HOUSTON -- Los Angeles Angels veteran right-hander Jered Weaver made his first career start against the Houston Astros a memorable one, ascending in the franchise history book by doing what he has always done best: pitch effectively.
Weaver surrendered just one extra-base hit during six strong innings for a 6-2 victory over the Astros on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.
Weaver (10-8) allowed a two-run homer to Brett Wallace in the fourth inning, but that represented his lone hiccup. He surrendered two earned runs and six hits, including five singles, and one walk with five strikeouts. His strikeout of Marc Krauss to close the sixth was the 1,234th of his career, moving him past Frank Tanana (1973-80) and into fourth place in franchise history.
With his 10th victory, Weaver joined Nolan Ryan (1972-79) as the only pitchers in team history to post double-digit wins eight consecutive seasons. Chuck Finley (1986-99) also won at least 10 games eight times.
"I've been pretty fortunate to play on some good teams throughout my career," Weaver said. "A lot of guys had my back. When you are on some good teams and you throw the ball well, you're going to get some wins.
"I'm not really a guy who reflects on personal stuff. I'm all for winning a championship as opposed to getting excited about getting eight consecutive seasons with 10 wins. But it's cool milestone, and it's cool to be mentioned with Finley (and Ryan)."
The Astros (51-97), incidentally, set an American League record for strikeouts when Trevor Crowe took a called third strike from Weaver with the bases loaded to snuff out a fifth-inning rally. That marked the Astros' 1,388th strikeout, inching them past the 2012 Oakland Athletics, who struck out 1,387 times. The 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks hold the major league record with 1,529 strikeouts.
Early in the season, the Astros were on pace to obliterate that record. Yet despite their myriad struggles, their plate discipline has improved.
"The one thing I can attest to is early on we were missing a lot of fastballs early in the count," Astros manager Bo Porter said. ""We were swinging at a lot of off-speed pitches out of the strike zone. As the season went along, we started doing a better job of handling the fastball and we reduced our ability to chase, and I think that's when offensively we started to play much better baseball."
The Angels (71-77) had three starters with multi-hit games, including Grant Green (2-for-4 with a double and triple), Chris Iannetta (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs) and J.B. Shuck (2-for-4 with an RBI).
Astros left-hander Brett Oberholtzer had allowed three or more earned runs in a start only twice since joining the rotation on July 31, but that was before the Angels scratched across three runs in the fourth inning.
After Iannetta spotted the Angels a 1-0 lead with his leadoff home run in the third inning, his second homer in as many games, Howie Kendrick and Kole Calhoun keyed the fourth-inning rally with back-to-back doubles. Kendrick plated Mike Trout, who walked to open the inning, and scored when Calhoun doubled to center field.
Iannetta added his second run-scoring hit after Calhoun scored Kendrick, slapping a single to left that upped the Angels' lead to 4-0.
"His game has grown as the season's grown, and hopefully he's learned from some experience," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Iannetta. "You can see now the type of player that he is."
Oberholtzer (4-3) induced double-play grounders in the fifth and sixth innings to avoid further damage but departed trailing 4-2 after six. His command, sharp early in his start, faded briefly enough to prove costly.
"That was probably my best command all year I would say in the first three innings," Oberholtzer said. "I was able to spot my fastball pretty well. I kind of let up a little bit I guess in the fourth and they got three batters there where they got RBIs and capitalized."
The Astros cut the deficit in half when Wallace cranked his 13th home run of the season to right field off Weaver with one out in the fourth.
NOTES: Astros C Jason Castro was hoping to serve as the DH this weekend but instead sat out for the ninth time in 12 games since having a cyst in his right knee drained on Sept. 3. Porter announced that Castro could miss a handful of games before returning to the lineup. ... With an RBI double in the fourth inning, Calhoun has driven in a run in 16 of his last 18 starts. He leads all rookies in RBIs since his recall on July 28.