HOUSTON (AP) – Joe Blanton pitched seven sharp innings, and Howie Kendrick and Chris Iannetta both homered to give the Los Angeles Angels a 7-2 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday.
Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar drove in two runs apiece in a big fourth inning to help Los Angeles to its fifth straight win.
Blanton (2-10) tied season lows with three hits and two runs, pitching six scoreless innings before a two-run home run by Brett Wallace in the seventh.
Kendrick’s solo homer came in the fifth, Iannetta tacked on two with a home run in the eighth, and Josh Hamilton doubled and likely robbed Houston of two home runs with big defensive plays.
Houston starter Jordan Lyles (4-3) was done in by a four-run fourth inning by the Angels. He allowed five hits, four runs and walked two in four innings for his first loss against Los Angeles in three starts.
Blanton was perfect through 3 1-3 innings before a double by Jose Altuve. Altuve advanced to third on a wild pitch before a two-out walk to Chris Carter. Blanton escaped the jam when Hamilton leaped to grab a fly ball hit by J.D. Martinez at the wall in right field.
It was the second time Martinez hit the ball hard and came away empty. Mike Trout caught another drive from him on the warning track in left-center in the second inning.
Hamilton’s second nifty defensive play came when he jumped and reached over the short wall in right field to catch a ball hit by Matt Dominguez in the seventh inning. Hamilton tumbled to the ground after the catch while Dominguez stood motionless and stared at him in disbelief.
Mark Trumbo singled to get things going in the fourth inning. Lyles then started to struggle with control, plunking Howie Kendrick before walking Hamilton to load the bases. Callaspo’s single scored Trumbo and Kendrick to make it 2-0.
Things continued to go downhill for Lyles when he hit Peter Bourjos with a pitch. Aybar’s two-run single pushed the lead to 4-0, but he was out trying to stretch it into a double. Lyles finally escaped the inning when Trout lined out to Brandon Barnes in center field.
Kendrick hit his ninth homer of the season to the seats in right field off Josh Fields with two outs in the fifth to make it 5-0.
Carter walked with no outs in the seventh before Wallace hit his first homer of the season with one out to the Crawford Boxes in left field to make it 5-2.
Bourjos bruised his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch, and he left the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Trout took over in center field for Bourjos, and J.B. Shuck entered the game in left field.
NOTES: The series wraps up on Sunday when Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson opposes Lucas Harrell. … Someone from Houston’s dugout yelled “got it,” causing Los Angeles catcher Hank Conger to let a foul ball he could have caught drop during Friday night’s game. Houston manager Bo Porter wouldn’t say who did it, but was unhappy with the incident and called Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia to apologize on Saturday morning. “I apologized to him on behalf of our ball club,” Porter said. “It’s not something that I condone, and I take full responsibility. It won’t happen again.” Scioscia wasn’t that concerned about it. “He called and I appreciated it but it’s no big deal,” he said.