ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Bud Norris dominated the Angels’ high-priced lineup for the third time this season with six innings of four-hit ball and Chris Carter hit a two-run homer in the seventh against Jerome Williams, leading the Houston Astros to a 2-0 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Norris (5-4) struck out six, walked three and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth to end a winless streak of three starts — including a six-inning scoreless outing against Kansas City that resulted in a no-decision.
The right-hander became the first starting pitcher to beat the Angels three times before the All-Star break since 2001, when Oakland’s Tim Hudson, Seattle’s Freddy Garcia and Texas’ Darren Oliver all did it. On April 12 at the “Big A,” Norris allowed three hits over seven innings in a 5-0 victory. On May 8, he gave up a run and nine hits through eight innings en route to a 3-1 decision at Houston.
Rookie Jose Cisnero pitched two innings and Jose Veras got three outs for his 10th save in 13 attempts, helping extend Houston’s winning streak to a season-high four games. It’s their longest since a four-game stretch last May.
Williams (4-2) held Houston to just three hits over seven innings and struck out six, after going 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his previous four starts.
Carlos Pena, the only Houston player to have batted against Williams in a regular-season game prior to Saturday, led off the Astros’ second with a double and was stranded at third when Matt Dominguez flied out. The Astros didn’t get another hit until the seventh, when J.D. Martinez singled with one out and Carter drove a first-pitch homer into the upper tier of the left field bullpen with two out for his 11th homer.
Mike Trout doubled in the Angels’ first, but was stranded as Albert Pujols took a called third strike and Mark Trumbo also struck out. Trout doubled again with one out in the sixth, and was picked off by Norris with a 1-0 count on Pujols.
The Angels then loaded the bases with walks to Pujols and Trumbo and an infield hit by Josh Hamilton. But Norris struck out Howie Kendrick, who is batting .227 lifetime in those situations and is 1 for 7 this season.
Trout had a chance to get the Angels back in the game in the seventh, but grounded out to third with two men on after Erick Aybar kept the inning alive with a bunt single. He came up again in the ninth with runners at the corners and grounded into a force play to end it.
Trout has only three RBIs in 45 at-bats over his last 11 games since May 21, when he drove in five runs against Seattle and became the youngest player in AL history to hit for the cycle.
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