ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Yordan Alvarez continued his hot streak with three more hits, including a two-run homer, Hunter Brown tossed six shutout innings and the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Angels 6-1 on Saturday night.

Nolan Schanuel drove in the Angels' lone run with a solo shot to right-center in the seventh, the second time in three games the first baseman has homered.

Alvarez, who also had two doubles, has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. The left fielder has gone 19 for 43 with four home runs and 11 RBIs as well as raising his batting average 31 points to .296 in that span.

“He’s been hitting the ball hard the last couple of weeks. He's getting the ball in the air and starting to drive the ball,” Astros manager Joe Espada said. “A lot of the balls he was hitting a couple of weeks ago were hard on the ground. Now he is finding his zone and swinging at strikes. And when he does, he’s a scary hitter.”

After Alex Bregman got aboard on an infield single in the fifth, Alvarez drove a sinker from Tyler Anderson (5-6) into the elevated stands in right field to give the Astros a 4-0 lead.

“A swing like that gives me good energy and it tells me my swing is in the right spot,” Alvarez said through an interpreter.

Brown (2-5) had his fourth straight quality start. He allowed two hits, walked four and struck out six.

The only serious traffic the right hander faced came in the first inning when the Angels had the bases loaded with two outs in the first. But Brown struck out Matt Thaiss to end the inning.

“He had a tough time getting his changeup over, but he found a way,” Espada said. “The fastball was explosive and he threw some good breaking balls.”

Houston took a 2-0 lead in the third as its first four hitters reached base. Chas McCormick led off with a triple to right after Jo Adell was unable to make a play at the wall and scored when Jose Altuve lined a base hit to left.

The Astros had the bases loaded with no outs, but couldn't get anything across until Jake Meyers' RBI single with two outs. Bregman tried to score from second, but was easily thrown out at home by left fielder Taylor Ward.

In the first, Houston had runners on second and third with one out when Altuve was tagged out at home after a great throw by Angels shortstop Zach Neto on a grounder by Jeremy Peña.

Anderson is ninth in the majors with a 2.63 ERA, but gave up four runs for only the second time in 13 starts. The lefty allowed seven hits and struck out three in six innings.

“They put some balls in play that found some holes. He tried to get a ball inside on Alvarez and it leaked back over the plate and he got him,” Angels manager Ron Washington said of Anderson.

Houston added two in the eighth on RBI singles by Yainer Diaz and Mauricio Dubón.


Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon (hamstring) fielded grounders for the second straight day.


The series concludes with Houston RHP Justin Verlander (3-2, 3.63 ERA) taking the mound. LHP Patrick Sandoval (2-8, 5.00 ERA) will go for Los Angeles.



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