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Martin Maldonado slugs Astros past Angels

Sportsnaut
Jul 2, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) runs up the first base line after hitting a double against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Urquidy posted his fourth consecutive quality start, Martin Maldonado had his fourth career multi-homer game and the host Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-1 on Saturday.

Urquidy (7-3) limited the Angels to two hits and three walks while recording eight strikeouts over six innings. He surrendered a home run to the Angels’ Taylor Ward in the third inning, the lone run on his ledger. Urquidy has allowed just one run in each of his last three starts.

Urquidy retired the Angels in order only twice, in the fourth and sixth innings. However, Brandon Marsh was the only other baserunner to reach scoring position and Urquidy responded to that threat by striking out Mike Trout on three pitches to strand two baserunners in the fifth.

After going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the series opener Friday, Trout was 0-for-4 on Saturday with four strikeouts.

Maldonado slugged leadoff homers in the second and sixth innings. He extended the Astros lead to 4-0 with his 407-foot shot to left on the first pitch while leading off the second off Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval (3-3). He pushed that advantage to 6-1 with his 429-foot blast to center off Angels reliever Andrew Wantz, again on the first pitch while leading off.

The Astros tagged Sandoval for three runs in the first on Kyle Tucker’s RBI single that scored Jose Altuve, before Jake Meyers added a two-run single to center.

Altuve had a leadoff double in the first inning and added another double following the Maldonado home run in the second, subsequently scoring on an Alex Bregman single that built the advantage to 5-0.

Sandoval matched his season high with nine strikeouts but tied season highs with five earned runs on eight hits. He gave up two walks over five innings.

Wantz entered in the sixth and immediately allowed back-to-back home runs to Maldonado and Altuve, his 16th. Tucker and Chas McCormick socked solo homers off Angels reliever Aaron Loup in the seventh, their 16th and eighth homers, respectively.

The Astros have won 10 of 12 games and have allowed one or fewer runs in five consecutive games and seven of their last eight.

–Field Level Media