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(Friday, June 28th)
Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 4, Houston 2
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Peter Bourjos scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a Ronny Cedeno throwing error as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slipped past the Houston Astros, 4-2, to open a three-game series.
Erick Aybar went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while Mike Trout knocked in a run and saved another with a highlight-reel catch to help the Angels win their fourth straight on the heels of a three-game slide.
Dane De La Rosa (3-1) recorded the final two outs in the seventh -- the last coming on Trout's tremendous leaping grab at the warning track with a runner on second -- to earn the win behind Jerome Williams, who limited Houston to one run on five hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings of work.
The first run the Astros mustered came when Jason Castro sent a payoff pitch over the wall in right-center to lead off the fourth inning.
Houston's Bud Norris was looking to go 4-0 against the Angels this season and was cruising until an error allowed the visitors to pull even in the sixth.
"He's thrown as well as anybody we've faced this year, probably better than anybody. He's got the fastball that's sneaky and works his breaking ball in on you. I thought we had better at-bats tonight, but the results were pretty much what we've seen," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
Aybar singled to open the frame and moved to second on Brandon Barnes' error. Two batters later, Trout lined a base hit over the glove of a leaping Jose Altuve at second to make it a 1-1 game.
Aybar was again a factor on the basepaths in the eighth when he tried advancing to second on a flyout to center field. Bourjos, pinch-running for Hank Conger after he doubled, was easily in at third base on the play, so Cedeno cut off the relay throw and tried nabbing Aybar at second.
His toss, however, was low and skipped into right field, allowing Bourjos to trot in with the go-ahead run.
"You're never happy when players make mistakes," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "It's one of those things where they're not made from a lack of effort standpoint and we want to understand mistakes do happen and errors are part of the game."
Paul Clemens (4-3) was on the hill during the deciding inning and suffered the loss. Norris took a tough no-decision after allowing one unearned run on four hits and a walk over seven frames.
Houston had runners on the corners with one out in the eighth and failed to capitalize. Castro's fly ball to left field wasn't deep enough, and Chris Carter hit a routine pop up to center to end the threat.
Aybar added two insurance runs on a bases-loaded single with two away in the ninth, proving vital after Ernesto Frieri gave up a walk and a double leading off the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate.
Frieri, however, limited the damage to Matt Dominguez's sacrifice fly as he locked down his 20th save of the season and sent Houston to its third loss in four games.
Norris has allowed one earned run over 28 innings (0.32 ERA) against the Angels this year. He is 1-7 with a 4.50 ERA over his other 12 starts ... The Angels have won a season-high five straight road games ... The Astros completed a four-game sweep of the Angels in Anaheim earlier this month.
06/29 02:41:57 ET
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