ANAHEIM, Calif. – Houston outfielder Kyle Tucker ended up having the final word in what was a wild weekend series between the Astros and Los Angeles Angels.
Tucker hit a solo shot in the ninth inning that ended up being the game-winning home run and then made a diving catch in right field for the final out in the Astros' 9-8 victory Sunday night.
Houston rallied from a four-run deficit despite Shohei Ohtani’s major league-leading 34th homer of the season.
The Astros trailed 7-5 going into the ninth before scoring four off Jaime Barria (2-5). Alex Bregman connected for a two-run homer into the Astros' bullpen in left field with two outs for the lead. Tucker followed with a solo shot on a full count, which marked the seventh time the Astros have had back-to-back homers.
“It was a hard-fought, back-and-forth game. They kept bouncing back and we kept doing the same,” said Tucker, who had four hits for the sixth time in his career. “We had a lot of big hits and nice defensive plays. It was good to win the series.”
Ohtani’s blast to center off Phil Maton with one out in the ninth gave the Angels some hope. They would get runners on first and second with two outs, but Tucker made a diving catch on Matt Thaiss’ line drive to right field to end the game.
“It was a little tough. It got in the lights a little bit back there, but I was just trying to make play on it. Chas (McCormick) was backing me up so I'm more willing to take a chance,” Tucker said.
McCormick had his second-career game with two homers and Jake Meyers added a solo shot as Houston had five homers, all in the final three innings.
The AL West rivals combined for 56 runs during a series that saw seven ties and 10 lead changes. There were 32 runs scored in the seventh inning or later, which is the most in any three-game series since the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies combined for 33 in 2012.
The Halos dropped their seven straight series at home to the defending World Series champions. It also erased any momentum they had after a 13-12 win in 10 innings Saturday night.
“They broke our hearts last night and we broke theirs today. That was a big, big win for us,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “You don't usually see these back-to-back (high-scoring games with swings in momentum).”
Rafael Montero (2-3) got the win and Maton picked up his first save.
Bregman also finished with four hits, the seventh time he has done that, and McCormick added three.
Los Angeles' Trey Cabbage had three hits and two RBIs in his first major league start. Mike Moustakas had a solo shot in the second inning, and Taylor Ward had a bases-clearing double during a four-run seventh inning that gave the Angels a 7-3 advantage.
“It stinks. You try to build off yesterday and talked about the fight, but it hurts,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said.
Los Angeles right fielder Hunter Renfroe made a leaping catch at the base of the wall to rob José Abreu of a three-run homer in the fourth inning.
Angels' starter Tyler Anderson faced constant traffic during his three innings of work, yet only allowed one run. The left-hander allowed five hits and walked two, but also struck out five.
Astros: SS Jeremy Peña (right hamstring) was out of the lineup after being injured on Saturday. Baker is hoping to have him available on Tuesday against the Rockies. ... 2B Jose Altuve (left oblique strain) ran the bases before Sunday's game. Altuve will accompany the team to Colorado to continue his rehab.
Astros: Head to Colorado for a two-game series beginning on Tuesday. RHP Hunter Brown (6-6, 4.12 ERA) has struck out at least eight in six of his 17 starts this season.
Angels: Start a three-game set against the Yankees on Monday. RHP Griffin Canning (6-4, 4.62 ERA) is 4-2 in his last eight starts and squares of against RHP Luis Severino (1-4, 7.38 ERA).