Carlos Correa and Tyler White delivered momentum-swinging, two-out hits in the eighth inning and the Houston Astros rallied from a three-run deficit for a 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros plated five runs in their final at-bat. Correa drove home Tony Kemp with a game-tying single to center field off Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian (5-4). White, the designated hitter, followed by greeting right-hander Hansel Robles with his game-winning hit, a two-run double off the manual scoreboard in left, plating George Springer and Correa.
Houston was forced to rally against the Angels bullpen after right-hander Felix Pena twirled a season-high seven innings for Los Angeles, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with three strikeouts. Pena had worked exactly six innings in each of his previous three outings.
The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when right fielder Kole Calhoun clubbed a three-run homer, his 18th, off Astros right-hander Josh James. Calhoun struck with two outs facing a full count, the lone blemish for James as he made his major-league debut.
James validated his reputation of possessing a plus fastball. He unleashed 22 fastballs in the first inning: a dozen four-seamers and 10 two-seamers. He averaged 98.5 miles per hour on the former and 97.9 on the latter offering, striking out Calhoun to start the frame and Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons to strand a pair of baserunners.
After Calhoun took him deep in the second, James surrendered just one additional baserunner when he walked Calhoun with one out in the fifth. He retired eight consecutive batters prior to that show of vulnerability and responded to the Calhoun walk by getting David Fletcher to ground out before designated hitter Mike Trout popped out to Correa at short.
James closed his outing having allowed three runs on three hits and three walks over five innings. His nine strikeouts matched the second-most in franchise history in a big-league debut. James averaged 97.4 miles per hour on 38 four-seam fastballs, and 96.6 on 12 two-seamers.
Right-hander Joe Smith (5-1) earned the win for the Astros after recording the final two outs in the eighth inning.
Angels left fielder Justin Upton departed with a mild concussion after colliding with Simmons as the shortstop caught a pop-up from Springer to conclude the fifth inning.
—Field Level Media