Astros trim magic number to 3 with 5-2 win over Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) After righting a road trip that nearly went terribly wrong, the Astros are cruising back home with plenty of chances to clinch a playoff berth while bringing a long-overdue division title to Houston.

Brad Peacock pitched six innings of three-hit ball and the Astros lowered their magic number for clinching the AL West to three with a 5-2 victory over the second-place Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.

Yuli Gurriel had three hits and drove in a run for the Astros (88-58), whose 14-game lead over Los Angeles (74-72) puts them in prime position to clinch a playoff spot and their first division crown since 2001 in the next several days, possibly this weekend against Seattle (74-73).

An October run should be a welcome boost to hurricane-ravaged Houston, and the Astros' excitement was palpable while they packed up their gear at the Big A for the late-night flight home.

''We have a great opportunity ahead of us,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''Obviously we want to finish this out in front of our home fans as quickly as possible.''

Gurriel and Alex Bregman drove in runs in the second inning, and Marwin Gonzalez added a two-run double in the eighth as the Astros wrapped up a 10-game road trip with five victories and kept cruising toward the postseason.

Houston bounced back from a sobering four-game sweep in Oakland last weekend by winning two of three in Orange County.

''We won the series against a good team,'' Hinch said. ''And rarely do you go on a trip like we did, lose four in a row, and come out feeling as good as we do.''

Albert Pujols hit his 613th career homer in the ninth inning, breaking his tie with Jim Thome for seventh place in baseball history. Luis Valbuena also hit his third homer in four games for the Angels, whose AL wild-card hopes are slipping.

Their loss clinched a playoff spot for the remarkable Cleveland Indians (91-56), whose 22 straight victories have vaulted them past Houston for the AL's best record.

''If they don't lose, they're not going to get caught,'' Hinch said with a shrug. ''And they haven't lost in 3 1/2 weeks. We've got to get home, try to win our division, clinch a (playoff) spot, and then we'll worry about the best record later.''

PROUD START

Peacock (11-2) had another strong outing late in a season spent moving between the rotation and the bullpen, earning his first victory since Aug. 4. He yielded Valbuena's 21st homer in the fourth inning, but otherwise throttled the Los Angeles lineup that scored nine runs on Wednesday night.

''He looked like he was in total control,'' Hinch said.

SLIPPING HALOS

Ricky Nolasco (6-14) yielded four hits and two runs over six solid innings, but the Angels have lost five of seven to fall three games behind Minnesota (77-69) for the second wild card.

''I think our process is right,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We just couldn't get that rally going. Hopefully we'll start to get our offense and get the game on our terms.''

ALBERT'S BLAST

Pujols' 22nd homer of the season was a solo shot off Chris Devenski for his 96th RBI - including 37 in his last 37 games. The slugger is four RBIs behind Eddie Murray's 1,917 for eighth place in baseball history.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: OF Jake Marisnick could be out for the season after breaking his right thumb while sliding headfirst into second base Wednesday night. Marisnick will need surgery and be out six to eight weeks.

Angels: RHP Keynan Middleton left after four pitches in the seventh inning due to nerve irritation in his right elbow. ... Former closer Huston Street (rotator cuff strain) is throwing in simulated games in Arizona. He has appeared in only four games this year, but he wants to return to the majors before the season ends.

UP NEXT

Astros: Charlie Morton (11-7, 3.86 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of final homestand of the regular season against the Seattle Mariners.

Angels: Reliever Bud Norris (2-5, 4.25 ERA) will make his first start of the season when the Texas Rangers visit. The bullpen will pitch the Angels' entire game in place of Andrew Heaney, whose injured shoulder is forcing him to miss a start. Heaney participated in drills Wednesday, but isn't ready to return.

