Andrew Heaney threw six scoreless innings, Andrelton Simmons capped a four-run sixth inning with a three-run double and the Angels beat the Houston Astros 5-2 Thursday night.
Heaney (8-8) scattered five hits with six strikeouts to earn his first road win since Sept. 2, 2015, at Oakland.
The left-hander, who allowed five runs in six innings in his last start Friday against the Astros, improved to 3-1 against Houston this season and allowed fewer than two runs in three of the four outings.
After Tony Sipp walked Shohei Otani to load the bases, Simmons cleared them with a double off Will Harris to push the Angels’ lead to 4-0. Simmons finished with three hits.
Justin Upton, who was reinstated off the disabled list earlier in the day, put the Angels on top 1-0 with an RBI single to right, chasing Justin Verlander. Kole Calhoun started the inning with a double and moved to third on Mike Trout’s one-out single.
Ohtani scored on Chris Devenski’s balk in the eighth to increase the lead to 5-0.
The AL-West leading Astros began the day 2 1/2 games up on Oakland.
Verlander (13-9) allowed three runs and five hits but struck out 11 in 5 1/3 innings. Verlander allowed three or more runs for the third straight start.
Tyler White hit a two-run homer to left field in the ninth as Houston avoided the shutout.
Angels: RHP Ohtani (right UCL sprain) will start Sunday against the Astros. Ohtani, who threw a simulated game on Saturday, last pitched for the Angels on June 6. 1B Albert Pujols (left knee) was placed on the 10-day disabled list after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The general timetable to return to playing from the procedure is at least six weeks. “That’s a big loss for us,” Scioscia said. “I think Albert is part of the heart and soul of this club.” RHP Matt Shoemaker will join the team in Houston and throw a bullpen sometime during the weekend, with the possibility of joining the rotation sometime early next week if everything goes well, Scioscia said. Shoemaker threw four hitless innings allowing one unearned run on two walks and six strikeouts Wednesday in a rehab start with Class A Inland Empire. C Jose Briceno was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake Thursday.
Astros: C Brian McCann (right knee) will catch on Saturday, manager AJ Hinch said. McCann has been on the disabled list since July 1.
Angels: RHP Jaime Barria (8-8, 3.67 ERA) will make his 21st start of the season Friday against the Astros looking to rebound after allowing four runs in three innings in his last start Saturday against the Astros.
Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (2-0, 0.96) will make his first career home start Friday against the Angels looking for another good outing after allowing one run in five innings in his last start Saturday against the Angels.