Sunday, April 6, 2014
HOUSTON (AP) — Jered Weaver left too many fastballs up in the strike zone, and the Houston Astros took advantage with four home runs off the Los Angeles Angels' ace.
Scott Feldman threw seven strong innings, five Astros players went deep in all, and Houston snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the Angels on Sunday.
Jason Castro, Matt Dominguez, Jesus Guzman and Alex Presley homered off Weaver (0-2). Jonathan Villar added a two-run shot in the seventh off Matt Shoemaker.
"I made a couple of mistakes and they did not miss them, obviously," Weaver said. "You know you are going to have games like that, but it is frustrating personally to start the year off like this. I have a bunch more to go, so I am just going to shake this one off and start thinking about who we've got next."
Weaver allowed five runs on five hits with six strikeouts over 5 2-3 innings. It was the third time in his career Weaver had allowed four home runs in a game and the first since Aug. 2, 2008, against the New York Yankees.
"He threw some good pitches and located some good fastballs," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "As the game went on, his change-up became part of what he was doing and had some success with it. But, just from the get-go he was having problem with commanding counts and repeating pitches, and he got behind."
Castro hit a two-run shot in the first, and Dominguez, Guzman and Presley hit solo homers in the second, fourth and fifth, respectively, as Houston built a 5-1 lead.
Feldman (2-0) did not allow a hit until two outs in the fourth, when Josh Hamilton dribbled one toward first base that went under the glove of Feldman, who charged at it off the mound.
The right-hander allowed his first run in 11 1-3 innings this season in the fifth on a groundout to second by Erick Aybar that cut the lead to 4-1.
Feldman, who was signed in the offseason by the Astros, allowed just that one run on three hits and struck out one.
"I don't think he did anything that we didn't expect," Scioscia said. "He cut the fastball in to lefties and away to righties. He backdoored it and threw a lot of four-seamers for strikes. He used his breaking ball and used it to get ahead when he needed to."
Albert Pujols continued to struggle out of the gate this season, but he singled in his last at-bat Sunday. His average improved to .200, up from .190 to start the day.
"For me, if I ever have a great start, that is awesome, and that is something that can take the pressure off a little bit," said Pujols. "But, I still have a lot of at-bats left. There is a little frustration at times because I am getting some pitches I know I can do some damage with. At the same time, this is just part of the game, and you can't let it get to you."
Chad Qualls got the last two outs for his first save of the season.
Raul Ibanez cut the lead to 7-3 on a two-run single in the ninth off Anthony Bass, and Howie Kendrick followed with a single to chase Bass. Qualls induced a flyout from Hank Conger before Aybar cut the lead to three with a run-scoring single, but Qualls struck out Kole Calhoun to end it.
The five home runs by the Astros were the most since they hit five at the Chicago White Sox last Aug. 26.
Notes: Houston OF Dexter Fowler was out of the lineup for a third straight game Sunday due to stomach inflammation. Fowler spent Friday night at Methodist Hospital and was released Saturday. Houston manager Bo Porter said Fowler was at home resting. ... Castro returned to the lineup Sunday after missing the previous two games with a bruise on his right foot. .. "A Haunted House 2" star Marlon Wayans threw out the first pitch. ... The Astros will send right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-0) to the mound in the finale of the four-game series Monday against left-hander C.J. Wilson (0-1) for the Angels.