Erik Bedard (0-2, 5.32) vs Joe Blanton (1-8, 5.94)
Let me sing you a song so very sweep... no-hit until the 5th inning? No problem! Starter can't go more than six innings? Toss that one aside too. The hottest team in baseball right now is not the one that everyone expected to still be on an upswing after this series. The Astros left Houston last Tuesday afternoon to embark on a six game roadtrip. They'll return to Houston tonight as winners of all six. Astros earn their second straight series sweep, downing the Angels 2-1 tonight, and they're now five full games up on Miami at 21-37 overall.
On the Mound:
*Erik Bedard may just be legit, y'all. At the least, he's been pitching that way lately. Following four straight starts in which he gave up two runs each, he turned it up a notch higher tonight, going a season-long 7 innings and allowing only one run in the process. His night: 7 IP / 5 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 2 K.
*Wesley Wright (0.2 IP) and Josh Fields (0.1 IP, fresh off the Meat Wagon) combined for a scoreless 8th.
*Jose Veras was back for the 9th tonight. With no margin for error in a 2-1 game, he retired the first two Angels in short order, then allowed a double and a walk to put the winning runs on base for Hank Conger. But Veni, Vidi, Veras, he got the strikeout, and the Astros escape Anaheim with a sweep.
At the Plate:
*Precious little for the Astros at the plate tonight, but Bedard and the bullpen made sure it stood up.
*Houston was held hitless until two outs in the 5th, when cHRis Carter ended that narrative with an exclamation point - a solo HR clean over the Angels bullpen in left for his team-leading 12th of the year. Carter finished 1 for 3 with a K.
*Matt Dominguez had a double leading off the 6th for Houston's second hit, then came in on a sac fly to score their second run. His night ended up 1 for 3.
*Brandon Barnes was hitless but earned the Dominguez RBI on a sac fly following Marwin Gonzalez sac bunt.
*And Jose Altuve extended his latest hitting streak to six games, singling to finish 1 for 4. That was the full extent of the Houston offense - no other Astro even drew a walk.
With only one hit to their credit through five innings, the Astros needed to manufacture offense wherever they could tonight. So when Matt Dominguez led off the 6th with a double, it was an opportunity they couldn't afford to miss. Marwin Gonzalez immediately laid down a sac bunt to move Matty D up to third, then Brandon Barnes hit a sac fly to center for the go-ahead run one pitch later.
Man of the Match:
Erik Bedard, I take back every bad thing I said about you early on. Hail Canada!
Goat of the Game:
Straight up no goat tonight; it's a great week to be an Astros fan. Six in a row!