Coming to you live after 2:00 am on the East Coast with this Astros recap. Trust me, it's a lot easier to write this with an Astros victory to talk about.
A couple weeks ago, Chris Carter was struggling about as bad as he had all season. Strikeouts were aplenty while hits were not, but he has turned it around quickly. His career-high five RBI night highlighted an Astros offensive outburst on Friday night against the Angels.
Houston had only two hits going into the fifth, but L.J. Hoes (3-for-5, double, triple) got things started with a two-bagger. Jonathan Villar followed with a bunt base hit and Robbie Grossman scored Hoes with a single to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.
Angels starter Jerome Williams got Brett Wallace to ground out for the first out of the inning, but then walked Jose Altuve and Jason Castro consecutively to score a run. Carter picked up his first RBI of the night with a sac fly to make it 3-0.
The seventh also started with the Astros getting runners on first and second with no outs, thanks to a Wallace double and an Altuve walk. Castro followed by grounding into a 4-6-3 double play, but Carter kept the Astros from going quietly in the seventh by looping a liner into center field for an RBI single to make it 4-1.
Brad Peacock continued the Astros young, six-man rotation's success with 6.1 innings, allowing only two runs (both unearned) on only four hits. The Angels got their first unearned score precluded by an Altuve throwing error that allowed Erick Aybar to reach second on an infield single in the fifth inning. Then in the seventh Villar committed his fifth error of the season on a ball off the bat of Chris Nelson, who would come around to score on a Grant Green RBI single.
Green's RBI single also set up Anaheim with runners on first and third with only one out, and Bo Porter decided to bring in Josh Zeid into the 4-2 game. A certainly perfect scenario for the Astros bullpen to let one get away.
Instead, Zeid sawed off the bat of Peter Bourjos on a grounder to third and Houston turned the 5-4-3 double play - Matt Dominguez to Altuve to Wallace against the speedy Angels outfielder.
Zeid and Kevin Chapman combined to throw a scoreless eighth inning and it looked as if Chia-Jen Lo was warming up to try for the save in the ninth
But Trogdor still had some more hitting to do. An Altuve single plus stolen base (30th of the year) forced Anaheim to intentionally walk Castro to set the table for Carter, and boy did he eat.
Carter clobbered Joe Blanton's 3-2 fastball way out onto the rocks in left-center, his 23rd long ball of the year, to make it a 7-2 Astros lead. And as if that wasn't enough, Dominguez followed with a solo shot of his own on a hanging breaking ball to make it back-to-back jacks.
Carter now has four home runs and nine RBI in his last seven games.
Lo pitched a scoreless ninth, and there's an Astros victory - their 40th of the season.