Tyler Skaggs (4-3, 4.14) vs Brad Peacock (1-4, 4.76)
It's a win-win night for the Houston Astros organization. Win around 6:11pm, when they tabbed the consensus best player in the draft - Brady Aiken - at 1-1, and then a win again about 3.5 hours later, when they took the game, and the series, from the Angels. Brad Peacock was good enough, and the overall offense was great, leading Houston to a 8-5 win over their division rivals. On Draft Day, the Astros improve to 26-35.
On the Mound:
*Brad Peacock only had one 1-2-3 inning tonight, throwing 81 pitches (51 strikes), but being lifted following the 5th when he started getting hit harder. But he still limited the damage enough that he was able to depart with a 4-3 lead, which the offense and the bullpen were able to uphold, earning Brad his second win of the season. Line: 5 IP / 6 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 1 K
*Josh Fields received the first of five calls to the Astros bullpen by Bo Porter tonight, allowing only a single while striking out two in 1.1 scoreless.
*Darin Downs faced and retired one batter (C.J. Cron) on a groundout.
*Kyle Farnsworth faced and retired one batter (Mike Trout) on a strikeout.
*Paul (Not Roger) Clemens pitched a perfect 8th with one K, but all four batters he faced in the 9th reached base - on a pair of singles, a Jon Singleton fielding error, and a walk. The walk forced in one run, then another run was charged to his ledger on a groundout after he left.
*Chad Qualls was finally summoned to clean up Clemens' bases-loaded, no-out mess, and he did exactly that - retiring the next three Angels in order (with one K) to earn his 6th save.
At the Plate:
*Much better offense tonight for Houston, after Garrett Richards handcuffed them the night before - 8 runs on 10 hits and 8 walks, plus 6x15 (.400) with RISP.
*Dexter Fowler is a straight up on-base machine, reaching base four times more tonight in five PA - 2x3 with 2 BB, 2 R, and a RBI. He can now boast a .462 OBP in the last 30 games.
*George Springer had only one hit, but provided the most runs, driving in three on a 2-run single and a sac fly. Gerorge finished 1x4 with 2 K.
*Jose Altuve also had a 2-run single and went 2x5 with a steal, a run, and a K.
*Great night at the plate for Mike-Bob Grossman, who went 2x2 with a RBI on a squeeze bunt single (more on that shortly), and also scored twice, walked once, and tossed in another sac bunt later on.
*Jonathan Singleton scored on the aforementioned squeeze play, and also notched his first big league stolen base, finishing 1x4 with a K.
*Carlos Corporan drove in one and scored twice, finishing 1x3 with a walk.
*Marwin Gonzalez started at short again, in place of Jonathan Villar's bruised elbow, and went 1x4 with 2 K.
*Special mention goes to Chris Carter, who earned some sort of Anti-Matter Golden Sombrero tonight - instead of four strikeouts, he recorded no official ABs by walking each of the four times he came to the plate.
The Angels and Astros traded runs in the 1st, and the game stayed 1-1 until the bottom of the 4th. Matt Dominguez grounded out to short leading off, then Jon Singleton followed with his first big league single. His first big league steal moved him up to second, then a wild pitch while Chris Carter was walking moved Singleton along to third. Bo Porter called for the squeeze play on Tyler Skaggs' first pitch to Robbie Grossman, and the surprise worked, with Grossman's bunt catching Los Angeles off guard and leaving no one covering the plate. Singleton scored, Grossman was safe, and the Astros moved ahead 2-1. Three more consecutive singles followed, from Corporan, Gonzalez, and Fowler, plating two more runs and keeping Houston ahead for good.
Man of the Match:
Dexter Fowler es en fuego, but I'm going with Robbie Grossman. Not too shabby himself, now 9x26 (.346) in 8 games since May 27.
Goat of the Game:
Paul Clemens, for making an 8-3 game more interesting than it should have been in the 9th.