A grand slam by Marwin Gonzalez and a strong pitching performance from starter Dallas Keuchel helped lift the Houston Astros to a 9-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.
Gonzalez’s homer was his 13th of the season and his second career grand slam, giving Keuchel and the Astros a cushion going into the later innings. Keuchel (10-10) shut the Angels out through six innings before he yielded a two-run homer to Los Angeles third baseman Taylor Ward in the seventh.
Keuchel has dominated the Angels in his career, going 12-2 against them in 18 games (17 starts), including two wins in two starts this season. Friday, he gave up two runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven innings.
Gonzalez’s slam was the key hit of the game for Houston, but it also got home runs from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa and a two-run double from Tyler White. In all, Houston finished with 12 hits.
Mike Trout returned to the Angels’ lineup for the first time since Aug. 1, when he suffered a right wrist contusion that landed him on the disabled list. He was eligible to return on Aug. 16, but his brother-in-law passed away on Aug. 15, and Trout missed more time to be with his family.
In his first at-bat on Friday, Trout tripled but was stranded at third. He wound up going 2-for-3 with a single and walk.
The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on Altuve’s 10th homer of the season off Angels starter Andrew Heaney.
Heaney kept the Angels close until the fifth, when the Astros mounted a two-out rally and loaded the bases. That’s when Gonzalez got ahold of a 91 mph sinker on a 1-1 pitch, hitting it over the fence in center field for a 5-0 Houston lead.
Heaney (7-8) managed to get through six innings but got the loss after giving up five runs on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
With the win, Houston maintained a 1 1/2-game lead in the American League West over the Oakland Athletics, who also won on Friday.
—Field Level Media