April 25, 2018 / 4:30 AM / a month ago

Simmons' two homers lead Angels in slugfest with Astros

Andrelton Simmons socked two home runs and the Los Angeles Angels fended off a late rally to beat the Houston Astros 8-7 on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park and claim this three-game series.

Simmons belted his second homer of the season leading off the second inning against Astros right-hander Charlie Morton, and struck a bigger blow with his two-out, three-run shot off Joe Smith to cap the Angels’ four-run seventh. The latter blast provided the Angels an 8-5 lead.

The Angels needed every bit of that cushion because the Astros rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning before leaving the bases loaded against right-hander Justin Anderson.

Alex Bregman delivered an RBI single off Jim Johnson two batters before Marwin Gonzalez did the same to Anderson, blooping a hit to center field after Brian McCann walked to load the bases.

But Anderson, a Houston native making his second big-league appearance, rallied to strike out Derek Fisher before inducing a scorching ground ball from George Springer that third baseman Zack Cozart snuffed with a sprawling dive before making the throw to erase Gonzalez at second.

Mike Trout smashed an opposite-field homer off Morton in the first, becoming the first player in the majors to reach 10 home runs this season. In the third inning, Justin Upton and Simmons added run-scoring infield singles after Morton walked the bases loaded as the Angels took a 4-1 lead.

Morton had allowed three runs (two earned) over his first four starts before surrendering four runs on five hits and a season-high five walks over four innings. He recorded two strikeouts.

Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani dazzled yet struggled with his command, posting multiple triple-digit fastballs while issuing five walks over 5 1/3 innings. Fisher belted a 425-foot blast to straightaway center in the fifth, and Ohtani was responsible for Yuli Gurriel in the sixth before departing. Gurriel scored when McCann homered off lefty Jose Alvarez for a 5-4 Houston lead.

Ohtani allowed four runs on six hits and finished with seven strikeouts.

The Astros stranded 11 baserunners; the Angels four. Johnson (2-0) earned the win while Smith (1-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on three hits and one walk in one inning. Right-hander Cam Bedrosian notched his first save.

—Field Level Media

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