Angels 9, Houston Astros 1
KEY MOMENT: With runners on second and third and two outs in the first inning, and hard-throwing Jarred Cosart on the mound, Howie Kendrick stroked a two-run single to right-center to give the Angels a 3-0 lead, a cushion that allowed left-hander C.J. Wilson to pitch aggressively.
AT THE PLATE: Kendrick, who added a run-scoring single to cap a three-run seventh, has eight hits in his last 19 at-bats after going hitless in his first 10 at-bats of the season. Raul Ibanez drove in a run with a fielder's choice grounder in the first and added a two-run single in the seventh. He leads the team with seven runs batted in. Kole Calhoun hit a solo homer in the fifth, and the Angels went four for 11 with runners in scoring position.
ON THE MOUND: Wilson, who struck out seven and walked one in his 120-pitch outing, was so frustrated by his inability to fool Astros left fielder Jesus Guzman, who doubled in the second, that he threw him a first-pitch knuckleball in the seventh. "It was the only pitch I've never thrown in a major league game before," Wilson said. "I've thrown it in warmups, so I was just determined at some point to filter it in there." The pitch was taken for a ball.
EXTRA BASES: The Angels won three of four against the Astros and are 7-2 in their last nine games at Minute Maid Park. … Wilson is 3-1 with a 1.99 earned-run average and 41 strikeouts in 11 games at Houston. … Ian Stewart, making his first start of the season, tripled and scored in the sixth. … Reliever Dane De La Rosa (forearm strain) threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout in his second rehabilitation appearance for double-A Arkansas and is on track to return to the Angels on Friday.
UP NEXT: Left-hander Hector Santiago (0-1, 7.20 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Seattle left-hander James Paxton (1-0, 0.00 ERA) at Safeco Field on Tuesday at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun