HOUSTON (AP) — Chris Carter homered twice and drove in three runs, Collin McHugh pitched into the eighth inning and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 on Wednesday night.
The first-place Angels lost both games in the series after sweeping the A’s in a four-game set before arriving in Houston.
It was the second straight win for the Astros since manager Bo Porter was fired on Monday and replaced by interim manager Tom Lawless.
Carter has 35 home runs, and his seven multihomer games this season are a franchise record. It’s the most homers by an Astros player since Lance Berkman hit 45 in 2006.
The designated hitter, who also singled on Wednesday, leads the majors with 22 homers and 52 RBIs since July 1.
Carter put Houston on top 1-0 with his homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field in the second inning. His two-run, opposite-field shot made it 4-1 in the eighth.
McHugh (8-9) yielded four hits and a run with eight strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings for his fourth straight win, extending a career high. Chad Qualls pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
Angels starter Jered Weaver (15-8) allowed five hits and two runs in six-plus innings for just his second loss since June 16.
Dexter Fowler walked with one out in the fourth and stole second with two outs. Jason Castro’s single scored Fowler to put Houston up 2-1.
The Angels tied it at 1 in the third when Efren Navarro scored on an error by shortstop Jonathan Villar that allowed Mike Trout to reach. The play pushed Trout’s RBI total to a career-high 98.
McHugh retired the next 10 batters, with the next hit by Los Angeles coming on a single by Josh Hamilton with two outs in the sixth. Howie Kendrick grounded out to end the inning.
That was the first of six in a row set down by McHugh before he was replaced by Jose Veras.
Jose Altuve, who had four hits in each of his previous two games, doubled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He has a major league-leading 194 hits this season.
WHAT A MONTH
Los Angeles right-hander Matt Shoemaker was selected American League pitcher and rookie of the month for August. He’s the ninth player to win both honors in the same month and the first Angel to do it since Mike Trout received both awards in July 2012. Shoemaker is 14-4 with a 3.14 ERA this season and was 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA last month. He has pitched 23 1-3 straight scoreless innings, second in franchise history for a rookie behind the 27 straight Bob Lee tossed in 1964.
Angels: Manager Mike Scioscia said reliever Joe Thatcher (sprained left ankle) has been throwing off a mound and could pitch a simulated game in the next few days.
The Angels open a four-game series at Minnesota, with Hector Santiago opposing Kyle Gibson. … The Astros are off Thursday before starting a three-game series in Oakland.
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