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123456789RHE
AstrosHOU88-58
0200000215100
AngelsLAA74-72
000100001250
  • W: B. Peacock (11-2)L: R. Nolasco (6-14)
  • HR: LAA - A. Pujols (22), L. Valbuena (21)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
G. Springer CF50000003.287.368.526.8940.0
J. Reddick RF51200001.313.359.482.8424.0
J. Altuve 2B21000201.348.409.559.9673.0
C. Correa SS40000014.304.380.523.903-0.5
M. Gonzalez 1B41220011.294.366.517.8835.5
A. Bregman 3B41110000.283.352.469.8214.0
C. Beltran DH40100001.232.285.392.6772.0
D. Fisher DH01000000.207.313.351.6641.0
Y. Gurriel 1B40310000.293.326.478.8044.0
C. Maybin LF00000000.227.322.358.6800.0
B. McCann C30110001.247.331.424.7552.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    B. Phillips 2B40100001.288.324.412.7362.0
    M. Trout CF40000021.317.455.6401.095-1.0
    J. Upton LF30000110.276.363.529.8922.5
    A. Pujols DH31111102.247.291.397.6887.0
    K. Calhoun RF30000101.247.331.393.7241.0
    A. Simmons SS40100014.279.329.432.7610.5
    L. Valbuena 3B41111011.199.289.441.7315.5
    C. Cron 1B40000011.258.313.460.773-0.5
    M. Maldonado C30100010.225.284.379.6631.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Reddick (31), M. Gonzalez (29), A. Bregman (35), C. Beltran (28)
      • SF - B. McCann (5)
      • RBI - M. Gonzalez 2 (80), A. Bregman (59), Y. Gurriel (67), B. McCann (56)
      • 2-Out RBI - Y. Gurriel (35)
      BATTING
      • 2B - B. Phillips (30), M. Maldonado (17)
      • HR - A. Pujols (22), L. Valbuena (21)
      • RBI - A. Pujols (96), L. Valbuena (57)
      • 2-Out RBI - L. Valbuena (13)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - J. Upton (11)
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - M. Trout (4)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      B. Peacock (W, 11-2)6.03113312.981.2322.5
      F. Liriano (H, 3)0.10000005.881.670.0
      J. Musgrove (H, 5)0.20000104.901.350.5
      K. Giles (H, 2)1.00000102.540.993.5
      C. Devenski1.02110212.750.941.0
      PITCHERSIP
      B. Peacock (W, 11-2)6.0
      F. Liriano (H, 3)0.1
      J. Musgrove (H, 5)0.2
      K. Giles (H, 2)1.0
      C. Devenski1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      R. Nolasco (L, 6-14)6.04221105.111.449.5
      K. Middleton0.10000004.471.410.0
      B. Wood0.22000005.821.59-2.0
      J. Alvarez0.01110003.951.29-2.0
      N. Ramirez1.01111102.790.930.5
      F. Salas1.02110005.681.640.0
      PITCHERSIP
      R. Nolasco (L, 6-14)6.0
      K. Middleton0.1
      B. Wood0.2
      J. Alvarez0.0
      N. Ramirez1.0
      F. Salas1.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - B. Peacock (6)
      • Pitches-Strikes - B. Peacock 97-59, F. Liriano 5-3, J. Musgrove 12-7, K. Giles 11-6, C. Devenski 17-13
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Peacock 8-7, F. Liriano 1-0, J. Musgrove 1-0, K. Giles 2-0, C. Devenski 1-0
      • Batters Faced - B. Peacock 24, F. Liriano, J. Musgrove 2, K. Giles 3, C. Devenski 5
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - R. Nolasco 83-53, K. Middleton 4-3, B. Wood 21-15, J. Alvarez 7-4, N. Ramirez 18-11, F. Salas 18-13
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Nolasco 4-13, B. Wood 1-1, F. Salas 1-2
      • Batters Faced - R. Nolasco 23, K. Middleton, B. Wood 4, J. Alvarez, N. Ramirez 4, F. Salas 5
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      AstrosHOU88-58
      0200000215100
      AngelsLAA74-72
      000100001250
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      G. Springer CF50000003.287.368.526.8940.0
      J. Reddick RF51200001.313.359.482.8424.0
      J. Altuve 2B21000201.348.409.559.9673.0
      C. Correa SS40000014.304.380.523.903-0.5
      M. Gonzalez 1B41220011.294.366.517.8835.5
      A. Bregman 3B41110000.283.352.469.8214.0
      C. Beltran DH40100001.232.285.392.6772.0
      D. Fisher DH01000000.207.313.351.6641.0
      Y. Gurriel 1B40310000.293.326.478.8044.0
      C. Maybin LF00000000.227.322.358.6800.0
      B. McCann C30110001.247.331.424.7552.0
      Total35510502212-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        B. Phillips 2B40100001.288.324.412.7362.0
        M. Trout CF40000021.317.455.6401.095-1.0
        J. Upton LF30000110.276.363.529.8922.5
        A. Pujols DH31111102.247.291.397.6887.0
        K. Calhoun RF30000101.247.331.393.7241.0
        A. Simmons SS40100014.279.329.432.7610.5
        L. Valbuena 3B41111011.199.289.441.7315.5
        C. Cron 1B40000011.258.313.460.773-0.5
        M. Maldonado C30100010.225.284.379.6631.5
        Total3225223711-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - J. Reddick (31), M. Gonzalez (29), A. Bregman (35), C. Beltran (28)
          • SF - B. McCann (5)
          • RBI - M. Gonzalez 2 (80), A. Bregman (59), Y. Gurriel (67), B. McCann (56)
          • 2-Out RBI - Y. Gurriel (35)
          BATTING
          • 2B - B. Phillips (30), M. Maldonado (17)
          • HR - A. Pujols (22), L. Valbuena (21)
          • RBI - A. Pujols (96), L. Valbuena (57)
          • 2-Out RBI - L. Valbuena (13)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - J. Upton (11)
          FIELDING
          • Outfield Assist - M. Trout (4)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          B. Peacock (W, 11-2)6.03113312.981.2322.5
