EditorsNote: 6th graf reworded slightly; 7th graf, should be fifth, not fourth
Andrelton Simmons’ sharp grounder off the glove of first baseman Kyle Tucker scored Kaleb Cowart from third base in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-3 win over the visiting Houston Astros on Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif.
Cowart led off the winning rally with a walk and then stole second. Two outs later, Tucker was unable to field Simmons’ one-hopper — it was ruled an error — and the Angels kept the Astros from clinching home field in the American League playoffs.
The Astros need one win or a loss by the New York Yankees in the final weekend to clinch home field for the American League playoffs.
Josh Reddick led Houston in a losing effort with five hits, but as a team the Astros were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. It was the Angels’ bullpen that won the game for Los Angeles — nine Angels relievers combined to shut out the Astros for the final 7 2/3 innings. Trevor Cahill (4-9) got the win over Astros reliever Joe Biagini (2-3).
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Astros starter Wade Miley on a two-run double by Kevan Smith. Los Angeles increased its lead in the second inning after Brian Goodwin led off with a double and later scored on Michael Hermosillo’s sacrifice fly.
Angels starter Jaime Barria was sharp early, allowing only an infield single through three innings. But in the fourth, Tucker pounded a first-pitch changeup over the fence in right field for his fourth homer of the season to cut Houston’s deficit to 3-1.
In the fifth, after a leadoff walk by Martin Maldonado, No. 9 hitter Jack Mayfield homered to tie the score at 3-3. For Mayfield, playing shortstop for the injured Carlos Correa, it was his second homer of the season.
The Astros threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning, loading the bases with one out. But Angels reliever Luke Bard got pinch hitter George Springer to hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
—Field Level Media