(The Sports Xchange) - Third baseman David Freese delivered a two-run double during a three-run eighth inning to help the Angels to a 6-5 win over the Astros on Wednesday that allowed them to close the gap on Houston in the chase of a wild card.
Freese pushed the Angels (78-74) in front with his blast to left-center field off Astros right-hander Pat Neshek that brought home Mike Trout and pinch-runner Collin Cowgill to erase the Astros’ 4-3 lead.
Angels catcher Carlos Perez then added an RBI single to give them some breathing room.
“I think it’s nice when you hear the crowd because it kind of reminds you to take a breath and relax,” Freese said.
“I’m not saying that’s why I got a hit. But when you hear the crowd, it kind of hits you to understand the moment and pinpoint on your objective, which is to put a good (at bat) together.”
The Angels closed to within 1-1/2 games of the Astros (80-73) with the victory.
The Astros had rallied themselves from a 3-0 deficit in the fifth when George Springer drove in catcher Max Stassi with an RBI single.
Springer then slapped a two-run, two-out triple the opposite way in the seventh off Angels right-hander Trevor Gott (3-2) to score Jake Marisnick and Jose Altuve to give the Astros the lead they carried into the eighth.
“Any time you don’t come out on top, it’s tough. But you see what you have to do to win,” said Springer, who finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
“One pitch, one at-bat here or there and it’s a different ball game.”
Angels closer Huston Street posted his 40th save despite allowing an RBI single to Astros shortstop Carlos Correa in the ninth that scored Altuve.
Street responded by getting third baseman Jed Lowrie to ground out and keep the Angels’ playoff hopes afloat.
“Overall, we’re playing a lot better baseball as we made the turn into September than we did in August,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
“We’re doing a lot more things on the field that hopefully are going to put the game on our terms and then give us a chance to hold leads.
“When we’ve got a lead this series for the most part we’ve held it. Springer got a big hit for them and we answered right back and that was a good sign.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury