September 29, 2019 / 11:01 PM / 22 days ago

Cole, Springer lead Astros past Angels for 107th win

EditorsNote: rewords second graph, other minor edits

Sep 29, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

George Springer homered, doubled and singled twice to lead the Houston Astros to an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams in Anaheim, Calif.

Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole won his 20th game and Aledmys Diaz and Yuli Gurriel also homered for Houston, which finished the regular season 107-55 for the best record in the majors and secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The 107 victories are the most in franchise history and mark the club’s third consecutive 100-win season. From the franchise’s inception in 1962 through 2016, the team had only one 100-win season (102 in 1998).

Only four teams in the past 100 years have won more than 107 games — the 2001 Mariners (116), the 1998 Yankees (114), the 1954 Indians (111) and the 1927 Yankees (110).

The Angels finished their season 72-90, the most losses since they went 70-92 in 1999, the year before Mike Scioscia took over as manager. In Scioscia’s 19 years, the club never lost more than 88 games in a season.

Matt Thaiss homered twice and doubled for the Angels on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough as the Astros scored all eight runs in the first four innings.

Jose Altuve’s RBI double in the first inning off Angels starter Dillon Peters gave Houston an early lead. In the second, Diaz and Springer hit solo homers, and in the third, Gurriel hit a two-run homer for a 5-0 advantage.

Thaiss hit his first homer of the game off Cole leading off the bottom of the third, but the Astros scored three times in the top of the fourth on RBI doubles by Springer and Michael Brantley, and an RBI single by Alex Bregman.

Cole finished with 10 strikeouts in just five innings, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to have nine consecutive double-digit strikeout games. He finished the season with 326 strikeouts, the most in the majors since Randy Johnson had 334 in 2002 while with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Cole also won 16 consecutive decisions to finish 20-5, the first 20-win season of his career.

—Field Level Media

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