Pujols’ 3-Run Shot Lifts Angels Past Astros

HOUSTON (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 5-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night and snap a six-game skid.

The game was tied at 2-all with one out in the fifth when Pujols hit his second homer of the season.

Pujols has 54 career home runs against the Astros, the most by any player against Houston. He’s gone 10 for 34 after getting just one hit in his first 20 at-bats this season.

George Springer hit his AL-leading seventh home run for the Astros, whose five-game winning streak was snapped.

Angels starter Ricky Nolasco (1-2) yielded eight hits and two runs in six innings to improve to 5-0 in six career starts against the Astros. Cam Bedrosian got the last six outs for his third save. Houston had runners at second and third with two outs before he retired Nori Aoki to end the game.

Andrelton Simmons also homered for the Angels and Mike Trout drove in a run as they scored more runs than they had in their previous four games combined.

Houston starter Joe Musgrove (1-1) allowed eight hits and five runs in five innings for the loss.

The homer by Simmons gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Yuli Gurriel sent the first pitch of Houston’s third to the seats in left field, and the Astros took a 2-1 lead when Springer connected on his home run with one out in the inning.

Martín Maldonado and Yunel Escobar hit consecutive singles in the fifth before scoring on a double by Trout, which sailed just out of reach of a diving Springer to score Maldonado and tie it. Pujols then connected on his homer — a soaring shot that landed on the train tracks atop left field — to put Los Angeles up 5-2.

Bud Norris pitched a scoreless seventh in his first appearance at Minute Maid Park since being traded by the Astros in 2013.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: SS Carlos Correa missed his second straight game because of soreness in his right hand after he was plunked on Saturday. Correa said he felt better on Tuesday but that it was still hard to grip a bat. “It’s early in the season so I don’t want to be playing out there hurting right now,” he said. “There’s still a lot of games to play so I still want to be able to be able to play most of the game.”

UP NEXT

Angels: J.C. Ramirez will make his fifth appearance and second start on Wednesday night. Ramirez allowed four hits and five runs in his first career start in a loss to Kansas City on April 14.

Astros: Left-hander Dallas Keuchel is scheduled for his fourth start on Wednesday. Keuchel is off to a strong start this season, going 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA and pitching seven innings in each of his first three outings.

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