07/17 00:55 CDT Angels beat Astros 7-2 for 5th straight W; Marisnick plunked
Angels beat Astros 7-2 for 5th straight W; Marisnick plunked
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) --- Albert Pujols hit a bases-clearing double during the
Angels' six-run first inning, and Los Angeles remained unbeaten in five games
since the All-Star break with a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday
Jake Marisnick was drilled between the shoulder blades by Angels reliever Noe
Ramirez (4-1) in the sixth inning, and both teams nearly came to blows moments
later. Marisnick ran over Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy in a collision at the
plate in Houston nine days ago, leaving Lucroy with a concussion and a broken
Shortly after Ramirez hit Marisnick with a 1-1 pitch, a verbal confrontation
broke out between Pujols and several Astros in the dugout, including Lance
McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander. Both benches and bullpens partially
emptied, but there was no serious physical contact --- and Marisnick noticeably
tried to calm his teammates.
Mike Trout missed his second straight game with a mildly strained right calf,
but Shohei Ohtani and Luis Rengifo also drove in first-inning runs in Los
Angeles' eighth victory in 11 games since the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Tyler White had three hits and an RBI in the Astros' fourth loss in six games.
Their division lead over Oakland is down to 4 games, matching their smallest
advantage since May 9.
With another impressive victory while mourning Skaggs' death, the Angels
(50-46) moved four games above .500 for the first time since June 2018, albeit
while still in fourth place in the AL West. Los Angeles has scored 54 runs in
its last six games.
The Angels' first six batters reached base against Astros opener Hctor Rondn
(3-2), who gave up six runs on five hits and a walk in just nine batters while
failing to get out of the first.
Ohtani, who drove in the first run with an infield single, went 2 for 4 and
stole a base on his bobblehead night.
After getting three hits and three RBIs in the Angels' 9-6 win Monday, Pujols
came through with another big offensive moment in Trout's absence. He drove in
three runs with a perfectly placed double just inside the right field line, and
Rengifo chased Rondn with an RBI triple.
Andrew Heaney pitched eight-hit ball into the fifth inning and got five
strikeouts in his second start since the death of Skaggs, his best friend.
Marisnick, a native of nearby Riverside, had two hits while being booed heavily
from pregame introductions onward by angry Angels fans. Marisnick didn't play
in the series opener Monday. He is currently appealing his two-game suspension
for the collision.
Astros: Rogelio Armenteros came up from Triple-A Round Rock before the game and
threw four innings of two-hit ball as Houston attempts to patch together the
final two spots in a rotation damaged by injuries and inconsistency.
Angels: Trout hopes to return Wednesday, but accepts the importance of caution.
Brian Goodwin came off the injured list after missing nine games with a bruised
wrist and went 2 for 4 while replacing Trout in center.
Gerrit Cole (9-5, 3.23 ERA), the Newport Beach native who graduated from nearby
Orange Lutheran High School, takes the mound for Houston against an opener and
Flix Pea (7-2, 4.32 ERA), who threw the final seven innings of the Angels'
combined no-hitter last week.
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