Oberholtzer slips, Astros beaten by Angels 6-2
The Houston Astros needed Brett Oberholtzer to be near-perfect on a night they simply couldn't get much going against Jered Weaver.
Houston's improved offense - which had helped them to four straight wins coming in - was ineffective against Weaver and the Los Angeles bullpen, striking out nine times in a 6-2 loss to the Angels on Saturday night.
The Astros set an American League record with 1,393 strikeouts for the season, topping the previous mark of 1,387 by Oakland last year.
Oberholtzer (4-3) gave up four runs and six hits over six innings in his eighth career start. The rookie struck out four and walking two.
''You look at his overall body of work and he did a good job of getting the game to the sixth inning,'' Astros manager Bo Porter said. ''I also was talking in the dugout that it didn't look like he had that pinpoint command, that late life that we had seen in a lot of his previous starts.
''His breaking ball didn't have the kind of depth that we were accustomed to, which is a credit to him to not have his good stuff and still battle and be able to get through six innings.''
Chris Iannetta homered and drove in two runs for the Angels, who rebounded after losing the series opener 9-7 on Friday night to snap a three-game win streak.
Brett Wallace hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot.
Oberholtzer entered the game with a 1.91 ERA since July 31 to lead the American League in that span.
Iannetta gave the Angels the lead in the third inning with his 11th home run of the season. Los Angeles then added three in the fourth, with Howie Kendrick, Kole Calhoun and Iannetta each driving in a run to make it 4-0.
''Command got away from me a little bit (in the fourth),'' Oberholtzer said. ''That was probably my best command all year, I would say, in the first three innings.
''I kind of let up a little bit, I guess, in the fourth , they got three or four batters there where they got RBIs and capitalized.''
Wallace put the Astros on the board in the bottom of the fourth.
Houston moved three losses away from reaching 100 for the third straight year.
Grant Green scored from third on a passed ball in the seventh inning to make it 5-2. He then tripled in the ninth and scored on a J.B. Shuck sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.
With the victory, Weaver joined Chuck Finley and Nolan Ryan as the only Angels pitchers to record at least 10 wins in eight seasons. Weaver and Ryan are the only ones to do it in consecutive seasons, with Ryan accomplishing the feat from 1972-79.
Weaver also moved into sole possession of fourth place on the franchise strikeout list, getting Marc Krauss on four pitches to end the sixth for strikeout 1,234, one more than Frank Tanana. He trails Ryan (2,416), Finley (2,151) and Mike Witt (1,283).
''That's one of their better pitchers'' Porter said of Weaver. ''He has a lot of confidence in all his pitches.''
NOTES All-Star C Jason Castro (right knee) remained out of the lineup as doctors want to give him a few more days to see how responds to treatment, Astros manager Bo Porter said. Castro injured his knee Sept. 2. He has missed eight of 11 games since. ... The Astros showed the first half of the Alabama-Texas A&M college football showdown on the big screen during batting practice at the request of Porter. Top-ranked Alabama won 49-42. ... The Astros inducted columnist and former Dodgers, Colt 45s/Astros and Rangers broadcaster Rene Cardenas into its media wall of honor. Cardenas began his broadcasting career with the Dodgers in 1958, becoming one of the first members of a Spanish-language radio broadcast team in the majors and later part of the first Spanish-language radio crew to call a World Series in 1959.