HOUSTON (AP) — Evan Gattis hit a three-run homer to back a solid start by Charlie Morton and the Houston Astros further dampened the AL wild-card hopes of the Los Angeles Angels with a 6-2 win Saturday.
Justin Upton hit two home runs for the Angels, who matched a season worst with their sixth straight loss. Los Angeles began the day 3 ½ games behind Minnesota for the second wild-card spot.
Carlos Correa had three hits and three RBIs a day after his 23rd birthday as the AL West champion Astros won for the seventh time in eight games.
Box score:Astros 6, Angels 2
The Astros led 1-0 in the fifth inning when they got things going with two outs. Eduardo Paredes plunked Alex Bregman, Marwin Gonzalez singled, Correa hit an RBI double and Gattis sent his towering homer to the train tracks atop the left field wall.
Morton (13-7) yielded four hits and one run in seven innings for his second straight win.
Bud Norris (2-6) allowed three hits and one run over 3 1/3 innings in his second start after spending most of the year in the bullpen.
Upton’s homer in the seventh ended the Angels’ scoreless streak at 23 innings. He connected in the ninth for his 34th homer, extending his career high in a season split between Detroit and Los Angeles.
The Angels have managed just two runs combined in the last three games.
Aside from Upton, the top of the Angels’ order struggled, with Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols combining to go 1 for 11 with four strikeouts.
Astros: OF Josh Reddick didn’t play. He left Friday night’s game after the fifth inning because of lower back discomfort. Manager A.J. Hinch said he doesn’t think the problem is serious and expects him to return soon.
Angels: Tyler Skaggs (2-6, 4.30 ERA) is scheduled to start on Sunday night. He allowed eight hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings of a loss to Cleveland in his last outing.
Astros: Lance McCullers (7-3, 3.97) will start Sunday. McCullers hasn’t pitched since he was scratched from his scheduled start on Sept. 13 because of arm fatigue. Hinch said his pitch count will be limited, but didn’t say exactly how many pitches they’ll let him throw.
© 2018 Associated Press