Angels pull away from Astros for 4th straight win

Angels pull away from Astros for 4th straight win

ANAHEIM -- Kaleb Cowart ripped a three-run double in the second and Jefry Marte banged a solo homer an inning later to send the Angels off and running to to a 7-1 win over the Astros on Friday night at Angel Stadium.

Angels right-hander Daniel Wright picked up his first Major League win by allowing one run, no walks and six hits in six innings. The run he allowed came in the second, when Carlos Correa walked, advanced to third on a pair of groundouts and scored on a Teoscar Hernandez ground-rule double.

"I don't think it's completely sunk in yet that it's my first win, but it's a long time coming," said Wright, who helped the Angels set an American League record with 24 pitchers recording wins this season. "It's kind of a weight off my shoulders, and we'll go from here into the offseason."

Wright on first career win

Cowart's bases-loaded double was the big blow in a four-run second inning that put the Angels ahead 4-1 against Astros righty Brad Peacock, and Andrelton Simmons added a two-run single in the fifth inning to push the lead to 7-1.

"I don't think he executed quite as well," Astros A.J. Hinch said of Peacock. "His fastball command was a little off. His breaking ball was a little bit loose. They won a couple of critical at-bats. There was a few walks in there, a few extra-base hits, and his night was over. Unfortunately it caps a September for him where he was pretty good when we needed him. It's going to leave a bad taste in his mouth at the end of the year."

The Angels have won four in a row, eight of their last nine and 10 of their last 13.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trout sets record: Mike Trout walked in his first plate appearance to set the Angels' single-season record with 114. He then stole second and third, leaving him one stolen base and one home run away from his second 30-30 season.

"I think he's doing a great job of picking his spots," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think he's been a very high-percentage basestealer this year. He's obviously picking his spots and he's getting good jumps and he's on the verge of stealing 30 bases." More >

Trout swipes third

Peacock rocked: Making his fifth start of the season, Peacock's run of success came to an end when he was hit for seven runs (five earned) on five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He had posted a 2.21 ERA in his first four starts in September after taking the rotation spot that came open when Dallas Keuchel was lost for the season with left shoulder inflammation.

"I fell behind guys and they just took advantage of it," Peacock said. "I didn't have my fastball location tonight, and that was pretty much it."

Simmons' two-run single

Mashing Marte: Marte has 14 homers in 86 games in his first season with the Angels. He has two homers, including a grand slam, and three doubles over his last three games. Marte's solo shot traveled a Statcast-projected 427 feet and had an exit velocity of 105 mph.

"This guy can hit the ball hard and hit it a long way," Scioscia said. "He's confident right now." 

Marte's solo home run

Paulino shines: Rookie right-hander David Paulino threw three scoreless innings in relief for the Astros, allowing one hit in just the third outing of his career. After starting and throwing three innings on Sept. 9 at Cleveland, he pitched a scoreless inning Sept. 18 at Seattle. Paulino will head to the Arizona Fall League and could be an option in the rotation next year.

"That was clearly the highlight of the day for us in a night where we didn't have a lot of highlights," Hinch said. "Really good breaking ball. I thought he loosened up a little bit and got a little bit more aggressive with his fastball. We saw him get to the mid-90s, which is not something we've seen a ton. Just really good to see him relax, get in an extended outing and have some success before he gets to the Fall League."

Paulino fields a comebacker

QUOTABLE
"I don't like playing games that don't matter, and obviously it's a little bit of a lull for us. It's no excuse to come out and not play well. We'll come out tomorrow ready to play." -- Hinch, on the Astros' first game after being eliminated from the postseason race

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With the victory, the Angels are assured of finishing with fewer than 90 losses. The franchise's most recent 90-loss season occurred in 1999, the club's last season before Scioscia became the manager.

Scioscia on Angels win

WHAT'S NEXT
Astros: Right-hander Collin McHugh (12-10, 4.53 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros in Saturday's 8:05 p.m. CT game against the Angels. The Astros have won seven of the last eight games started by McHugh, who's 5-0 with a 2.93 ERA in eight starts since Aug. 24.

Angels: Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 4.13 ERA) starts on Saturday in his first action since Sept. 9. He's missed time with a strained left forearm. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PT.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.