for this game

Pujols, late rally sparks Angels over Astros

Jun 23, 2015 - 6:15 AM Anaheim, CA ( - Albert Pujols continued his June tear with two home runs and three RBI, but the Angels needed a manufactured run in the eighth to post a 4-3 win over the division-leading Astros on Monday.

The Angels were leading the opener of the three-game AL West series 3-1 before the Astros pulled even in the eighth.

Erick Aybar got the rally started in the bottom half with a base hit off Chad Qualls (1-4) and moved to second on a wild pitch. After aggressively stealing third, Aybar raced home on Daniel Robertson's safety squeeze bunt down the first-base line. Chris Carter's flip home went wide, Aybar slid in safely, and Huston Street (3-2) closed out the win with a 1-2-3 ninth.

"That play they scored on (in the eighth) was hard to defend," Astros manager A. J. Hinch said.

Domingo Santana hit a solo homer for the Astros, who have dropped three of four on the heels of a five-game winning streak.

Angels starter Hector Santiago was in line for his first win since May 29, but the Astros scratched out two runs off Joe Smith in the eighth.

Marwin Gonzalez doubled and scored on Jason Castro's base hit, and after Carlos Correa worked a two-out walk, Jose Altuve blasted a fly ball that took one hop near the warning track in left and bounced into the stands for an RBI double.

Had the ball stayed in play, Correa may have had a chance to score, but the rookie was stranded on third when Street entered and struck out Evan Gattis.

Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer struck out the side in the first inning, left the bases loaded in the second and was handed a 1-0 lead when Santana led off the third with a home run to right-center field.

The left-hander was cruising until he walked Mike Trout with two outs in the fifth. He was ahead of the count to Pujols, but the slugger fouled off a pitch and sent the next one into the rocks beyond the center-field wall.

Pujols' seventh-inning blast landed in roughly the same spot, this time a solo homer that gave the Angels a 3-1 lead. It was his 12th round-tripper of the month, one shy of tying the club record for most in any month.

"This is the best I've felt in two or three years," Pujols admitted. "I just try not to get too caught up in anything."

Game Notes

Pujols recorded his 50th career multi-home run game ... Santiago, who was charged with one run on two hits over six innings, has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of nine home starts ... Oberholtzer allowed two runs on four hits and four walks over 5 2/3 frames ... Astros outfielder George Springer went 0-for-4 to snap a 14-game hitting streak ... Houston hit multiple home runs in their previous eight games ... Altuve was back in Astros' lineup after missing four games with hamstring injury.