Slugging Astros Hits 3 Homers, Blast Past LA Angels, 6-5

Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus hit two-run homers and Dallas Keuchel pitched into the seventh inning in the Houston Astros' 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

Jose Altuve also hit an early homer off Matt Shoemaker (2-3) for the AL West-leading Astros, who won for just the second time in six games following their 10-game winning streak.

Mike Trout homered and had three hits for the Angels, but was intentionally walked by Chad Qualls after Kole Calhoun's two-out RBI double in the ninth.

Qualls then got Albert Pujols to ground to shortstop, completing his third save and ending Pujols' 11-game hitting streak.

Keuchel (4-0) wasn't in his unhittable April form, but the left-hander remained unbeaten while his ERA rose from 0.80 to 1.39.

He gave up eight hits and four runs while striking out seven and winning his sixth consecutive decision dating to last season.

Erick Aybar drove in two runs for the Angels, who couldn't overcome Shoemaker's latest rocky start.

After Shoemaker gave up three homers in his final two innings last Monday against Seattle, Altuve touched him for a solo shot in the first. Carter then connected for his fifth of the season in the second inning, and Rasmus followed with his sixth in the third.

The Astros hadn't homered in each of the first three innings of a game since Oct. 2, 2004.

Shoemaker didn't come out for the fourth inning, and the Angels must decide what to do with a 16-game winner from last season who has yielded at least three runs in every start this year.

Keuchel had given up just four runs in the first 45 innings of his outstanding season, but the Angels touched him for two in the first on Aybar's single. Keuchel escaped the jam with a double play, but yielded Carlos Perez's RBI double in the fourth.

Trout hit his ninth homer of the season in the fifth, sending it far beyond the fence in center field.

Trout chased Keuchel with a seventh-inning single, but Pat Neshek ended the inning by getting Pujols to with a fly out.

In the ninth, reliever Ryan Mattheus made his debut with the Angels, who have lost six of nine.


Astros: Qualls took over while closer Luke Gregerson is away from the team on the family emergency medical list.

Angels: Manager Mike Scioscia said he won't alter his rotation with two days off next week, but Shoemaker's struggles certainly could tempt the Angels to skip his next start.


Astros: Scott Feldman (2-3, 5.50) tries to bounce back from a poor start in the series finale.

Angels: Garrett Richards (2-1, 2.52) has been mostly outstanding in four starts since his return from knee surgery last August.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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