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Angels 7, Astros 2

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- Right-hander Joe Blanton delivered his sixth quality start in his last seven outings and the Angels scored four runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Blanton (2-10) surrendered three hits in seven innings and the Angels (38-43) provided additional support with Howie Kendrick and Chris Iannetta home runs in the fifth and eighth innings.

Excluding a 10-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox on June 9, Blanton has pitched exceptionally well, allowing 12 earned runs in 42 1/3 innings and six starts. He retired the first 10 Astros' batters he faced and carried a shutout into the seventh before Brett Wallace followed a Chris Carter leadoff walk with a two-run homer.

Astros right-hander Jordan Lyles (4-3) endured his second consecutive rough outing after a stretch of seven starts in which he surrendered two earned runs or less. He struggled mightily with his control in the fourth inning, plunking Kendrick and Peter Bourjos with pitches and issuing a walk to Josh Hamilton that loaded the bases with no outs.

Alberto Callaspo followed with a two-run single to left and, three batters later, Erick Aybar delivered a two-run single to right.

The Astros' bullpen could not stem the tide, with right-hander Josh Fields surrendering a solo home run to Kendrick, his ninth homer of the season, with two outs in the fifth and left-hander Travis Blackley allowing a two-run shot to Iannetta, his sixth homer of the year, with two outs in the top of the eighth.

Houston (30-51) has dropped three of four games to open its nine-game homestand.

NOTES: Astros manager Bo Porter called Angels manager Mike Scioscia and apologized for an incident that occurred Friday night. In the sixth inning. Angels C Hank Conger pursued a popup in front of the Houston dugout but pulled away at the last second when someone from the Astros dugout yelled something that led Conger to believe that 1B Mark Trumbo, also in pursuit, had called for the ball. Conger was initially charged with an error, but that ruling was later overturned.
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