Charlie Morton, three Houston Astros relievers combine to 5-hit Los Angeles Angels 3-0


Associated Press



HOUSTON— Over the last four games, the Astros have combined to score 34 runs to support the pitching staff.

The pitching staff supported Houston’s offense Monday night.

Charlie Morton and three relievers combined for a five-hitter, Jose Altuve drove in two runs and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 for their fifth straight win.

“To walk out of here with a nice clean win from a pitching standpoint … we’ve just got to find different ways to win and today was a unique one,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.

Morton (1-1) worked in and out of trouble over five innings, allowing five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. He had runners on in every inning, including stranding the bases loaded in the second when he got Ben Revere to fly out. Morton, who had his first scoreless outing since Apr. 12, 2016, when he threw 6 2/3 scoreless, has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his three starts this season.

“It would have been nice if I was in the zone more, executing my pitches a little bit better,” Morton said. “I never like to be as sporadic, especially with my sinker because it was all over the place.”

Chris Devenski followed Morton with two perfect innings, Luke Gregerson threw a perfect eighth and Ken Giles pitched the ninth for his third save. Astros pitchers retired the last 14 batters.

“The zeroes that our team put up, Devenski comes in and does what Devenski does, Luke comes in and has a clean inning and that’s probably the best Giles has pitched and looked in a while for him,” Hinch said.

Jesse Chavez (1-2) allowed two runs and seven hits over a season-high seven innings. He struck out five and rebounded after allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last outing.

“I gave us a chance,” Chavez said. “That’s all. Being able to give us a chance and with our offense they’re capable of anything. Last two games haven’t worked our way, but we put ourselves in position to have a chance.”

Altuve had a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 in the third and hit an RBI double in the eighth. Alex Bregman had an RBI single in the second.

“We did a good job of capitalizing tonight,” Bregman said. “If you’re going to be a good team, you have to win the close ones, and Charlie did a great job tonight.”

Mike Trout and Martin Maldonado each had two hits for the Angels, who stranded nine runners and were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. The Angels, who have lost six straight, were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since July 28-29, 2012, against Tampa Bay.

“It’s been a week where we’re having trouble getting that that we need,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think the process is right it’s just one of those times right now where we’re not getting enough guys on base early in innings and getting that big hit.”

Training room

Astros: SS Carlos Correa (right hand bruise) was not in the starting lineup after being hit by a pitch Saturday in Oakland. Hinch called Correa day to day. “Initially we planned on playing him,” Hinch said. “We got back last night after the long flight and he felt OK. He woke up this morning, didn’t feel great, still some lingering soreness. It’s a fairly easy decision if he has as much soreness as he has to give him another day off.”

Up next

Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-2) makes his fourth start of the season Tuesday in the second game of the four-game series. Nolasco lost his last start Thursday, allowing five runs on eight hits, but he is 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA in five games at Minute Maid Park.

Astros: RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0) takes the mound for his third start Tuesday. Musgrove will be looking for his second straight win after allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings his last start Apr. 11 at Seattle.

Devenski dealing

Devenski has 21 strikeouts in 11 innings this season. The right-hander struck out the side in the sixth and has struck out seven of the last nine batters he has faced. He became the first reliever in club history to start a season by striking out three or more batters in his first four appearances.

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Associated Press

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