Angels Jump On Miley, Stifle AL West Title Celebration

Astros win streak snapped at six, will wait again to celebrate division crown

Shaun Bijani
September 21, 2019 - 10:27 pm

Wade Miley continued to struggle as the Angels got to him early and often Saturday night, top the Astros 8-4 on a night in which they could have been crowned AL West champs for the third consecutive season. 

Miley, who's struggles are surprising after he'd been one of the Astros most consistent starters for much of the season had pitched really well against the Angels this season ntering play Saturday. Miley had posted a 3-0 record with a 2.20 ERA in three starts against the Angels this season. 

However, for the third time in his last four starts failed to make it out of the second-inning. In fact, Miley has managed to record just four-outs while surrendering 18-earned-runs on 23-hits in three of his last four starts. 

"I know I'm not doing my part, not getting the job done, not going out there and giving us a chance. It sucks. It's tough to swallow," a dejected Miley said after the game. "At the same time, I've been through this, I've gotta keep working and try to get through it."

The Astros cut into the Angels lead in the third-inning as rookie sensation, Yordan Alvarez bent a 3-2 slider from Patrick Sandoval around the left-field foul pole for his 27th home run of the season to make it a 3-1 ballgame. 

After Yuli Gurriel was hit-by-a-pitch and Carlos Correa worked a walk, Kyle Tucker doubled off the left-field scoreboard, scoring Gurriel and Correa and advancing Tucker to third on a throw to the plate. However, upon review, the umpires determined a fan interferred with the ball off the wall, sending Correa back to third and Tucker idle at second. 

"I know it's enticing, everybody wants a souvenir but it was tough after that play happened. The inning kind of changed a little bit. We ended up getting the run in anyway but it could've been an extra run for us," Hinch said after the game. 

Astros catcher Martin Maldonado wouldn't leave Correa stranded on third for long though, grounding out to second was good enough to score Correa and advance Tucker to third to make it a 4-3 ballgame. 

The Angels added another run in the fourth as Albert Pujols drove in his 91st run of the season with a double to left, giving the Angels a 5-3 lead. 

Jose Urquidy, hoping to find his way onto a postseason roster this season, pitched well allowing four-hits over his three-innings of work along with one-earned-run while striking out four. 

"He settled in there, I thought he did a really, really nice job. He's a very creative pitcher and he can add and subtract off all of his pitches, he changes his tempo, he does some mature things for a young guy," Hinch said after the loss. 

Astros 22-year old rookie reliever Bryan Abreu was on to pitch the fifth, needed only 12 pitches (10-sliders) to strike out the side. 

"You saw first-hand exactly why we love this guy, I mean he's got nasty secondary pitches, he's got a good arm, fastball was pretty good today," Hinch said. 

Abreu got into a little trouble in the sixth as he walked the first batter he faced, setting the table moments later for Andrelton Simmons who took advantage of the free pass and made it a 6-3 ballgame with an RBI-single.

The Astros looked primed for a rally in the seventh after Tucker led off with a hustle-double to deep left-field and Garrett Stubbs, hitting for Maldonado worked a walk. Abraham Toro, pinch-hitting for Myles Straw hit a sac-fly to right to score Tucker, as the Astros cut into the Angels lead at 6-4.

The rally was stifled after Springer struck out swinging and Stubbs was caught biting off more than he could chew, trying to take two-bases on an infield single by Jose Altuve. 

"A little over-amped and I don't know if he was running with his head down, the ball was behind him and you know Fletcher dives...Stubbs got a little bit over-aggressive and there's really no advantage with two-outs to get to third base with Bregman coming up," Hinch said. 

The Angels put the game out of reach in the ninth-inning as Kole Calhoun drilled a 3-1 two-seam fastball off of Hector Rondon, over the Astros bullpen for a two-run homer and an 8-4 Angels lead. 

The Astros will try to officially take the division crown Sunday with Justin Verlander on the mound. 


Game Notes:

RHP Jose Urquidy allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts in 3 innings. In 5 of his last 6 outings, he's allowed 1 run or fewer, posting a 3.41 ERA with 30 strikeouts. 

DH Yordan Alvarez went 1x4 with his 27th HR of the season. He has reached base safely in 25 straight games, batting .292 with 8 HR and 21 RBI.

OF Kyle Tucker went 2x4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and and RBI. Tucker is batting .348 with a home run and 4 RBI in his last 5 games. 

Coming Up:

Sunday, Sept. 22 1:10pm - LAA - RHP Justin Verlander (19-6, 2.50) vs. RHP Jose Rodriguez (0-0, 1.84)

Monday, Sept. 23 - SCHEDULED OFF DAY