Jared Walsh went 4-for-4 with two singles, a double, a home run, and a walk in one of his best career performances for the Los Angeles Angels. That, coupled with another top notch performance from the Angels bullpen, allowed them to complete a comeback win over the Houston Astros, 5-4. They moved to 16-18 with the victory and have won three of their last four.
The Angels faced trouble right away in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Guerra — the starter for the night — walked Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley to begin the night. Then, a ground-rule double by Alex Bregman brought in one run with no outs.
While it could have been much worse with runners on second and third and no outs, Guerra struck out two and forced a popout to the catcher to end the inning. The Astros led by 1-0 after threatening much worse in the opening frame.
Guerra had more difficulties in the second inning. He allowed back-to-back hits from Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw to score another run and make it 2-0. Guerra was removed from the game without getting an out, and Jose Suarez came in for his 2021 debut.
Suarez almost got out of the inning without giving up any runs, but a two-out double by Brantley extended the Astros lead to 3-0. That’s all the damage the Astros could do in the second, but pitching already looked to be a serious concern for the Angels.
In the top of the fourth, the Angels finally got on the board. Mike Trout walked to lead things off, then Jared Walsh quickly sent him home with an RBI double off the wall in right-center field. This cut the Angels deficit to 3-1. This was all the Angels were able to get despite having multiple opportunities for more.
In the bottom of the fifth, Suarez had two outs and two strikes to Carlos Correa. He singled through an infield gap, then Tucker walked, then Straw hit a one run double to make the Angels deficit 4-1. That’s all the Astros would get, but it was a sigh of relief for them given how close they were to ending the inning.
The Angels made things interesting once again in the sixth. After Trout was unable to get on base, Walsh and Justin Upton connected for back-to-back solo home runs. This got Garcia out of the game with one out in the top of the sixth and brought the Angels to within one at 4-3.
Then, Jose Rojas, Taylor Ward, Phil Gosselin, and Drew Butera — the bottom of the Angels order — all reached in various ways off of Brandon Bielak to give the Angels a 5-4 lead. They finally got out of the inning by getting Shohei Ohtani to ground out, but comebacks continued to be a defining feature of the Angels this season.
The Astros put some pressure on the Angels bullpen in the bottom of the sixth by having runners on first and second with one out. However. Tony Watson was able to force flyouts from Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel to end the inning without any damage.
Walsh got on base in the seventh to secure his fourth hit of the night, tying a career high. He was unable to score any runs, however.
The Angels had a runner on third in back-to-back innings — seventh and eighth — but were unable to score in either, as they maintained their 5-4 lead going to the bottom of the eighth.
Despite pitching the previous two days, Raisel Iglesias was in for the ninth in a one-run game. He was able to strike out Bregman and Alvarez, but Gurriel made things interesting with a double to right field. Correa grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game and secure the Angels victory.
Shohei Ohtani will be the Angels starting pitcher on Tuesday in game two against the Astros. This is the second of a three-game set and a six-game road trip that will involve heading to New England to take on the Boston Red Sox who currently hold the best record in baseball.