After losing three mostly winnable games in Houston, the Angels headed into the rubber match hoping for a win before heading back home. The first 4 innings were pretty uneventful except for some great pitching by the Halos’ Griffin Canning and the Astros’ J.P. France. The Astros hurler did Canning one better by pitching 5 no-hit innings. Canning was the first to blink in the bottom of the 5th when Yainer Diaz hit a high fastball even higher over the left field Crawford Boxes to give the Astros a one-run lead.
After I spent a moment jinxing France by saying repeatedly “he has a no-hitter, he has a no-hitter”, Luis Rengifo brought it to fulfillment by launching a home run of his own over the right field wall to not only end the no-hitter but also tie the game in the 6th inning.
Canning’s day was over after 6 1-run, 4-hit innings. He would give way to Devenski who immediately gave up a double to Yainer Diaz. A grounder moved Diaz to third with one out. Maldonado tried to give his team the lead, sending a grounder down the third base line, but Gio Urshela made a great diving stop and throw across the diamond to keep the score tied.
Devenski continued his escape by striking out Dubon to end the inning. J.P. France’s day was over after 7 innings but the Angels got something cooking in the 8th inning when facing Phil Maton. Urshela led off the inning with a single, then switched places with Neto on a fielder’s choice. That brought up Mr. Ohtani. On a full count, Neto was on the move and Shohei did his job with a long RBI double, although he appeared to think he got more of it than he did. No problem, despite a Trout strikeout to end the rally, Angels take the lead 2-1.
Devenski and Carlos Estevez combined to send the Astros down in order in the bottom of the 8th and Astros pitcher Bryan Abreu also faced the minimum thanks to a double play in the top of the 9th.
Carlos Estevez came back out to try to continue his saves streak. All he allowed was a walk and a game ending double play. He is now 14 for 14 on save attempts. Angels win 2-1. The Halo is shining and welcoming the team back home!