RECAP: Valbuena, Correa power Astros to 13-3 rout of Angels
Luis Valbuena homered twice and touted rookie Carlos Correa hit a mammoth three-run shot off C.J. Wilson, powering the Houston Astros to a 13-3 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
The AL West-leading Astros have homered in 10 straight games, their longest streak since a 12-game stretch in 2007. They lead the majors with 107 home runs and 31 multihomer games, improving their record to 29-2 when they’ve hit more than one.
Collin McHugh (8-3) pitched a season-high eight innings, allowing two runs on nine hits and striking out six. The right-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first after a two-out intentional walk to AL home run leader Albert Pujols.
Wilson (5-6) was charged with a season-worst seven earned runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings in his shortest outing of 2015.
The inconsistent left-hander allowed one run over 15 innings with 17 strikeouts in his previous two starts. In his two starts before that, both losses, he yielded 11 runs in losses.
Correa drove a full-count pitch over both bullpens in left field with two outs in the second, giving Houston a 4-0 lead after singles by Valbuena and former Angel Hank Conger. Correa’s three hits raised his total to 20, breaking the franchise record for a player in his first 15 big league games. The old mark was 19, by Doug Rader (1967) and Josh Anderson (2007).
Correa ended up with four RBIs, the last one in the ninth after rookie shortstop Taylor Featherston bobbled his routine grounder with the bases loaded – preventing the Angels from turning what should have been an easy inning-ending double play.
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The Astros increased the margin to 7-0 with three runs in the fourth, including a leadoff homer by Valbuena, who came in batting just .186. Wilson was replaced by Cam Bedrosian after loading the bases with a one-out intentional walk to Jose Altuve. Evan Gattis then hit a sacrifice fly, and Correa scored on a wild pitch after hitting a double.
The Angels got on the board in the fourth with a two-run single by No. 9 hitter Efren Navarro, after loading the bases with Carlos Perez’s two-out single off McHugh’s glove.
But Valbuena responded in the fifth with a two-run homer that made it 9-2, driving Bedrosian’s 1-1 pitch just beyond the reach of Kole Calhoun as he made a diving attempt at the short fence in the right field corner and disappeared into the first row of seats.
It was Valbuena’s career-high 19th home run, the most ever by an Astros third baseman through the team’s first 73 games. The previous record was set in 2006 by Morgan Ensberg, who finished that season with 23.
Gattis drove in a run with a first-inning double after Correa singled and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a balk. It was the 10th consecutive game that the Astros scored first, and eighth time they plated a run in the opening inning.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (3-2) has a 2.45 ERA through his first seven big league starts, including a complete-game four-hitter on June 3 against Baltimore. His father and namesake was primarily a reliever during parts of seven big league seasons with the Padres, Yankees, Tigers and Rangers and made only nine starts – seven with San Diego in 1986.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (4-5) lost a 6-5 decision against Houston at the "Big A" on May 9, giving up six runs and three homers in three innings. It was one of four starts this season in which he allowed five or more earned runs – something he did only once in 20 starts last season, when he set a club rookie record with 16 wins.