Angels hit 4 homers to down Astros 5-4
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) - Mike Trout hit his American League-leading 26th homer, and Kole Calhoun, Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons also went deep to give the Los Angeles Angels a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
Calhoun, Ohtani and Simmons all connected off Houston starter Justin Verlander (10-4) as he gave up three home runs for the third time in his last five starts. The three homers tied a season high for Verlander and he also matched a season high by allowing four runs in seven innings.
The Angels won for the third time in the four games since pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on Monday. The victory snaps a seven-game skid against Houston and ends a five-game winning streak overall by the Astros.
Noé Ramirez opened the game and threw a perfect first before Felix Pena (6-2) took over and allowed three hits and two runs while striking out five in four innings.
Michael Brantley homered and tied a career high with four hits as he finished a triple shy of the cycle, and Yuli Gurriel had a two-run shot as he homered for the third straight game. Brantley opened Houston's second with a home run to right field to make it 1-0.
Brantley singled with one out in the eighth before Gurriel got Houston within a run with his two-out shot to right field off Cam Bedrosian.
Hansel Robles pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.
David Fletcher singled with one out in the third before Calhoun sent a pitch from Verlander into the bullpen in right-center for his 19th homer to put the Angels up 2-1.
There were two outs in the inning with Ohtani, who turned 25 on Friday, added a solo shot to push the lead to 3-1.
Brantley and Yordan Alvarez hit consecutive doubles with one out in the fourth before Brantley scored on a groundout by Gurriel to cut the lead to 1.
Simmons opened the sixth inning with his home run to the seats in left field to extend the lead to 4-2.
The Astros had a chance to cut the deficit in the sixth inning when Josh Reddick walked to load the bases with two outs. But Robinson Chirinos grounded into a force out to end the inning.
Trout's home run came off Hector Rondon with no outs in the eighth to make it 5-2. It's his third straight game with a homer and his 26 home runs are tied for his most before the All-Star break and most in franchise history before the midsummer classic.
Verlander allowed seven hits and struck out six to move past Hall of Famer Jim Bunning for 18th place on the all-time strikeouts list with 2,859.
Angels: OF Justin Upton, who left Wednesday's game with tightness in his left quadriceps, remained out of the lineup Friday, but manager Brad Ausmus said he was feeling better and could return Saturday. ... RHP Matt Harvey (back) is scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday and is expected to return to the rotation after the All-Star break.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa (broken rib) and INF Aledmys Diaz (hamstring) are at Houston's spring training facility in Florida continuing their rehabilitation. Manager AJ Hinch said both players are improving, but did not have a timetable for their return. ... RHP Corbin Martin, ranked by MLB.com as Houston's No. 4 prospect, had Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (1-2, 5.40 ERA) will start for Los Angeles on Saturday night. Heaney yielded six hits and five runs in six innings of a loss to Oakland in his last start.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (8-5, 3.28) is scheduled to start for Houston on Saturday. Cole allowed five hits and one run in seven innings against Seattle in his last start to win his fourth straight decision.
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