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Astros' AL West title delayed with 8-4 loss to Angels

Sat Sep 21 10:58pm ET
By JORDAN GODWIN
Associated Press

Players: Albert Pujols, Justin Verlander, Wade Miley, Max Stassi, Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, Tommy La Stella, Kevan Smith, Yuli Gurriel, David Fletcher, Taylor Ward, Kyle Tucker

Los Angeles Angels' Andrelton Simmons, left, and Kole Calhoun celebrate the team's win over the Houston Astros in a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Hansel Robles, right, shakes hands with catcher Kevan Smith following the team's win over the Houston Astros in a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Los Angeles Angels' Michael Hermosillo (21) slides past Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado to score a run on Andrelton Simmons' single during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, top, leaps to avoid Houston Astros' Alex Bregman during a double play attempt during the third inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Houston. Yordan Alvarez was out at first. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Houston Astros starting pitcher Wade Miley, right, is removed from the game by manager AJ Hinch (14) during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Los Angeles Angels' David Fletcher watches his bloop RBI single during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


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 Martin 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 Hector Rondon.

Luke Bard (3-2) struck out three in two scoreless innings to win in relief of Patrick Sandoval, who lasted three innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

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.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Jose Rodriguez (0-0, 1.84 ERA) will make his first career big league on Sunday, opening for LHP Jose 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.

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