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Albert Pujols bomb changes the Halos’ trajectory, ending losing skid and sinking Astros 5-2

Great pitching, great hitting, great defense. Hey, did you know that combo wins games?

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Angels 5 Astros 2

Tonight, everything came together for the Angels. By “everything”, I mean the pitching was good, like it’s been for a few games in a row now, and the hitters showed up, did some damage, and put runs on the board. Typically, doing both of those things well in a baseball game will bode well for a team, and tonight, it definitely gave the Angels a spring in their step.

Their success on the mound and the plate stopped the six-game losing streak, to the happiness and delight of fans everywhere, all while lifting a giant weight off of the Halos’ shoulders. But which narrative will you believe was the reason behind tonight’s surge? There are a few that you could go with.

Maybe the Closed Door Meeting narrative, where you attribute the closed door meeting the team had this afternoon as the proper kick in the pants that would lead to multi-hit games from Andrelton Simmons (including a homer), Martin Maldonado and Yunel Escobar.

There is the Minute Maid narrative, which says Albert Pujols ALWAYS destroys the Astros in Minute Maid park, and tonight that historic success was on full display, as he hit a towering, three-run homer in the fifth that would put the Angels on top.

Oh, and Mike Trout’s family dog passed away in the past day or so, so maybe he was so moved by that news that he wanted to give his all on the field, in remembrance. This would be accomplished via game-tying double in the fifth, right before Pujols hit that gnarly go-ahead jack.

The Good Pitching narrative is also a great one to go with, but it’s less dramatic. It entails the pitchers, both starters and relievers, combining to have a good night on the bump against a tough Astros team. Ricky Nolasco gave up some homers (which gave Houston all of their runs for the night) which is getting to be very problematic, but he also finished with 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 K and 0 BB.

That’s a nice night from a Halos starter in 2017, which is becoming a regular occurrence, thank the baseball gods!

The relievers, especially Cam Bedrosian, who was called upon to get a multi-inning save when the Angels had a 5-2 lead in the 8th. Bud Norris also made an appearance, and did well to continue the extremely competent string of innings the bullpen has produced this year.

The Astros did a little bit of threatening in the ninth, getting guys on 2nd and 3rd, but Bedrosian finished the 6-out save with authority and got the deal done, losing streak is toast. That was how you win games, every night. If this Halos team can play like this, with those bats (Trout and Pujols, especially), that defense (another great night from Maldonado from behind the plate) and great pitching, starting and otherwise...well, they’ll make us very happy fans.

That fifth inning could be a turnaround moment. Here’s hoping it all started with a 4-run side in Houston, and snowballed from there into a formidable Halos team. Fingers crossed.