By Joe Haakenson
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bud Norris continued his dominance over the Los Angeles Angels, pitching the Houston Astros to a 2-0 victory on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
Norris improved to 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA (one earned run in 21 innings) in three starts this season against the Angels, blanking them on four hits through six innings.
Norris essentially needed every zero he threw up there, as Angels starter Jerome Williams was almost as good. Almost.
Williams shut out the Astros on one hit through six innings, but in the seventh, he gave up a one-out single to J.D. Martinez. Williams got what seemed was a big out when he struck out Carlos Pena for the second out of the inning, but Chris Carter hit the next pitch from Williams into the Astros' bullpen behind the left-field fence for a two-run homer and a 2-0 Astros lead.
The Angels' biggest threat to score against Norris came in the sixth, but the Angels came up empty thanks to a big play by second baseman Jose Altuve. Mike Trout was on second after a one-out double and took a big lead. Altuve broke for the bag as Norris whirled and threw to second, picking off Trout for the second out of the inning.
It was a big out because the next three Angels hitters reached base. Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo walked, and Josh Hamilton had an infield single, loading the bases for Howie Kendrick. Norris, though, struck out Kendrick to end the threat.
Jose Cisnero took over for Norris to start the seventh and gave up two hits in the inning but escaped by retiring Trout on a grounder to third. Cisnero pitched a scoreless eighth and Jose Veras finished it in the ninth by getting Trout to hit into a force play with the tying runs on base for his 10th save.
The win was the Astros' fourth in a row, their longest win streak of the season, and their fifth win in six games.
Williams and Norris battled each other inning for inning early in the game, neither giving the opposing offense much of a chance to put a scoring opportunity together.
Through five innings, the only hit Williams allowed was a leadoff double to Pena in the second. Other than Pena, no Astros base runner got as far as second.
Norris was just as effective through five, giving up a one-out double to Trout in the first and a two-out, infield single to Chris Iannetta in the fifth, retiring 13 of 14 batters in between.
NOTES: Angels RHP Ryan Madson, recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in April 2012, played catch Thursday and Friday and came out of it feeling fine. However, there is no timetable for when Madson will begin a rehab assignment. ... Angels CF Peter Bourjos ran the bases for the third time and has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment at Class A Inland Empire on Monday. Bourjos has been out since April 29 with a strained left hamstring. ... Pena went into the game hitting .385 (5 for 13) on the current road trip to Colorado and Anaheim. He has played in 54 of the Astros' 56 games this season and at least 135 games for six consecutive seasons. ... Astros C Jason Castro went into the game hitting .447 (17 for 38) with four homers, seven RBIs, a .522 OBP and .868 slugging percentage in his last 11 games. He was named the American League player of the week for May 20-26, becoming the first Astros catcher to win the award since Craig Biggio in 1990