          F. Liriano (H, 3)0.10000005.881.670.0
          J. Musgrove (H, 5)0.20000104.901.350.5
          K. Giles (H, 2)1.00000102.540.993.5
          C. Devenski1.02110212.750.941.0
          Total9.0522372---
          PITCHERSIP
          B. Peacock (W, 11-2)6.0
          F. Liriano (H, 3)0.1
          J. Musgrove (H, 5)0.2
          K. Giles (H, 2)1.0
          C. Devenski1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          R. Nolasco (L, 6-14)6.04221105.111.449.5
          K. Middleton0.10000004.471.410.0
          B. Wood0.22000005.821.59-2.0
          J. Alvarez0.01110003.951.29-2.0
          N. Ramirez1.01111102.790.930.5
          F. Salas1.02110005.681.640.0
          Total9.01055220---
          PITCHERSIP
          R. Nolasco (L, 6-14)6.0
          K. Middleton0.1
          B. Wood0.2
          J. Alvarez0.0
          N. Ramirez1.0
          F. Salas1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - B. Peacock (6)
          • Pitches-Strikes - B. Peacock 97-59, F. Liriano 5-3, J. Musgrove 12-7, K. Giles 11-6, C. Devenski 17-13
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Peacock 8-7, F. Liriano 1-0, J. Musgrove 1-0, K. Giles 2-0, C. Devenski 1-0
          • Batters Faced - B. Peacock 24, F. Liriano, J. Musgrove 2, K. Giles 3, C. Devenski 5
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - R. Nolasco 83-53, K. Middleton 4-3, B. Wood 21-15, J. Alvarez 7-4, N. Ramirez 18-11, F. Salas 18-13
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Nolasco 4-13, B. Wood 1-1, F. Salas 1-2
          • Batters Faced - R. Nolasco 23, K. Middleton, B. Wood 4, J. Alvarez, N. Ramirez 4, F. Salas 5
          • 9TH INNING
            Pujols homered to right center52
            McCann hit sacrifice fly to center, Fisher scored51
          • 8TH INNING
            Gonzalez doubled to deep right center, Reddick and Altuve scored, Gonzalez out at third41
          • 4TH INNING
            Valbuena homered to center21
          • 2ND INNING
            Gurriel singled to left center, Bregman scored20
            Bregman doubled to deep left, Gonzalez scored10
          • 9TH INNING
            • Fernando Salas relieved Noe Ramirez
            • C. Beltran: Strike looking, Foul, Beltran doubled to deep center
            • Derek Fisher ran for Carlos Beltran
            • Y. Gurriel: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Gurriel singled to shallow left center, Fisher to third
            • Cameron Maybin ran for Yuli Gurriel
            • B. McCann: Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, McCann hit sacrifice fly to center, Fisher scored
            • G. Springer: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Springer grounded out to third, Maybin to second
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick lined out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Chris Devenski relieved Ken Giles
            • A. Pujols: Ball, Ball, Pujols homered to right center
            • K. Calhoun: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Calhoun grounded out to first
            • A. Simmons: Foul, Simmons singled to right
            • L. Valbuena: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Valbuena struck out swinging
            • C. Cron: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
            • End of the 9th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Jose Alvarez relieved Blake Wood
            • J. Reddick: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Reddick doubled to deep right
            • Noe Ramirez relieved Jose Alvarez
            • J. Altuve: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Altuve walked
            • C. Correa: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Correa struck out swinging
            • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Gonzalez doubled to deep right center, Reddick and Altuve scored, Gonzalez out at third
            • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Bregman flied out to right
            • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Ken Giles relieved Joe Musgrove
            • B. Phillips: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Phillips grounded out to second
            • M. Trout: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
            • J. Upton: Ball, Upton grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Keynan Middleton relieved Ricky Nolasco
            • A. Bregman: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Bregman lined out to center
            • Blake Wood relieved Keynan Middleton
            • C. Beltran: Strike looking, Beltran flied out to deep left
            • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Strike looking, Gurriel singled to right
            • B. McCann: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, McCann reached on an infield single to second, Gurriel to second
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Springer grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Francisco Liriano relieved Brad Peacock
            • L. Valbuena: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Valbuena grounded out to pitcher
            • Joe Musgrove relieved Francisco Liriano
