mlb

Anderson, Paris lift Angels to series victory over Astros

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie Kyren Paris provided all of the offense needed as some brilliant pitching helped the Angels get across the finish line.

Starter Tyler Anderson came through with his deepest effort of the season and Kyren Paris hit his first career home run, helping the Angels to a 2-1 rubber-match victory over the Astros at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

Anderson used 95 pitches (65 strikes) to work through eight innings of dominant baseball. He earned his fifth win of the year (5-4) to extend his win streak to three. It was the fifth time across his 10 starts this season that the lefty has thrown at seven or more innings.

The only runs of the entire ball game for either squad came in the fifth inning. Angels’ rookie Kyren Paris came through with a two-run shot that broke open the scoring. The Astros responded in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI double from Mauricio Dubon. Neither team would score the rest of the way.

With the victory, Los Angeles finished off a 4-2 Texas road trip and sealed back-to-back series victories. The Angels are 20-30 and 14-14 on the road, winning five of their last seven.

Here are three takeaways:

Anderson shuts down Astros

Anderson provided a clutch outing to keep Houston from generating any sort of momentum. He struck out four along the way, walking two and allowing six hits total.

While working 1-2-3 innings in two of eight innings, he did a great job at keeping Houston from cashing in on their opportunities. The Astros finished 0-6 with runners in scoring position.

Anderson and Ranger Suarez are the only pitchers in baseball with five starts of at least seven innings and one run or less allowed.

Just as Griffin Canning did on Tuesday, Anderson flipped the script on his previous struggles in Houston, giving the Angels their fifth quality start on the six-game road trip. The 34-year-old had a career mark of 0-2 with a 9.75 ERA across five starts at Minute Maid Park.

The pitching staff was widely responsible for the Angeles’ success during their Texas trip. They allowed three runs or less in four of the six games and kept opposing lineups at bay consistently.

It was the second strong start of the trip for Anderson, who leads the team in ERA.

Paris makes impact

Appearing in his 26th career game and 11th this season, Paris found his signature moment. His two-run blast in the fifth inning put the Angels out in front, giving them all of the run support that they needed.

The hit gave a lifeless Angels offense just their second hit of the game. It gave Astros starter Hunter Brown his only earned runs of the game.

Brown had struggled this year, entering Wednesday with a 7.71 ERA. Despite a better start, he still fell to 1-5 this season thanks to Paris’ heroics.

“It was a special moment for me, you know, one I dreamed of,” Paris said. “To put the team on top right there it was a special moment for me for sure.”

He also showed his appreciation for Anderson and acknowledged the work that he puts in.

“I really watch his preparation,” Paris said. “He prepares and he’s ready to go out there.

“When he goes out there he’s ready to dominate and that’s one thing I take away from him.”

Perhaps the big home run can be the spark the 22-year-old needed. He is hitting .138 this season with five RBIs and three runs. He is still young and the future is bright, so a midseason turnaround could be on the cusp.

Angels heading home

The Angels will return home after a solid stretch of baseball on the road. They are tied with the Athletics for last place in the AL West, but 4.5 games back of second place.

The Rangers and Astros are both below .500 while the Mariners are 27-22. Los Angeles has gone 6-16 at Angel Stadium, giving them the worst home record in baseball.

Additionally, they will have to monitor the status of Zach Neto, who exited Wednesday with right elbow soreness. He was replaced by Paris while Luis Guillorme came in to play second base.

Ron Washington did not have any further information after the game.

The Angels next play at 6:30 p.m. Friday against the Guardians, opening a six-game homestand. Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (2-6, 4.59 ERA) will start against Cleveland left-hander Logan Allen (5-2, 4.91).

The Guardians have won eight of their last 10.