim snapped a 6-game skid of their own with a 5-2 win over the home team. Albert Pujols broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning with a 3-run homer deep down the leftfield line, handing Joe Musgrove his first loss of the season and squaring up the 4-game series at one game apiece.
Andrelton Simmons got the scoring started, hammering a solo shot into the rightfield seats off Musgrove in the second inning to snap a 21 inning scoreless streak for the Anaheim offense. The Astros answered with a pair of solo blasts in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Yulieski Gurriel hit his first of the season and, one out later, George Springer added his league-leading seventh, a 441 foot shot to to the newly renovated centerfield area.
But the Astros were unable to manufacture any more runs against starter Ricky Nolasco and an Anaheim bullpen that included an appearance by ex-Astro Bud Norris. Houston out-hit Anaheim 11-9 but the Angels turned a pair of double-plays to help thwart a couple of scoring opportunities.
Mike Trout tied the game in the fifth with a double that scored Martin Maldonado and Pujols followed with a majestic blast that brought back memories of Brad Lidge in 2005. Cam Bedrosian recorded the final six outs for Mike Scioscia's club to earn his third save of the young season.
Carlos Correa missed his second straight game after being hit on the right hand by a pitch Saturday afternoon in Oakland. The Astros clean-up hitter could be back in the lineup as early as Wednesday when the two clubs reconvene at Minute Maid Park at 7:10 CDT. Houston sends ace left-hander Dallas Keuchel to the mound against J.C. Ramirez, who will be making only his second big league start.
- Greg Thurston