Jason Vargas (8-6, 3.76) vs Dallas Keuchel (5-9, 4.99)
Man, if the Astros could just play the Angels or Mariners all the time, this season would be a lot more fun. Matt Dominguez! Jose Altuve! Trevor Crowe! And how about that Cody Clark, eh? Astros blast the Angels 9-7, winning their fourth straight and improving to 51-96 on the year.
On the Mound:
*Dallas Keuchel was not good. He tied a career high with 9 strikeouts, but also surrendered 10 hits for the second consecutive start, good for 6 ER. Fortunately for him, however, Jason Vargas was even worse. Kid Keuchy's line: 5.2 IP / 10 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 2 BB / 9 K.
*Jorge De Leon got the last out of the 6th and got a double play in the 7th before leaving with two on, completing one scoreless inning.
*Kevin Chapman got the final out of the 7th, but that was the only out that he recorded, and two walks and a wild pitch to start the 8th resulted in an earned run on his ledger.
*Josh Zeid technically pitched a scoreless 8th, but a single and a bases-loaded walk forced in the run that was charged to Chapman.
*Then Josh Fields fanned two in a perfect 9th for his 5th save.
At the Plate:
*Lots to say on offense today, but all of Houston's runs scored on three big swings. None was bigger than Matt Dominguez, who notched his 20th home run of the season in impressive fashion - a towering grand slam to left-center in the 5th that put the game out of reach for Los Angeles. Matty D finished 1 for 2 with a BB, a K, and a HBP.
*Jose Altuve gave the Astros their first lead on a big fly of his own, launching a 3-run homer in the 3rd for his fifth of the season. Altuve stayed white hot for September, going 2 for 4 with 2 R. He's now 23 for 55 (.418) since September 1.
*Trevor Crowe didn't go deep, but he did put the Astros ahead for good with a 2-run single in the 5th that preceded Dominguez grand salami. Crowe hit like a legit #3 hitter again, going 3 for 4 with a R.
*Dominguez and Crowe obviously get the glory for Houston's 6-run 5th inning, but the whole inning was touched off by Cody Clark. The 31-year-old rookie broke an 0-for-25 to record his first big league hit with a leadoff single in the 5th, then came in to score on Crowe's single. Clark finished 1 for 4.
*Brandon Barnes singled twice, scored twice, and struck out twice, finishing 2 for 4.
*L.J. Hoes went 1 for 3 with a walk and 2 K, and also scored a run.
*Marc Krauss singled in a pinch-hit appearance in the 7th.
*Brandon Laird DH'd and went 0 for 2, but still scored a run after reaching on a HBP.
With the Astros down 4-3, Cody Clark led off the home half of the 5th with a single to center on a 2-1 pitch. Brandon Barnes and Jose Altuve also singled on either side of a popped-up bunt attempt by Jonathan Villar, loading the bases for Trevor Crowe. Crowe singled to center, plating Clark and Barnes for a 5-4 Astros lead, then Brandon Laird took a HBP to re-load the bases for Matt Dominguez. That chased Angels starter Jason Vargas from the game, but his night got a lot worse when Dominguez blasted Cory Rasmus' first pitch off the bricks below the train in left center for his second grand slam of the season.
Man of the Match:
Matty D! He joined cHRis Carter in the 20 HR Club, giving the Astros two guys over that mark for the first time since 2010 (Pence 25, Lee 24). Of course, very honorable mention to Cody Clark.
Goat of the Game:
The Astros just won four in a row for the first time since June 12-16. Don't need no stinkin' goat tonight.