By JORDAN GODWIN Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) — The Astros remained just shy of their third straight AL West title, wasting a chance to clinch when Wade Miley was hit hard Saturday night in an 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels that ended a six-game winning streak.
Houston (101-54) needs just one more win to ensure first place. The Astros also would clinch with a loss by second-place Oakland, but the A’s took a quick 9-0 lead over Texas in a late game.
Miley (14-6) allowed four runs and four hits while getting just three outs and leaving with two on in the second. He is 1-2 in his last four starts, allowing 18 runs in 7 1/3 innings as his ERA rose from 3.06 to 3.91.
David Fletcher took called strikes on Miley’s first two pitches, then sent the third into the left-field seats. Los Angeles made it 3-0 on Kevan Smith’s RBI grounder and Taylor Ward’s RBI single.
Miley hit Michael Hermosillo leading off the second and allowed a single to Kaleb Cowart, and David Fletcher greeted Jose Urquidy with a run-scoring single.
Houston closed to 4-3 in the bottom half on Yordan Alvarez’s 27th homer of the season, Kyle Tucker’s RBI double and Martín Maldonado’s run-scoring grounder.
Albert Pujols hit an RBI double in the fourth and Andrelton Simmons made it 6-3 with an RBI single in the sixth. Kole Calhoun hit his 33rd homer in the ninth, a two-run drive against Héctor Rondón.
Luke Bard (3-2) struck out three in two scoreless innings to win in relief of Patrick Sandoval, who lasted three innings.
Angels: 2B Tommy La Stella ran bases pregame and could possibly return to playing in the final week of the season. He has been out since early July with a right tibia fracture. … C Max Stassi (oblique) saw a specialist in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday to see whether his injury will require surgery but the team had yet to receive an update, Angels manager Brad Ausmus said.
Astros: INF Yuli Gurriel was 1 for 3 after missing Friday’s game with a stomach ailment.
Angels: RHP José Rodríguez (0-0, 1.84 ERA) will make his first career big league on Sunday, opening for LHP José Suarez (2-6, 7.42 ERA).
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (19-6, 2.50 ERA) starts Sunday and can become the season’s first 20-game winner. He is 11 strikeouts shy of 3,000.