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Angels 3, Astros 1

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros' league-worst defense faltered at the most inopportune time, yielding a critical insurance run in the Los Angeles Angels' 3-1 victory Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

The win capped the Angels first unbeaten road trip of at least six games since 2002.

The Angels (39-43) followed a three-game sweep of the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers with a sweep of the AL West cellar-dwelling Astros (30-52) by relying on strong starting pitching.

Left-hander C.J. Wilson (8-5) allowed one unearned run on three hits and three walks while striking out 10 over seven innings. It marked his third 10-plus strikeout performance of the season and his second against the Astros, the first was an 11-strikeout effort June 3.

The Angels snapped a 1-all tie in the eighth inning off Astros right-hander Jose Cisnero (2-1), with second baseman Howie Kendrick reaching on a leadoff single and scoring when Josh Hamilton doubled to the left-center field gap. Astros shortstop Jake Elmore fielded the relay throw and had an opportunity to erase Kendrick at the plate, but his errant toss allowed Kendrick to score with ease and also scored Hamilton, who had advanced to third base as Elmore threw home.

Houston scored its lone run in the sixth inning on a throwing error by Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who fielded a line drive from Jose Altuve but then threw wildly to first base attempting to double off Elmore. Center fielder Brandon Barnes scored from third on the play.

Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell rebounded nicely from a miserable outing against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, allowing one run on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over seven innings. Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo accounted for that lone run with an opposite-field homer, his 18th, to right field with one out in the fourth.

Aside from that blast, Harrell allowed just one additional extra-base hit, a two-out triple by Kendrick in the third. But Harrell struck out Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols to strand Kendrick.

NOTES: Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell was placed on the 7-day disabled list with concussion-related symptoms. Maxwell suffered a mild concussion last Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals and has appeared in only one game since the injury. ... Astros first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Pena will miss the next two games due to a death in the family. He will not be placed on the bereavement list. ... Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a nondisplaced fracture of his right wrist, an injury suffered when Astros right-hander Jordan Lyles hit Bourjos with a pitch on Saturday.
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