Pinch-runner Peter Bourjos scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on an error and Erick Aybar added a two-run single in the ninth to help the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
Hank Conger doubled off Paul Clemens (4-3) to start the eighth. Conger was replaced by Bourjos before Aybar drew a walk. Bourjos took third on a fly out by J.B. Shuck. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno's error on the play, when he bounced the ball trying to pick off Aybar at second, allowed Bourjos to dash home just ahead of the throw.
Aybar's bases-loaded single sent two home and extended the lead to 4-1 in the ninth.
Houston's Jason Castro homered in the fourth before Mike Trout tied it at 1 with an RBI single in the sixth.
Los Angeles starter Jerome Williams limited Houston to five hits and a run over 6 1-3 innings. Dane De La Rosa (3-1) and Kevin Jepsen pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings before Ernesto Frieri allowed one run in the ninth for his 20th save.
The Angels had scored 33 runs on 46 hits in their last four games. But Houston starter Bud Norris, who entered the game having allowed just one run in three starts — all wins — against Los Angeles this season, continued to be tough on the Angels. He yielded four hits and no earned runs with five strikeouts in seven innings.
The win by Los Angeles breaks a four-game losing streak to the Astros, but the Angels still trail Houston 7-4 this season.
Houston had several chances to add to its run total. Perhaps the best opportunity came in the eighth inning. Jose Altuve walked with one out and stole second base. A single by Brett Wallace sent him to third but Jepsen retired Castro and Chris Carter to end the threat.
Castro opened Houston's fourth with his homer to the bullpen in right-center to make it 1-0. Williams got back on track after that, retiring the next three batters. Cedeno walked with no outs in the fifth, but Williams still faced the minimum in that inning when Cedeno was thrown out trying to steal second on a strikeout by Barnes.
Aybar started the sixth with a single and advanced to second on an error by Brandon Barnes. A one-out single by Trout sent Aybar home to tie it at 1-all.
Altuve singled in the sixth before Castro took a one-out walk. But Houston came away empty-handed when Altuve was caught trying to steal third before Carter grounded into a force out.
Carlos Pena and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back singles to start the seventh and chase Williams. Pena was thrown out trying to advance to third on the single by Martinez.
De La Rosa struck out Cedeno before center fielder Trout made an excellent running catch on a sharp fly ball hit by Matt Dominguez to end the inning.
Barnes made a pair of nifty defensive plays in the third inning. The first one came when he sprinted and leaped to grab a fly ball hit by Conger before crashing into the padded wall in center field and falling to the ground for the first out of the third.
He then ended the inning by dashing to make a diving catch on a liner hit by Shuck.
NOTES: The series continues on Saturday when Houston's Jordan Lyles opposes Joe Blanton. ... Houston signed ninth-round draft pick C catcher Brian Holberton, 14th-rounder LHP Chris Cotton, 18th-round pick 3B Adam Nelubowich, 19th-round pick C Jake Rodriguez and RHP Juan Santos, who was selected in the 39th round.