Cristian Javier pitched five scoreless innings in his return to the rotation as the Houston Astros snapped a five-game home losing streak with an 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.
Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman provided multi-hit, multi-RBI games for the Astros, who had lost nine of their past 10 overall.
Javier (2-0) allowed three hits and walked a batter while recording nine strikeouts in his first start since April 8. Javier was recalled from the alternate training site, where he was shipped to work on his endurance following two solid, albeit abbreviated, outings to open this season.
He got off to a rousing start against the Angels, with his first eight outs recorded via strikeout. Javier became the first Houston pitcher to accomplish that feat since Jim Deshaies on Sept. 23, 1986.
Javier threw a career-high 98 pitches, 62 for strikes, and generated 21 swings and misses.
The Astros were quick to provide Javier run support, jumping on Angels right-hander Alex Cobb (1-1) for three runs in the second inning before chasing him with another three runs in the third.
Myles Straw followed an Aledmys Diaz leadoff double in the second with a run-scoring triple and subsequently scored when Correa reached via Albert Pujols’ error at first base. Correa scored the third run of the inning when Yuli Gurriel rallied from an 0-2 count for a bases-loaded walk.
Correa chased Cobb with a two-out RBI single in the third that scored Martin Maldonado. Two batters later, Bregman plated Correa and Michael Brantley with his single off lefty Alex Claudio.
Cobb allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.
Correa scored for the third time in the fifth when Bregman singled off Junior Guerra for an 8-0 lead. Batting leadoff for the first time in his 622nd game, Correa finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Bregman went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and was hit by a pitch.
Pujols clubbed a two-run home run, his third, for the Angels in the sixth. Mike Trout departed with an elbow contusion in the fifth, an inning after being hit by a pitch on his left elbow pad. Angels manager Joe Maddon said after the game that he expects Trout to be able to play in Friday’s rematch.
–Field Level Media
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