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Carter's five RBIs supply Astros with 8-2 win

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Neither team is going anywhere this season, both teams playing out the schedule the way it was written.

But the difference between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels could not have been bigger when it came to the script these two teams were supposed to follow this season.

After adding Josh Hamilton to a lineup that already had Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, the Angels were supposed to contend for a World Series title. Coming off a 107-loss season in 2012, the Astros were supposed to be, well, the Astros.

The Astros are headed for another 100-plus loss season, but the Angels might not be that far behind the way things are going for them now. Brad Peacock gave up two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings and the Astros beat the Angels 8-2 on Friday night at Angel Stadium.

Chris Carter drove in five runs with a sacrifice fly, an RBI single and a three-run homer, and Matt Dominguez and L.J. Hoes each had three hits to help the Astros defeat the Angels for the eighth time in 14 games this season.

The Astros have won three of four on their current trip after taking two of three in Oakland.

Meanwhile, the Angels continue to sink further into oblivion. They've lost five of six and nine of 12, and are 10-18 since the All-Star break. At 54-67, the Angels are a season-worst 13 games below .500 and are on pace to lose 90 games for the first time since 1999.

Peacock (2-4) made it look easy, even though he spent most of the season in the minors and the win was his first in the majors since April 10.

"I'll tell you what," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He's much improved from the other stint in which he was up here. When you come up, you go down, and you'll get certain information you need to pitch at this level.

"Robbie Grossman is another example of what it takes to play at this level. These guys are taking in the information, they're going down, they're working hard, working on things they need to work on, then coming back here and are ready to play."

Both of the runs that Peacock allowed were unearned. He also got a big boost from reliever Josh Zeid, who induced an inning-ending double-play grounder from Peter Bourjos when the Angels had mounted a rally in the seventh inning and the game was still within reach at 4-2.

Angels starter Jerome Williams (5-9) threw four scoreless innings but couldn't make it out of the fifth. He gave up three runs, five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.

"What's hurting Jerome right now is commanding counts," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's behind in way too many counts and it comes down to commanding the baseball. His ball-strike ratio wasn't good. He mixed and matched and got out of some trouble early, but the the fifth inning got him and the walks got him."

Hank Conger had two hits and an RBI for the Angels, who were still in the game until the ninth inning trailing 4-2.

That's when Joe Blanton, banished to the bullpen a month ago after going 2-13 as a starter, gave up back-to-back homers to Carter and Dominguez, Carter's came with two men on base. Since he was benched briefly, Carter has hit four home runs to increase his season total to 23.

"After he had the break, (hitting coach) John Mallee and myself sat him down, talked to him about some of the things we wanted him to get back to doing," Porter said. "Chris Carter works extremely hard. You might not always get the results that you want, but the work ethic is there and it's night like tonight that remind you why you keep putting him in there. It's power that can change any game."

NOTES: Bourjos was activated from the disabled list and started in center field for the Angels. He missed 39 games after breaking a bone in his right wrist when hit by a pitch on June 29. INF Tommy Field was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room on the roster for Bourjos. Field hit .125 (2 for 16) in 10 games for the Angels. ... Pujols, out since July 28 because of a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot, had his walking boot removed. He continues to say he has not ruled out returning to the field this season and now can begin exercising, but there currently is no rehab assignment scheduled. ... Astros catcher Jason Castro took a 12-game hitting streak into the game, during which he hit .370 (17-for-46). He went 0 for 2 with three walks Friday, ending the streak. ... With a scoreless inning on Friday's game, Astros RHP Chia-Jen Lo has begun his major league career with seven consecutive scoreless relief appearances (7 1/3 innings) since being called up from Double-A Corpus Christi on July 30. Opposing batters are hitting .192 (5 for 26) against him. ... Villar has 11 stolen bases since the All-Star break, tied for the most in the majors during that time. He ahs been caught stealing four times.
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