Mike Scott and the Astros endured the inning from hell in the fifth. Jim Fregosi led off for Anaheim with a harmless grounder to third, but Art Howe booted it. Next up was Troy Glaus, who deposited a Scott fastball into the seats to break a 1-1 tie. Scott seemed to have it under control as he induced two outs around walks by Bob Boone and Bobby Grich, but never could find the third out. Mike Trout singled in Boone, Jim Edmonds singled in Grich, and Vladimir Guerero knocked a three run shot. Houston skip Bill Virdon had seen enough and called in Wade Miller in relief, who promptly gave up a triple to Fregosi. An easy Glaus grounder back to Miller seemed to be the merciful end, but Miller threw the ball away, allowing Fregosi to waltz home to score for a second “unearned” time in the frame. By the time Rod Carew finally lined out to end the inning, the Angels were up 9-1.
The Astros kept the bases full with lots of walks and singles, but Anaheim’s Nolan Ryan scattered them out enough to give up only three runs.
Anaheim 12, Houston 3
R H BB HOU 001 000 200 - 3 8 6 ANA 000 180 12X - 12 13 5 HR: V. Guerrero (3), T. Glaus (4) starters IP R ER HR BB SO M. Scott 4.2 8 2 2 2 4 N. Ryan 9.0 3 3 0 6 4 HOU 5-9, ANA 7-9
This was a doozy of a duel between Mike Cuellar for Houston and Andy Messersmith for Anaheim. Messersmith was almost flawless, but he caught too much of the plate against Lance Berkman leading off the fourth and Berkman took him deep. Mike Cuellar was pretty much flawless for 7.1, and Dave Smith and Billy Wagner took care of the shutout from there.
Houston 1, Anaheim 0
R H BB HOU 000 100 000 - 1 5 4 ANA 000 000 000 - 0 4 4 HR: L. Berkman (3) starters IP R ER HR BB SO M. Cuellar 7.1 0 0 0 3 7 A. Messersmith 7.0 1 1 1 4 4 HOU 6-9, ANA 7-10
The rubber match was another well-pitched game, particularly by Houston’s J.R. Richard who threw 7.2 and surrendered just one unearned run on a Troy Glaus triple and Jeff Bagwell error. Jeff Weaver was fine for Anaheim, but fine wasn’t enough to overcome the Astros on this day. An Art Howe double and Craig Biggio single plated the winning run in the second.
Glaus has been the Angels most productive hitter thus far in the season (.468 wOBA), despite usually hitting eighth in the order. The Angels say they aren’t worried about Mike Trout despite his lackluster .330 wOBA 17 games into the season and Mike Scioscia giving him the night off. “His swing has looked great to me,” manager Mike Scioscia said after the game. “And he’s not exactly stinking up the place. I just thought he could use a rest day, like all players can. He’ll get hot any day now.”
Houston 3, Anaheim 1
R H BB HOU 110 010 000 - 3 9 3 ANA 001 000 000 - 1 5 4 HR: M. Alou (4) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Richard 7.2 1 0 0 3 4 J. Weaver 8.0 3 3 1 3 3 HOU 7-9, ANA 7-11