I guess wanting to win 12 games in a row against the same team is a little greedy. So we'll just have to start a 6-game winning streak against the Angels tomorrow.
Mike Fiers has pitched some real stinkers and some real gems this season. In the first inning, it looked like we might be in for one of the stinky variety. With one out, Fiers walked Mike Trout and then gave up a 2-run homer to Albert Pujols to give the Angels a 2-0 lead. After striking out C.J. Cron, Andrelton Simmons hit a double and made it to third on an error by Jake Marisnick. However, Fiers was able to settle down and strike out Jefry Marte to end the inning.
In fact, Fiers retired 13 batters in a row after the 1st inning double by Simmons and didn't surrender another run. His final line for the night was 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 9 K, and 2 ER.
Ricky Nolasco did an even better job holding the Astros' offense in check. He only surrendered 5 hits over 7 innings and they were all singles. No Astros' base runner reached third base while Nolasco was pitching and only two reached second. Jake Marisnick stole second base in the third after getting on with a single, and Correa reached second in the fourth on a force out and a throwing error. The leadoff batters reached for the Astros in the 5th and 6th innings, but both were erased on double plays.
Fiers' night ended in the 7th with one out and two men on as A.J. Hinch opted for Jandel Gustave. Gustave was able to induce a groundout off the bat of Carlos Perez and then struck out pinch hitter Kole Calhoun to end the threat.
Gustave remained in the game for the 8th and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, which included back-to-back strikeouts of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
The Astros had their best chance to score in the 8th inning. JC Ramirez came in to pitch the 8th for the Angels and retired Tony Kemp and Jason Castro to start the inning. Tyler White pinch hit for Jake Marisnick and drove a double off the left field wall. Teoscar Hernandez came in to pinch run for White with 2 outs. George Springer came through with a single to left, but he hit the ball too hard for the runner to score (oh the irony of baseball) as Hernandez was held at third. With runners at the corners, Yulieski Gurriel hit a line drive to the pitcher Ramirez who snagged it to end the threat.
Michael Feliz pitched a scoreless 9th inning for the Astros, only allowing a single to Andrelton Simmons.
Andrew Bailey came in looking for a save in the 9th, and Jose Altuve greeted him with a lead off single. Carlos Correa followed with a loud fly out near the scoreboard in left field and Evan Gattis hit into a double play to end the game.
With that, the Angels ended their 11-game losing streak against the Astros.
The Good News
Boston completed a 4-game sweep of the Orioles with a 5-3 win in Baltimore, so the Astros remain just 1 game behind Baltimore.
Fiers was able to eat up some innings and the Astros were able to rest all of Devenski, Gregerson, Harris, and Giles while still keeping the game within reach.
Jose Altuve had 3 hits tonight. He has the ability to carry this team to the playoffs if he can heat things up at the plate.
The Bad News
Detroit swept their double header with Minnesota today, so they are now in possession of the second AL Wild Card and 1.5 games ahead of the Astros.
Finally, since the Blue Jays had today off, the Astros fell to 2.5 games behind Toronto, who are holding the first AL Wild Card.