HOUSTON — Tyler White continues to come through in big situations for the Houston Astros.
White hit a go-ahead two-run double in a five-run eighth inning, Alex Bregman homered and the Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 on Saturday night.
"Those guys setting the table is the big thing," White said. "Kemp getting the hit and George (Springer) with the interference and Carlos (Correa) coming up with the big two-out hit is what got me in that situation. I just tried to get a good pitch to hit and take the same as any other at-bat."
With the score tied in the eighth, White hit a pitch to left field off Hansel Robles that missed being a home run by just feet. The ball bounced off the top of the metal scoreboard and back into left field. Springer and Correa came around to score, putting the Astros ahead 5-3.
Since the All-Star break, White has 16 extra-base hits with 26 RBIs. This is the second time this week White has provided the eventual game-winning runs. White hit a tiebreaking home run in Wednesday’s 5-4 win against Oakland in the ninth inning.
The Astros entered leading the American League West by 1 1/2 games over Oakland.
Correa drove in the tying run earlier in the eighth with an RBI single to centre off Cam Bedrosian (5-4).
"It was big," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "The swings have gotten a little bit better, his preparation has been great. He carries the burden and is so hard on himself and he wants to come through."
Bedrosian (5-4) gave up three runs and two hits while striking out one in two-thirds of an inning.
"There was all these things that were going the wrong way but still Cam had the chance and made a pitch to Correa to get out of it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He just left a fastball over the heart of the plate and he lined it to centre."
The Astros piled it on as two more runs scored off a misplayed ball by Eric Young Jr. Marwin Gonzalez hit a deep fly ball to left-centre, which Young attempted a leaping catch on but missed and crashed into the wall. White and Josh Reddick came into score, capping the five-run eighth and making it 7-3.
"That eighth inning was about the reverse of what last night’s eighth inning was," Hinch said."We got the big hit, we got the big connected at-bats one good at-bat after another and delivered a couple of big swings."
The Angels committed four errors on the night.
Joe Smith (5-1) got the win after giving up one hit and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning.
The struggles of the Angels’ bullpen wasted one of Felix Pena’s best starts of his career. Pena gave up just two runs in seven innings.
"Felt good. Really good actually," Pena said through a translator. "I felt positive even though the result wasn’t on our side."
In the sixth, Bregman crushed his 26th home run of the season, making it 3-2. This extended his reached base safely streak to 29 games.
Josh James made his major league pitching debut for the Astros and gave up three runs and five hits. He walked three and struck out nine — tying the second-most by an Astros pitcher making his debut.
"Josh James did a great job of channeling a lot of adrenaline early," Hinch said. "That first inning has to be the most adrenaline-filled inning he’s ever pitched in his life. He came out, showed great arm strength and kind of stayed away from his strength of the secondary pitch until later in the outing."
Kole Calhoun provided the only offence for the Angels with a three-run home run in the second inning. It was Calhoun’s 18th of the season.
Justin Upton, who went 0-3, left the game with a mild concussion after nearly colliding with shortstop Andrelton Simmons chasing down a popup in shallow left field. Upton slid under Simmons as he made the catch. He is listed day-to-day.
Angels: RHP Miguel Almonte and INF Jose Fernandez were called up from Triple-A Salt Lake and also selected RHP Junichi Tazawa to the major league roster.
Astros: OF Jake Marisnick and C Brian McCann were both activated from the 10-day disabled list and LHP Cionel Perez was called up from Triple-A Fresno. Marisnick and McCann both played on Saturday.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (forearm) will start for the Angels on Monday at the Texas Rangers. It will be his first since March 31, which has been his only start of the season.
Angels: RHP Shohei Ohtani (4-1, 3.10 ERA) will make his first start since June 6 on Sunday. Ohtani’s 61 strikeouts through his first nine starts are the most in franchise history.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (12-5, 2.85 ERA) gets the start in the series finale. Cole has 234 strikeouts, which ranks third in the majors.