(The Sports Xchange) - Catcher Jason Castro slugged a walk-off home run with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-0 win Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.
Castro was batting .111 (6-for-54) with runners in scoring position before crushing a 1-2 fastball from Angels right-hander Fernando Salas (2-2) out to right field, scoring both third baseman Jed Lowrie and designated hitter Marwin Gonzalez.
The blast marked the second career walk-off homer for Castro, who helped lift Houston (58-45) to a two-game lead over the Angels (55-46) in the American League West.
Astros right-hander Luke Gregerson (4-1) worked a perfect ninth inning to set the stage for Castro, whose eighth home run was the Astros’ second walk-off shot this season.
Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker and Astros left-hander Scott Kazmir engaged in a spirited duel, yet neither factored into the decision.
Shoemaker worked seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits — all singles — and one walk while recording seven strikeouts. He retired the final 11 batters he faced and lowered his ERA to 2.01 over his past six appearances (five starts).
Kazmir extended his scoreless string with the Astros to 14 2/3 innings, but he needed some help to escape the eighth inning unscathed. Kazmir allowed a pair of baserunners in his final frame, and a wild pitch advanced second baseman Johnny Giavotella and left fielder Shane Victorino into scoring position with just one out in a scoreless game.
Editing by Julian Linden