Mike Trout led of the bottom of the ninth inning on America’s birthday by lining an 0-2 pitch from Tony Sipp over the left-centerfield wall of Angels Stadium. Trout’s 20th homer of the season gave the Angels a 7-6 win over the Astros.
The Astros provided some fireworks of their own in the fourth inning, scoring five runs off Angels starter C.J. Wilson. Kike Hernandez led off the inning with a single. George Springer followed with a towering blast to centerfield to tie the game 3-3. Matt Dominguez and Chris Carter followed with singles of their own, setting the table for Jon Singleton. The Astros first-baseman hammered a Wilson offering into the rightfield bleachers, giving Houston a 6-3 lead.
Albert Pujols trimmed the lead to 6-5 with a 2-run shot off Astros starter Dallas Keuchel in the fifth. Keuchel was hit hard by the Angels tonight. But the Astros lefty exited the game with a chance to pick up a victory despite allowing a career high 13 hits in only five innings of work. Keuchel owed a special thanks to his shortstop, Kike Hernandez, for making an outstanding play that resulted in an inning ending double-play to escape the fifth inning.
This game would eventually come down to a battle of bullpens. While the Angels relievers were able to silence the Astros’ bats, the Houston ‘pen faltered again. Pujols started the bottom of the seventh with a single of Josh Zeid and came around to score when Howie Kendrick doubled of Josh Fields. After pitching a scoreless eighth, Sipp returned to the mound for the ninth. That set the stage for Trout’s dramatic game-winner.