Carlos Correa provided some early offense, and the bullpen locked down the final four innings for the Houston Astros, who completed a three-game weekend sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-1 victory on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.
Closer Roberto Osuna posted his second save with Houston and 11th of the season overall by striking out pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani to complete the ninth inning. The Astros extended their winning streak to five games and capped a nine-game road trip against American League West foes at 6-3.
The Astros played 22 of their past 31 games on the road, going 15-7 in those games away from Minute Maid Park. Houston holds a 1 1/2-game game lead on the second-place Oakland A’s in the AL West.
Correa struck the decisive blow for the Astros, winning a seven-pitch confrontation with Angels right-hander Felix Pena (1-4) with two outs in the top of the third inning. Correa recorded a two-run single off a full-count fastball, plating Evan Gattis and Max Stassi for a 2-0 lead.
Gattis had reached on a leadoff single and Stassi followed with a walk, with both advancing into scoring position when Alex Bregman produced a sharp, one-out single to left field.
After Correa’s hit, Marwin Gonzalez singled to right, plating Bregman and extending the lead to 3-0.
That cushion proved sufficient for Astros left-hander Framber Valdez, who made his first career start five days after earning his first victory working in relief against the Seattle Mariners.
Valdez (2-0) struggled with his control, issuing three walks and uncorking three wild pitches over five innings. However, he did record three strikeouts and routinely eluded trouble, surrendering only two hits and one run, when Kole Calhoun recorded a fielder’s choice RBI in the fifth.
The Angels didn’t muster any significant threats against the Houston bullpen.
Astros right-hander Brad Peacock faced the minimum while working two scoreless innings in relief of Valdez.
In the bottom of the eighth, Mike Trout represented the final measure of drama, coming to the plate with two outs and representing the tying run. Astros right-hander Hector Rondon met the challenge by fanning Trout, who finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
The Angels have lost six consecutive games, and fell five games under .500 for the first time.
—Field Level Media