Castro breaks up no-no, Astros can't take advantage

Castro breaks up no-no, Astros can't take advantage

ANAHEIM -- The seventh-inning single by Astros catcher Jason Castro on Sunday afternoon turned out to the only hit of the game for Houston, though at the time it carried a much more significant purpose.

It loaded the bases with one out, giving the Astros their best scoring chance of the day against Angels starter Garrett Richards.

The only run the Astros scored in a 3-1 loss to the Angels at Angel Stadium came when rookie outfielder Preston Tucker was plunked in the back by a 96-mph fastball with the bases loaded one out after Castro's hit. But at least the Astros avoided being no-hit for what would have been the six time in their history.

"I didn't think about the no-hitter or anything like that," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We were well aware we hadn't had a lot of action on the bases other than a few walks. We were trying to put together some pretty good at-bats."

Richards, who threw 110 pitches, didn't survive the inning, and three relievers finished off the one-hitter. It's the second time this year the Astros have been held to one hit (April 9 against Cleveland).

Castro's hit came on a slider that he lined into left field.

"He kind of stayed up a little bit," Castro said. "He had thrown me a couple of early sliders in the at-bat and I fouled one off right before that. So I saw it decently well and tried to stay through it and not try to do too much."

Hinch said Richards had the best stuff they've seen from any pitcher this year, and Castro wasn't in position to disagree.

"We've faced him a few times in the past and he's really impressive," he said. "His fastball, cutter is 96, 97 [mph] pretty regularly. He had a pretty decent breaking ball and command, too. When he's on like that, it makes him tough."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.