After Martin Maldonando homered in the sixth to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead, the Astros perked up and cranked out five runs to grab a 6-2 advantage going into the bottom of the ninth. That's when a couple of old favorites led a two-out rally in the 10th that gave Houston a 7-6 victory Friday night, preventing a stunning loss in the opener of a weekend series.
Correa, Springer do belated dance
(c) Associated Press
Dallas Keuchel was dominantly pursuing his sixth victory against no defeats into the ninth inning when the Halos pieced together three singles with nobody out. Keuchel was lifted for Ken Giles who seems to have one of these meltdowns just about the time Astro fans begin to feel comfortable with him in the closer role.
Earlier, Albert Pujols smashed his record-extending 55th career home run against the Astros. That gave the Angels the early lead which was tied when Josh Reddick evened things on a homer off Jesse Chavez.
Brian McCann smashed a three-run shot in the seventh off Jose Alvarez to put the Astros in front. Reddick and McCann both produced RBI singles to expand their lead to four.
Former Astros dot the Anaheim roster and one of them, Luis Valbuena, delivered a pinch single as part of a four-run rally in the ninth to tie up the game.
Another was pitcher David "Bud" Norris who entered in the tenth inning. With two away, Jose Altuve, who had had a quiet night to that point, spanked a single to right. After Altuve stole second, Carlos Correa poked a base hit that plated Altuve with the game-winner.
Chris Devenski tossed a 1-2-3 tenth for his second save of the season. Lost in the excitement, Marwin Gonzalez had his five-game home run streak come to an end.
The 20-10 Astros continued their domination within the AL West (16-5) and lead second-place Anaheim by 5-1/2 games. The two squads square off again Saturday night at the Big A when Lance McCullers (2-1) throws bb's against converted reliever J.C. Ramirez (3-2) in an 8:07 Central duel. Houston is tied with the Yankees for the best winning percentage (.667) in the league.