The Astros continued their quest to avoid 100 losses on Friday night by winning their fourth in a row and again beating up on the
high-powered Anaheim Angels.
Dallas Keuchel's second rough outing in a row was basically the only hard part of this game to watch. The lefty has not been able to find his consistency this season, throwing great in back-to-back outings at the end of August, but has been knocked around in September. After the six runs Keuchel allowed in his 5.2 innings of work tonight, he has allowed 11 runs in nine September innings.
The bright side was his nine strikeouts, but Keuchel allowed ten hits for his second consecutive outing. The lefty started the sixth inning due to the fact he had a 9-4 lead to work with, but after allowing back-to-back RBI hits to Andrew Romine and Erick Aybar, he was pulled in favor of Jorge De Leon.
Luckily for the Astros, they did have those nine runs. In the third inning, the scorchingly hot Jose Altuve lined a three-run home run into the Crawford Boxes to give Houston a 3-2 lead.
Anaheim responded with a lead off home run in the fourth by Chris Ianetta and a Romine RBI single to regain a one-run advantage. And then the Astros unloaded.
I have to believe that the way the fifth started had an extra emotional lift to the Astros' ballclub as catcher Cody Clark finally recorded his first hit as an MLB player. It was Clark's 26th at-bat that proved to be the lucky one as he blooped a single into center field, garnering this reaction from the Houston bench.
Brandon Barnes and Altuve followed with singles to load the bases. Trevor Crowe drove in two runs and Brandon Laird was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Matt Dominguez.
Cory Rasmus replaced starting pitcher Jason Vargas to face Dominguez. Rasmus' first pitch was supposed to be on the outer part of the plate, but instead it was right down Broadway and Matty D hammered it.
The grand slam to left extended Houston's lead to 9-4, and allowed Keuchel to end up with the win.
The bullpen did try to make things interesting by loading the bases with no outs in the eighth. Kevin Chapman was the main culprit as he walked two batters to start the inning before Josh Zeid came in to replace him.
Zeid allowed an infield single to Aybar to load 'em up and walked Trout two batters later to score a run, but followed that by getting Mark Trumbo to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, ending the threat.
Josh Fields is also getting on a decent roll himself as he has allowed three runs in his last 11.2 innings after a 1-2-3 ninth to close it out on Friday night.
It should be a good pitching matchup on Saturday night as Jered Weaver will face off against the Astros' Brett Oberholtzer.
Oh, and this from our friends at Astros County.
With the win, the Astros ensure a season series win against the Angels. HAHAHAHAHA— Astros County (@AstrosCounty) September 14, 2013