Cristian Javier strikes out 11 as Astros hold off Angels

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Cristian Javier struck out a season-high 11 batters in six innings, leading the Houston Astros to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif.

Javier (3-1), who struck out Mike Trout three times and Shohei Ohtani twice, gave up a two-run homer to Hunter Renfroe on an 0-2 pitch in the second inning, but was otherwise stellar before handing the ball to the bullpen with a 5-2 lead.

Javier gave up three hits and walked one in his 93-pitch outing. He has given up more than three runs only once in eight starts this season.

Hector Neris (seventh) and Bryan Abreu (eighth) each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, but closer Ryan Pressly gave up a two-run homer to Ohtani in the ninth that brought the Angels within one run.

Anthony Rendon and Renfroe followed with back-to-back singles, but Pressly worked his way out of the jam for his sixth save. Pressly struck out Brandon Drury, got Matt Thaiss on a popout to short and retired Gio Urshela on a grounder.

Jeremy Pena led Houston’s offense with two hits, including a two-out, two-run single in a pivotal four-run fourth inning.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a home run from Yordan Alvarez, his eighth of the season. Angels starter Griffin Canning (2-1) retired the first two batters of the inning before Alvarez got ahold of a 97-mph fastball, hitting it into the seats in center.

The Angels took the lead in the second inning after Rendon led off with a single and scored on the two-run homer by Renfroe. It was Renfroe’s team-leading 10th blast of the season, nine of which have come at Angel Stadium.

Renfroe is hitting .355 (22-for-62) at home versus just .179 (14-for-78) on the road.

The Astros regained the lead with their four-run fourth, knocking Canning out of the game in the process. Canning hurt himself in the inning with a throwing error on a pickoff attempt.

Canning gave up three singles, a sacrifice fly, a walk and hit a batter before being removed with two outs and two runs in. Reliever Jimmy Herget entered the game and immediately surrendered a two-run single to Pena, who gave the Astros a 5-2 lead.

Canning allowed five runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and fanned three.

–Field Level Media

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