Peacock can't find plate in 9-4 loss

Maybin steals 4, scores 4 in return from DL
(c) Associated Press

The Astros were unable to overcome a poor outing by Brad Peacock Friday night, dropping a 9-4 decision to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the first game of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. Houston's starting pitcher struggled with his fastball command, throwing only 42 of 76 pitches for strikes and lasting only three innings against the second-place Angels. Peacock gave up four runs on seven hits and walked four in his shortest start of the year.

Cameron Maybin made a triumphant return from the disabled list. Anaheim's leadoff hitter ran wild against the Astros, stealing four bases and scoring four runs in his first game action since May 29th. Maybin's bad-hop single in the first inning preceded three straight walks by Peacock that staked Matt Shoemaker to an early 1-0 lead.

The Halos added two more runs in the second, thanks to another walk and Maybin's second hit of the night.

Maybin led off the fourth with an infield single off James Hoyt, stole second, and advanced to third on Brian McCann's throwing error. Maybin then scored his third run of the night, coming home on Cole Calhoun's single that made it 5-2 Angels.

Houston's top prospect, right-hander Francis Martes, made his big league debut in the fifth inning. Martes posted the first scoreless inning of the night by an Astros pitcher, but the 21-year old couldn't sustain that success. The Angels hung four runs on Martes in 3-2/3 innings, extending their lead to 9-4 before Tony Sipp came in and stopped the bleeding.

Alex Bregman's seventh inning homer off Shoemaker was one of the few highlights for the Astros, who lost for the third time in the last four games. Josh Reddick and Marwin Gonzalez recording two hits apiece, accounting for half of the Astros' eight hits on the night.

Mike Fiers will oppose Ricky Nolasco in Game 2 of the series Saturday afternoon at 3:10 CDT. Fiers has won his last two starts and the Angels are winless in Nolasco's last seven.

- Greg Thurston