The Los Angeles Angels got only four hits in Monday’s game against the Houston Astros, but they got them when they needed them.
A single by Kole Calhoun driving in Luis Valbuena in the fifth and Justin Upton’s double bringing in Mike Trout in the sixth were what it took for the Halos to defeat the Astros 2-0 in the first game of a three-game series between the first- and second-place teams in the American League West. The Angels’ victory improved their record to 15-8, a half-game behind the Astros (16-8).
Both teams featured outstanding pitching. Angel starter Tyler Skaggs (3-1) worked seven innings and gave up four hits and no runs. He struck out three and walked just one. Gerrit Cole (2-1) was almost as good, giving up four hits and two runs. He struck out eight batters and walked two.
No Angel got more that one hit, but Trout singled, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run. He’s batting .307.
The series continues Tuesday at Minute Maid Park with Shohei Ohtani (2-1) making the start for the Angels, and the Astros giving the ball to Charlie Morton (3-0).