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Astros 7, Angels 6

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- Buoyed by an opportunistic and aggressive offense, the Houston Astros registered their first comeback victory this season and held off the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros' bullpen made it a climatic finish when left-hander Travis Blackley surrendered a two-out, two-run homer to Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo in the top of the eighth inning.

But Jose Veras retired the Angels in order in the ninth, striking out 2012 American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout to pick up his third save.

In the seventh, Houston parlayed the third error on Angels catcher Hank Conger into a critical run that rebuilt its three-run lead.

Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson (3-1) matched his career high with 12 strikeouts, but the Astros (9-24) scored four unearned runs to snap their six-game skid. The Angels (11-21), meanwhile, have dropped 10 of 12 overall and eight of their last 10 games on the road.

Defensive difficulties for Conger sparked the Astros' five-run third.

Conger not only dropped a sacrifice bunt attempt by Robbie Grossman that enabled Grossman to reach base safely with Brandon Barnes already on first, but he also bounced his throw to second base while attempting to pick off Barnes. That misplay came during Jimmy Paredes' at-bat, and Paredes followed with an RBI double that cut the Angels' lead to 3-2.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, whose solo homer in the first provided a reply to the Angels' three-run inning, added a run-scoring infield single. Three batters later, first baseman Chris Carter matched the three-run blast that Angels designated hitter Mark Trumbo produced in the first with one of his own, giving the Astros a 6-3 lead.

Houston right-hander Jordan Lyles survived that rocky first and worked five innings, allowing three runs, four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. He departed having thrown just 82 pitches but just as in his season debut last week against the Detroit Tigers, left with a lead.

NOTES: Paredes batted in the No. 2 hole, bumping Altuve down to third. Tuesday marked the first time this season that Altuve hit somewhere other than first or second in the lineup, and he homered in his first at-bat. ... Trumbo has homered in six of his past eight games. ... In addition to recalling Paredes on Monday, the Astros also selected outfielder Trevor Crowe from Triple-A Oklahoma City and reinstated outfielder J.D. Martinez from the disabled list. Houston designated outfielders Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez for assignment and optioned infielder Brandon Laird to Oklahoma City.
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