            • C. Cron: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Cron grounded out to shortstop
            • M. Maldonado: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Maldonado struck out swinging
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • R. Nolasco Pitching:
            • J. Reddick: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Reddick singled to center
            • J. Altuve: Altuve flied out to right
            • C. Correa: Strike looking, Correa grounded out to third, Reddick to second
            • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Ball, Gonzalez grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • B. Peacock Pitching:
            • J. Upton: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Upton struck out swinging
            • A. Pujols: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Pujols walked
            • K. Calhoun: Ball, Calhoun reached on fielder's choice to second, Pujols out at second
            • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Simmons popped out to third
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • R. Nolasco Pitching:
            • Y. Gurriel: Foul, Gurriel grounded out to second
            • B. McCann: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, McCann flied out to right
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Springer flied out to deep right
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • B. Peacock Pitching:
            • M. Maldonado: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Maldonado grounded out to first
            • B. Phillips: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Phillips grounded out to first
            • M. Trout: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • R. Nolasco Pitching:
            • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Gonzalez struck out looking
            • A. Bregman: Foul, Bregman popped out to first
            • C. Beltran: Ball, Ball, Foul, Beltran flied out to left
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • B. Peacock Pitching:
            • K. Calhoun: Strike looking, Ball, Calhoun grounded out to first
            • A. Simmons: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Simmons struck out looking
            • L. Valbuena: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Valbuena homered to center
            • C. Cron: Strike swinging, Cron grounded out to third
            • End of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • R. Nolasco Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Springer grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Reddick lined out to center
            • J. Altuve: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Altuve walked
            • C. Correa: Pickoff attempt, Correa flied out to right
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • B. Peacock Pitching:
            • M. Trout: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Trout popped out to second
            • J. Upton: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Upton grounded out to shortstop
            • A. Pujols: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Pujols grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • R. Nolasco Pitching:
            • C. Correa: Ball, Ball, Correa flied out to right
            • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Gonzalez singled to right
            • A. Bregman: Ball, Ball, Bregman doubled to deep left, Gonzalez scored
            • C. Beltran: Strike looking, Beltran lined out to center
            • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gurriel singled to left center, Bregman scored
            • B. McCann: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, McCann lined out to right
            • Middle of the 2nd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • B. Peacock Pitching:
            • L. Valbuena: Strike looking, Valbuena flied out to deep center
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Cron lined out to center
            • M. Maldonado: Ball, Maldonado doubled to left
            • B. Phillips: Phillips grounded out to third
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • R. Nolasco Pitching:
            • G. Springer: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Springer fouled out to first
            • J. Reddick: Ball, Reddick flied out to deep center
            • J. Altuve: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Ball, Altuve flied out to deep center
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • B. Peacock Pitching:
            • B. Phillips: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Phillips doubled to shallow right
            • M. Trout: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Trout popped out to shortstop
            • J. Upton: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Phillips to third on wild pitch, Ball, Ball, Upton walked
            • A. Pujols: Pujols lined out to first
            • K. Calhoun: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Upton stole second, Ball, Ball, Ball, Calhoun walked
            • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Simmons lined out to center
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)