HOUSTON – Luis Rengifo homered with three RBIs to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
David Fletcher and Shohei Ohtani hit consecutive singles to start the game before Fletcher scored on a one-out double by Jared Walsh. The Angels made it 2-0 when Ohtani scored on a groundout by Rengifo.
Jo Adell opened the third with a single and Rengifo pushed the lead to 4-0 with his one-out homer to right field off Luis Garcia (10-7).
Manager Joe Maddon said he's seen big improvements on defense and at the plate from Rengifo since he was recalled from Triple-A Sept. 1.
“He’s moving really well, he’s picking it cleanly and making accurate throws," Maddon said. “Just a more complete game with a quicker body, that’s what I’m seeing."
Angels starter Jose Suarez (7-7) permitted three hits and a run while striking out seven in 5 2/3 innings.
It is his second straight win after he threw his first career complete game in a victory over Texas in his last outing.
“Really, really good obviously," Maddon said. “He had command of his pitches. I really liked his curveball. I think that curveball is what permitted that last outing and this one."
Houston manager Dusty Baker raved about Suarez.
“It wasn’t a matter of us struggling, it was a matter of him having a quality start," he said. “That was one of the best games we’ve had pitched against us in a while."
The Astros couldn't string any hits together after he left the game until the ninth inning.
Kyle Tucker singled with one out in the inning, advanced to second on a balk by closer Raisel Iglesias and took third on a passed ball. Iglesias walked Jake Meyers before Garrett Stubbs doubled off the wall in left field to score Tucker and cut the lead to 4-2.
Adell was shaken up on the play after hitting the back of his head on the wall trying to make the catch. He was looked at by trainers but remained in the game.
Iglesias then struck out Jose Altuve before retiring pinch-hitter Chas McCormick to end the game and get his 31st save.
Garcia allowed seven hits and four runs in five innings.
“Usually, he has great command," Baker said. “He didn’t have the command that he usually has shown. He battled to take us to the fifth inning."
The Astros didn’t get a hit until rookie Jose Siri, who spent eight years in the minors before making his debut this month, singled for his first major league hit with one out in the fourth.
He stole second base and took a cleat to his hand on the slide. A trainer came out and put a bandage on his bleeding middle finger and he remained in the game.
Alex Bregman walked before a single by Yordan Alvarez loaded the bases. Siri scored on a groundout by Yuli Gurriel that left Bregman out at third and cut the lead to 4-1. But the Astros were unable to add on after Carlos Correa grounded out to end the inning.
Astros: LF Michael Brantley left the game after three innings with right knee discomfort. ... RHP Zack Greinke, who has been on the COVID-19 list since Aug. 31, said Saturday that he tested positive for the virus despite being vaccinated. He said he only had mild symptoms and that he’s doing fine now and won’t have any limitations when he starts Tuesday. ... INF Taylor Jones, who went on the COVID-19 list the same day as Greinke, returned to the ballpark Saturday. He said he too was vaccinated but tested positive for the virus. Baker said he would likely need a rehabilitation assignment before returning to the lineup.
Walsh extended his hitting streak to 10 games Saturday. He has five doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs during the streak.
Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. (11-4, 3.19 ERA) opposes Jaime Barria (2-3, 5.16) when the series wraps up Sunday.
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