HOUSTON – The Los Angeles Angels have relied on home runs to power their offense early this season and are tied with Atlanta for most in the majors with 16.
But on Tuesday night they put together a decisive win over the Houston Astros without putting any balls out of the park.
Jo Adell tied a career-high with three hits, and Kurt Suzuki and Brandon Marsh drove in two runs each as the Angels used a big fifth inning to break open the game and cruise to the 7-2 victory.
“We passed the torch up and down the lineup," manager Joe Maddon said. “Good at-bats everywhere and ran the bases hard again. Again, another team victory as I saw it."
Both teams were missing stars. Los Angeles center fielder Mike Trout was sidelined for a second game with a bruised left hand and Houston second baseman Jose Altuve out after straining his left hamstring Monday.
But the Angels got third baseman Anthony Rendon back after he sat out of Monday’s game because of a stomach bug. He had two hits to help Los Angeles rebound after an 8-3 loss in the series opener.
The team tied a season-high with 13 hits Tuesday.
“Our offense is really strong," Adell said. “I think guys are understanding their game and how they can help and we’re taking team at-bats and that’s pretty much what it comes down to."
The Angels led by one run when Taylor Ward and Rendon singled with one out in the fifth, and Ward took third on right fielder Kyle Tucker's fielding error.
Matt Duffy singled into shallow right field to score Ward and extend the lead to 3-1. An RBI single by Jack Mayfield on a grounder to left made it 4-1 and chased starter Framber Valdez (1-1).
Bryan Abreu took over and was greeted by a two-run double from Suzuki. Marsh’s two-out single sent another run home to extend it to 7-1.
Los Angeles starter Patrick Sandoval allowed four hits with an unearned run in four innings. Oliver Ortega (1-1) walked one in two scoreless innings for the win.
Valdez was tagged for six runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings after pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Angels for a win on opening day.
“He wasn’t as sharp and he was getting two strikes on guys and wasn’t putting them away tonight," manager Dusty Baker said. “In that one inning, they hit some flares in there. It’s not like they were hitting him all over the ball park. We were hoping for a couple of ground-ball double plays which we got the ground ball but it found the holes."
Rookie Jeremy Peña hit a solo homer for the Astros in the seventh and Chas McCormick had two hits on a night Houston was 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Suzuki walked with one out in the second before a double by Adell. The Angels took a 1-0 lead when Suzuki scored on a sacrifice fly by Marsh.
There were two outs in the third when Peña reached on catcher’s interference. Michael Brantley walked before Peña scored on a double by Alex Bregman to tie it at 1-all.
There was a runner on first with no outs in the fourth when Mayfield singled on a ball hit near the corner of right field. But Tucker snagged the ball after it bounced off the wall, and his throw to second beat Mayfield as he was trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Suzuki walked after that to leave runners at first and third before an RBI single by Adell put the Angels up 2-1.
Angels: Manager Joe Maddon said Trout tested his hand taking swings in the cage Tuesday and could return Wednesday. ... The Angels recalled RHP Andrew Wantz from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned LHP Kenny Rosenberg there before Tuesday’s game.
Astros: Manager Dusty Baker said Altuve will not play Wednesday and could miss a few days but that the team hopes to avoid placing him on the injured list.
Mayfield had two hits Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to 13 games dating back to last season.
Shohei Ohtani (0-2, 7.56 ERA) looks for this first career win against the Astros when he opposes Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 6.48) in the finale of the series Wednesday. Ohtani is 0-3 with a 5.92 ERA in six career starts against Houston.
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