HOUSTON (AP) — David Freese hit a go-ahead two-run double in a three-run eighth inning to help the Los Angeles Angels rally for a 6-5 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday to close in on the second AL wild-card spot.
Los Angeles took two of three in the series and pulled to 1 1/2 games behind Houston. The Astros are 2 1/2 games behind AL West-leading Texas, which played later Wednesday in Oakland.
The Astros took their first lead of the game in the seventh, and the Angels trailed 4-3 entering the eighth. Mike Trout hit a leadoff double off Will Harris (5-5) before David Murphy drew a walk with one out and Harris was replaced by Pat Neshek.
Freese’s double sailed just beyond left fielder Colby Rasmus’ reach on the warning track and made it 5-4. Carlos Perez’s RBI single made it 6-4 and chased Neshek.
Trevor Gott (3-2) induced the last two outs of the seventh for the win, and Huston Street allowed one run in the ninth before retiring Jed Lowrie for his 40th save.
George Springer had three RBIs and Carlos Correa added two for the Astros, who dropped two of three to the Angels heading into a pivotal weekend series with Texas.
C.J. Cron drove in two runs in the first for the Angels and Kole Calhoun hit a solo homer in the fifth.
Houston trailed 3-2 entering the seventh before pinch-hitter Matt Duffy legged out a single with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Jake Marisnick. The Angels intentionally walked Jose Altuve with two outs before a triple by Springer to right field off Gott scored them both.
Houston starter Mike Fiers yielded four hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings.
Nick Tropeano, who was traded to the Angels from Houston this offseason, allowed four hits and two runs with five strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings.
Fiers loaded the bases with one out on a single and two walks in the first inning. The two-out single by Cron sent Calhoun and Trout home to make it 2-0.
The Angels didn’t get another hit until Calhoun’s homer with one out in the fifth that landed in the second deck in right and pushed the lead to 3-0.
An RBI single by Springer with one out in the fifth cut the lead to 3-1 and ended Tropeano’s day. He was replaced by Mike Morin and the Astros closed the gap to 3-2 on a forceout by Correa that left Springer out at second. Correa was caught stealing to end the inning. The Astros challenged the close play, but the ruling was upheld.
Astros: OF Carlos Gomez (intercostal strain) missed his 11th straight game. Manager A.J. Hinch said he isn’t sure when Gomez will be able to hit again, but that he could be used as a defensive replacement or pinch runner soon.
Angels: The team is off on Thursday before RHP Garrett Richards (14-11, 3.73) opposes Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (18-9, 3.54) in the first of three games against the Mariners. Richards, who has a career-high 14 wins this season, is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA in four starts against Seattle this year.
Astros: Houston is also off on Thursday and opens a series with Texas on Friday when Scott Kazmir (7-10, 2.73) opposes Rangers RHP Yovani Gallardo (12-11, 3.41). Kazmir is 1-5 with a 3.70 ERA in his last 10 starts.
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