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Matt Andriese slammed his glove to the bench in the second inning Friday, his first start of the season over much earlier than he had hoped. He couldn’t find the strike zone. At least he wasn’t alone.
The Angels and Houston Astros (4-3) combined for 19 walks in a nine-inning game that lasted four hours and 21 minutes, an Angel Stadium record. The Angels (2-6) batted 18 times with runners in scoring position, but collected only three hits and lost 9-6.
Andriese, the first of nine Angels pitchers, walked three batters in 1 2/3 innings. Home plate umpire Cory Blaser was even stingier to the Astros, who issued 12 walks to the Angels’ 7. Yet only two of the Angels’ free passes resulted in runs.
Houston, meanwhile, took advantage of nearly every physical and mental error they were given.
In the seventh inning, Michael Brantley reached base when Luis Rengifo couldn’t field a ground ball cleanly in shallow right field. It was scored a one-base error. The next batter, Yuli Gurriel, hit a fly ball to shallow right field that glanced off David Fletcher’s glove as he charged in. Both runners scored on a Kyle Tucker single, and the Astros extended their lead to 8-6. Those runs proved to be the difference in the game.
Angels pitchers also hit two batters, and second baseman Tommy La Stella misfired a routine throw wide of first base, though these miscues did not result in any runs.
Brian Goodwin’s two-run home run off Lance McCullers Jr. highlighted his 2-for-3, three-RBI performance. Fletcher went 2 for 3 with a double.
Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, Ryan Buchter, Noe Ramirez, Mike Mayers, Hoby Milner, Kyle Keller and Jacob Barnes allowed only three earned runs over 7 1/3 innings of relief.