Angels take thriller over Astros behind home-run barrage

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Angels used a 7-run fifth inning to overcome Reid Detmer's rough start and steal a win over the Houston Astros.

Starter Reid Detmers was pulled after four tough innings, but the Angels blasted four huge home runs in the game to seal a wild 9-7 victory at Minute Maid Park.

Detmers continued his recent rough patch, allowing eight hits and two home runs. The 24-year-old has allowed at least four earned runs in six consecutive starts.

He was saved from a loss thanks to the Angels’ fifth-inning barrage. Down 6-1, they erupted against Astros starter Framber Valdez for seven runs and took the lead.

Nolan Schanuel and Logan O’Hoppe each blasted three-run homers, putting the Angels in front 7-6. Jo Adell went back-to-back with O’Hoppe, delivering a solo home run.

Los Angeles (19-29) gathered six of their 13 hits in the fifth, sparking their second straight win and three of their last four. They are two games behind Houston for third in the AL West with two games left in the series.

Here are three takeaways:

Detmers struggles yet again

After a promising start to the season, Detmers has seemingly lost his touch. He opened 3-0 through his first four starts but has lost four straight decisions. Things did not get any better for the left-hander on Monday night.

He labored through four innings, allowing eight hits across 79 pitches. The Astros tagged him for six earned runs as his ERA swelled to 5.80.

His struggles against Houston, however, are not new. Entering Monday game, Detmers was 1-3 with a 6.42 ERA against them in eight career starts.

At Minute Maid Park, Detmers had gone 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA. Clearly, something has changed over the past month that has caused him to struggle greatly. He has allowed six or more hits in six of his last seven appearances.

While there is a lot for Detmers to work out, his early-season success proved that he has the ability to be an effective arm in the rotation. What will come next for him is up in the air, but the team can only hope that he will figure things out again soon enough as they long for pitching consistency.

Schanuel, O’Hoppe smash clutch homers

The Angels managed to flip a switch in the top of the fifth inning that would ultimately propel them to a huge victory. Schanuel kickstarted the surge as he blasted a three-run homer to the seats in right field.

The blast brought Los Angeles within two before O’Hoppe came through to put them over the top. He smashed the second three-run shot of the inning and erased the Houston lead.

It was an absolute rocket to left field for O’Hoppe’s fourth home run of the season. Now with 22 RBIs, he is tied for the second most on the team.

He finished 2 for 5, providing the signature hit of the game. O’Hoppe’s and Schanuel’s home runs combined for six of the nine Angels RBIs.

They were huge in helping Los Angeles continue to follow a theme they have thrived on all season: executing against lefties. Framber Valdez was the ninth left-handed starter that the Angels have faced so far, and the team improved to 7-2 against southpaws. It was a well-rounded effort, as everyone in the lineup managed to have at least one hit except Kyren Paris (0-4).

Adell does it all

Adell was all over the place for the Angels in the victory. He made his impact at the plate going 1 for 4 and hitting his ninth home run of the season.

His homer was the third of the inning in the team’s four-homer game. Zach Neto provided the fourth homer with a solo shot one inning later.

Perhaps the flashiest play of the night for Adell came in the ninth. With Carlos Estevez trying to close out the game, Adell provided help with a spectacular leaping catch.

Adell flew into the right-field wall to rob Yainer Diaz of a solo home run. It was a catch-of-the-year candidate that kept Houston from inching closer to its own comeback.

Thanks to Adell, Esteves earned his seventh save after working around an RBI single from Kyle Tucker. Adell is hitting .252 with 22 RBI and has a four-game hitting streak.

The Angels and Astros will play the second game of three at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday. Griffin Canning (2-4, 5.21 ERA) will start against Houston’s Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.23 ERA).

Los Angeles can clinch its second consecutive series and win its third game in a row. Houston will try to keep their three-series winning streak alive.