ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout hit his first home run of the season and Shohei Ohtani came off the bench to score the go-ahead run during an eighth-inning rally that sent the Los Angeles Angels past the Houston Astros 7-6 on Monday night.
Los Angeles scored four times in the eighth to hand Houston its first loss of the year following a four-game sweep at rival Oakland. Trout’s solo shot in the fourth began the comeback from a 4-0 deficit.READ MORE: California Focusing On Urgent Projects As Wildfire Season Looms
The Angels are 4-1 for only the second time in 30 years, and first since 2007.
Ohtani, out of the starting lineup after pitching 4 2/3 innings Sunday night and getting wiped out while covering home plate, entered as a pinch-hitter after Albert Pujols and José Iglesias opened the eighth with singles. Ohtani was hit by a pitch from Joe Smith (0-1) and exchanged glances with the Houston reliever as he made his way to first base.
Blake Taylor gave up a single by Dexter Fowler that scored Pujols. Iglesias tied it at 5 when he scored on David Fletcher’s fielder’s choice. First baseman Yuri Gurriel made a diving stop on a sharp grounder by Jared Walsh but his throw home was wide, allowing Ohtani to score and put the Angels on top for the first time all night.
Fletcher came home on Anthony Rendon’s sacrifice fly, making it 7-5. The extra run ended up being needed when Kyle Tucker homered in the ninth off Mike Mayers, who got his first save.
Tony Watson (1-0) was the winner.
Houston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. Aledmys Díaz struck out swinging on what should have been the third out, but went to first on a wild pitch as Yordan Alvarez scored from third.
The Astros chased José Quintana after Jose Altuve’s one-out single in the fourth.
Houston starter Luis Garcia couldn’t make it out of the fourth. Trout led off with a moonshot to left field on a changeup, and Iglesias cut the deficit to 4-2 with an RBI single. The right-hander’s night ended when he walked Kurt Suzuki to load the bases.
Los Angeles pulled to 4-3 an inning later when a base hit by Justin Upton drove in Walsh.READ MORE: Future Of Hollywood's Cinerama Dome Still In Question
The Astros responded with a run in the sixth when Martin Maldonado beat the tag at home on Alvarez’s single.
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Los Angeles Dodgers fans made the short trip down to Orange County to lend their voices to the chorus of boos that greeted the Astros on their first trip to Angels Stadium this season.
This was the first chance Dodgers and Angels fans got to boo the Astros since their sign-stealing scandal came to light. Houston beat the Dodgers in seven games in the 2017 World Series.
Altuve, Bregman and Correa received the loudest boos. Fans chanted “cheater” and “where’s your trash can?” during the early innings. An inflatable trash can was thrown out of the right-field bleachers during the sixth inning, and a real one filled with trash made its way to the warning track an inning later.
Astros: OF Michael Brantley (wrist) was out of the lineup for the second straight game, but manager Dusty Baker is optimistic Brantley could be back Tuesday. … RHP Andre Scrubb (shoulder) did some throwing, but still isn’t expected to rejoin the team for at least another two weeks.
Angels: RHP Griffin Canning had his start pushed back to Thursday against Toronto after warming up and being ready to go in case Sunday’s game went to extra innings. … RHP Kyle Keller was traded to Pittsburgh for cash. He was designated for assignment on March 31.
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Houston right-hander Zack Greinke (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second start of the season after allowing only three hits in six innings against Oakland in the April 1 opener. Los Angeles RHP Dylan Bundy (0-0, 4.50) did not factor in the decision after permitting three runs over six innings against the White Sox in the opener. Bundy is 0-3 in six career starts against Houston.