HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros rode a six-run fifth inning and a resilient bullpen performance to their fourth consecutive victory, a 9-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
Houston (51-96), fresh off a three-game sweep of the Mariners in Seattle, improved to 10-7 against the Angels (70-77) and clinched the season series. The relief corps of Jorge De Leon, Kevin Chapman, Josh Zeid and Josh Fields limited the Angels to one run over 3 1/3 innings.
Matt Dominguez's fifth-inning grand slam keyed the big rally, and Jonathan Villar and Trevor Crowe each had three hits for the Astros. Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer in the third inning.
The Angels made things interesting late, stranding two runners in the seventh inning and another two in the eighth. After Mike Trout worked a bases-loaded walk off Zeid in the eighth, Mark Trumbo rolled into an inning-ending double play to stifle that rally. Trumbo also grounded into a double play in the seventh inning, erasing Trout, who had recorded the second of his three walks on the ninth.
Fields notched his fifth save with a perfect ninth inning.
While Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel (6-9) labored through a sporadic start, the Astros provided just enough run support to render his struggles moot.
After Keuchel surrendered a two-out, two-run triple to Angels first baseman Trumbo in the top of the third inning, the Astros erased the Angels' 2-0 lead with a three-spot in the bottom half of that frame.
Altuve managed some two-out magic of his own, turning on a 3-1 changeup from left-hander Jason Vargas (8-7) and delivering a home run that scored L.J. Hoes and Brandon Barnes. After Chris Iannetta homered to left off Keuchel to lead off the Angels' two-run fourth, Houston responded with a breakout fifth inning.
Vargas surrendered a two-run single to Crowe before hitting Brandon Laird with a pitch and handing the ball to right-hander Cory Rasmus, who inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam. Dominguez greeted Rasmus with a first-pitch grand slam to boost the Astros' lead to 9-4. The homer was the 20th for Dominguez.
Keuchel allowed two additional two-out runs before leaving after 5 2/3 innings, having matched his career high of nine strikeouts while surrendering 10 hits. His six earned runs allowed also matched a season high.
NOTES: Angels 2B Howie Kendrick saw his first action since being activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. Kendrick missed 33 games with a hyper-extended left knee. With the close of the regular season fast approaching, Kendrick avoided a rehab assignment and recorded singles in his first two at-bats Friday night. ... Astros C Jason Castro is hopeful of serving as the DH this weekend after having missed seven of 10 games since having a cyst drained from his right knee Sept. 3. Castro is mired in an 0-for-9 slump.