Freese, Trout power Angels past Astros
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - David Freese went 2-for-5 with a season-high four RBI in his return to the lineup and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the Houston Astros, 9-3, in the middle test of a three-game set.
Freese had been sidelined since May 3 with a fracture in the middle finger on his right hand.
"It feels good to be back," said Freese. "It was nice to help the team. I was fired up just being back. It was a productive night."
Tyler Skaggs (4-1) earned the win after allowing one run on five hits over seven innings with six strikeouts.
"I threw a lot of changeups today," said Skaggs. "They came out swinging and I had to mix it up. I just tried to get first pitch strikes."
Mike Trout, who entered the game batting .158 over his last 16 games, went 2- for-3 with three RBI for LA.
Scott Feldman (2-2) took the loss, though he didn't receive much help from his defense. Feldman allowed eight runs -- three earned -- on nine hits over four innings of work.
"I felt he had the ball up in the zone," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Feldman's outing. "He didn't have a sharp breaking ball tonight. We had two impact errors that led to runs."
Jose Altuve collected three hits and extended his hitting streak to a career- high 12 games.
Matt Dominguez, Jason Castro and George Springer each had an RBI for Houston, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
The hosts jumped out of the gate with a three-run first inning in large part due to an error. Following two groundouts to start the home half, Albert Pujols reached on a fielding error by first baseman Chris Carter.
Raul Ibanez and Howie Kendrick each followed with a walk to load the bases, then Freese delivered a two-run single to center.
Hank Conger followed with a single that plated Kendrick and the Angels took an early 3-0 lead.
Trout added a sacrifice fly in to left in the second to push the margin to 4-0.
Houston finally broke through in the fourth. After back-to-back singles from Dexter Fowler and Castro put runners at the corners, Dominguez stroked a sac fly to center that made it a three-run game.
LA got the run back in the home half, however, with Trout's RBI single restoring the four-run cushion.
The Angels opened it up in the fifth with another three-run frame.
Freese reached on a fielding error by shortstop Jonathan Villar that allowed Ibanez to cross home. Erick Aybar walked with the bases loaded later in the inning to force Freese in, and Trout followed with an infield single that scored Conger.
Kendrick singled with one out in the sixth and Freese smacked a double off the wall in right to make it 9-1.
Houston closed the gap in the eighth when Altuve stroked a double to right to lead off the inning.
Springer followed with an RBI single and Castro added a sac fly to right to account for the final margin.
Villar has six errors on the season ... LA went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position ... Houston went 1-for-6 with RISP ... Angels' Jered Weaver will oppose Collin McHugh in the rubber game on Wednesday.
05/21 02:35:22 ET