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Suarez, gritty Angels hold off Astros in 4-2 win

José Suarez cooled off the Houston lineup for his seventh win of the season.

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

Now that’s more like it! A night after a rough outing by Shohei Ohtani and the pitching staff, José Suarez helped right the ship in a 4-2 win Saturday night against the Houston Astros.

Once again, the Halos got off to a fast start in the first inning. David Fletcher led off the game with a single and Ohtani moved him over with a single of his own. After a Jo Adell flyout, Jared Walsh continued his hot-hitting and drove in Fletcher with an RBI double. Luis Rengifo made the score 2-0 with an RBI groundout.

Rengifo struck again for the what would become the winning runs with a two-run home run in the third inning. The homer was his fourth of the season.

RHP Luis García, the starter for Houston, has been a familiar foe for the Angels this season, making his fourth appearance against the Halos. He was especially shaky early on, giving up the four runs, but settled in and didn’t give up any hits after the third inning. García finished with 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 SO and 1 HR on 82 pitches.

For the Angels, Suarez followed up his complete game against Texas with another good outing. He finished with 5.2 IP, only 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB and 7 SO on 102 pitches. Suarez carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning where he ran into a bit of trouble after loading the bases. Fortunately, he was able to limit the damage to an RBI groundout and kept the score at 4-1. On the whole, Suarez has made a strong case for the 2022 rotation lately and it will be interesting to see if he can keep his momentum going as the season nears its end.

The Angels wasted scoring opportunities in the sixth and eighth innings which didn’t seem like major developments at the time. However, closer Raisel Iglesias had one of his shakier outings after a single, balk, wild pitch that allowed a runners at the corners. An RBI double by C Garrett Stubbs put runners at second and third with one out, and set up the winning run at the plate in 2B José Altuve. Those missed opportunities to expand the lead started rearing their ugly head.

Iglesias came back with some grit, though, striking Altuve out and getting PH Chas McCormick to pop out in foul territory in an almost-disastrous play between Jack Mayfield and Max Stassi. Stassi was able to make the catch, however, and Iglesias picked up his 31st save of the season. The win moved the Angels to 70-72 on the season.

Scoring Summary

  • T-1st Inning: Walsh RBI double (LAA 1 - HOU 0), Rengifo RBI groundout (LAA 2 - HOU 0)
  • T-3rd Inning: Rengifo 2-RBI home run (LAA 4 - HOU 0)
  • B-4th Inning: Yuli Gurriel RBI force out (LAA 4 - HOU 1)
  • B-9th Inning: Stubbs RBI double (LAA 4 - HOU 2)
  • W: Suarez (7-7, 3.59 ERA)
  • L: García (10-7, 3.43)
  • S: Iglesias (31)

Play of the Game

Player(s) of the Game

  • Suarez’s 5.2 of solid pitching took some maneuvering around tricky situations and a stifling of an elite offense. In 11 starts this season, he has a 4.39 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 55.1 IP. After the game, Joe Maddon said “He had command of his pitches. He had command of his emotions. Six innings there, we needed that to really win the game tonight.” As Suarez continues to develop as a legitimate starting option, the Angels have to feel better about their rotation headed into next season.
  • Luis Rengifo has had a nice couple of days after going 2-2 on Friday. On Saturday against the Astros, he went 1-4 but knocked in three of the four runs for the Angels. Rengifo is having a rough season so far, hitting .183 with a .528 OPS in 104 at-bats, but maybe he can get it going to help the Angels and his case for a roster spot in the future.

What’s Next

RHP Jaime Barria (2-3, 5.16 ERA) gets the start for the Angels in the rubber match against RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (11-4, 3.19 ERA) and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. First pitch is at 11:10 a.m. PT and can be accessed via Bally Sports West and KLAA-AM830.

Saturday Notables

  • Chris Rodriguez has been ruled out for the rest of the season. The RHP has been out since Aug. 14.
  • On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the New York Yankees and New York Mets displayed an appropriate moment of respect before their game. While teams across baseball honored the fallen victims and heroes, the events in New York stood out and can be briefly seen below.
  • The Angels and Astros also remembered the day in a moment of reverence before the game.