Never mind that the Los Angeles Angels had won 15 of 20 overall and 12 of 14 on the road. Baseball's worst team - the Houston Astros - continued their season-long role as the Angels' pesky foil in Friday's series opener.
Houston seeks its fifth straight win Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, while Los Angeles hopes its ace can help the club get back on track.
The Angels (70-77) had come six games shy of the .500 mark for the first time since July 27 after averaging nearly 5.0 runs during a 15-5 stretch. However, they dropped to 7-10 versus the Astros - their second-worst against any opponent this season - with a 9-7 loss Friday.
Matt Dominguez 's grand slam highlighted a six-run fifth for Houston (51-96), which has won four in a row for the first time since June 12-16. Dominguez is 6 for 10 with four extra-base hits and six RBIs over his last three games.
The Astros haven't won five consecutive games since reeling off a season-high six straight from May 29-June 3.
Los Angeles will turn to Jered Weaver (9-8, 3.38 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA over his last four games since dropping back-to-back outings. He did not get a decision Monday after a six-inning, three-run effort in a 6-3 loss at Minnesota, battling through forearm stiffness while recording his fourth straight quality start.
"I started to tighten up there in the third or fourth and got through the sixth and (manager Mike) Scioscia didn't want to push me anymore, which is understandable," Weaver said. "It's nothing concerning, just the hot and humid air and losing a lot of fluids and stuff it just started to tighten up a little bit, but it's not a concern."
The Angels will face a left-handed starter for the third consecutive contest in Houston rookie Brett Oberholtzer (4-2, 2.65). Dallas Keuchel matched a career high by fanning nine batters in just 5 2-3 innings Friday.
Oberholtzer, who boasts a 1.91 ERA in his seven starts, surrendered three runs and seven hits over six innings of a 7-5 road win over the Angels on Aug. 18.
Howie Kendrick was 2 for 5 and scored a run as he rejoined Los Angeles' lineup for the first time since Aug. 5 after a stint on the disabled list due to a hyperextended left knee. Kendrick was replaced in the bottom of the eighth, and Scioscia plans to progressively increase his workload.
Houston catcher Jason Castro , who hasn't played since last Saturday because of a right knee injury, hopes to serve as designated hitter during the weekend.
Mark Trumbo is batting .407 (15 for 37) with four home runs and nine extra-base hits during a nine-game hitting streak. He's driven in 15 runs in 16 games against Houston this season.
Chris Carter had recorded six homers and 17 RBIs in 16 meetings with the Angels this year but was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Friday.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|September 08, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Right wrist|
|September 08, 2013||Luis Jimenez||Day-to-Day||Left game - right thumb contusion|
|August 29, 2013||Chris Nelson||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|August 28, 2013||Chris Nelson||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|August 22, 2013||Kevin Jepsen||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|August 19, 2013||Mike Trout||Day-to-Day||Tight right hamstring|
|September 08, 2013||Paul Clemens||Day-to-Day||Blister, right hand|
|September 02, 2013||Jason Castro||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right knee sprain|
|August 22, 2013||Max Stassi||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 21, 2013||Max Stassi||Day-to-Day||Left game - head|
|August 20, 2013||Carlos Corporan||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 20, 2013||Carlos Corporan||15-Day DL||Concussion|
HOUSTON (AP) -- Without his top assortment of pitches, Jered Weaver still wound up in a familiar spot - the win column.
Weaver pitched six solid innings, Chris Iannetta homered and the Los Angeles Angels stopped Houston's four-game winning streak, beating the Astros 6-2 Saturday night.
Weaver (10-8) joined Nolan Ryan as the only Angels pitchers to reach double-digits in wins for eight straight seasons.
"It speaks volumes to the quality of pitcher that Weaver is. He's one of the top pitchers in our league," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Even when he doesn't have his best stuff he gives us chances to win. He competes with anyone."
Ryan won at least 10 games from 1972-79. Chuck Finley also reached 10 wins in eight seasons for the Angels, although not consecutively.
"I'm not really a guy who reflects on personal stuff. I'm all for winning a championship as opposed to getting excited about getting eight consecutive seasons with 10 wins," Weaver said. "But it's cool milestone."
"I've been pretty fortunate to play on some good teams throughout my career," he said. "A lot of guys had my back. When you are on some good teams and you throw the ball well, you're going to get some wins."
Brett Wallace homered for Houston, which leads the majors with 97 losses. The Astros had their first four-game winning string since mid-June.
The Astros, in their first season in the AL, set a league record for strikeouts at 1,393, surpassing Oakland's 1,387 last year.
"That's one of their better pitchers," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Weaver. "I know he spent some time on the DL and it just so happened that with all the times that we've faced them we hadn't seen him."
Rookie Brett Oberholtzer (4-3) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. The 24-year-old lefty entered the game with a 1.91 ERA since July 31, best in the AL over that span.
Weaver allowed two runs on six hits, including Wallace's 13th homer in the fourth. He struck out five and walked one.
Weaver also moved into sole possession of fourth place on the Angels' strikeout list, fanning Marc Krauss to end the sixth for his 1,234th strikeout, one more than Frank Tanana . He trails Ryan (2,416), Finley (2,151) and Mike Witt (1,283).
Relievers Michael Kohn , Dane De La Rosa and Juan Gutierrez each pitched a scoreless inning for the Angels.
Iannetta gave the Angels the lead in the third inning with his 11th home run. Howie Kendrick , Kole Calhoun and Iannetta each drove in a run in the fourth to give Los Angeles a 4-0 lead.
Wallace hit a two-run homer in the fourth.
The Astros loaded the bases in the fifth on consecutive two-out singles by Marwin Gonzalez , Jonathan Villar and Jose Altuve , but Weaver escaped the jam by striking out Trevor Crowe .
Grant Green scored from third on a passed ball in the Angels seventh. He tripled in the ninth and scored on J.B. Shuck's sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Astros All-Star C Jason Castro (right knee) remained out of the lineup as doctors want to give him a few more days to see how responds to treatment, Porter said. Castro injured his knee Sept. 2. He has missed eight of 11 games since. ... The Astros showed the first half of the Alabama-Texas A&M college football showdown on the big screen during batting practice at the request of Porter. ... The Astros inducted columnist and former Dodgers, Colt .45s/Astros and Rangers broadcaster Rene Cardenas into its media wall of honor. Cardenas began his broadcasting career with the Dodgers in 1958, becoming one of the first members of a Spanish-language radio broadcast team in the majors and later was part of the first Spanish-language radio crew to call a World Series in 1959.