HOUSTON -- C.J. Wilson threw seven strong innings, and Josh Hamilton snapped a tie with a run-scoring double in the eighth inning to lead the Angels to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Sunday.
The win completed a three-game sweep of the Astros, who had won seven of their first 10 games against the Angels this season, and came on the heels of a three-game sweep at Detroit. It was the Angels’ first 6-0 road trip since Sept. 3-8, 2002, when they swept series at Tampa Bay and Baltimore.
Wilson (8-5) gave up one unearned run and three hits, striking out 10, walking three and throwing 106 pitches -- a highly efficient start for the left-hander, who has struggled with command and putting batters away.
Kevin Jepsen threw a scoreless eighth inning, striking out Carlos Corporan with two on to end the inning, and Ernesto Frieri threw a scoreless ninth for his 21st save.
With the score tied, 1-1, Howie Kendrick led off the eighth with a single to right field off reliever Jose Cisnero. It was the Angels second baseman’s 36th hit in June, which tied his career high for a month (July 2008).
Albert Pujols struck out, and Hamilton, who went nine for 21 with four runs batted in and four walks on the trip to raise his average from .207 to .223, lined a double to the wall in left-center field.
Third base coach Dino Ebel daringly waved Kendrick home, and the Astros appeared to have an excellent shot at the runner, but shortstop Jake Elmore’s relay throw was so wild it caromed off the fence in front of the first-base dugout.
Hamilton took third base on the throw and, despite losing his balance on his way home, was able to score on the error for a 3-1 lead.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Mark Trumbo hit his team-leading 18th home run to right field off Houston starter Lucas Harrell, only the second time this season Trumbo has gone deep to the opposite field.
Wilson breezed through five innings, blanking the Astros on one hit and striking out seven. But Brandon Barnes opened the sixth with a single and stole second. Elmore dropped a bunt toward third base that Wilson fielded, but his high-and-away throw pulled Kendrick off the bag at first, a play that was generously ruled a hit.
Jose Altuve followed with a liner to third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who made a lunging grab to his left and tried to make a long, off-balance throw to first in an attempt to double off Elmore, even though he didn’t have much of a chance.
The ball bounced wide of Trumbo and rolled to the wall in foul territory, allowing Barnes to score for a 1-1 tie.
Elmore took second on the error but was stranded when Chris Carter grounded back to the mound and Carlos Corporan struck out.
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