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Astros drop Angels 7-5 as road 'dogs

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Matt Dominguez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Houston Astros won back-to-back series for the first time in nearly two months with a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

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Dominguez tied his career high with four hits in his native Southern California, while L.J. Hoes had his first career homer among his three hits in the major league-worst Astros' fourth win in six games.

After Houston blew an early three-run lead, Dominguez homered on the next pitch after Angels reliever Juan Gutierrez (0-4) intentionally walked Carlos Corporan.

Brett Oberholtzer (3-1) pitched six effective innings during Houston's sixth win in seven games at Angel Stadium.

Mike Trout had two hits for the Angels before leaving in the sixth inning with right hamstring tightness.

Josh Hamilton homered and tripled for Los Angeles, while Mark Trumbo drove in three runs and hit his 28th homer late in the Angels' sixth loss in eight games.

Trout went 2 for 3 with a third-inning double, but left the game after flying out in the fifth. The Angels' All-Star outfielder reached base for the 40th straight game, extending the majors' longest current streak.

Oberholtzer gave up seven hits and struck out four in his fourth major league start, even retiring nine of his final 10 batters after Hamilton's tying homer. The rookie was backed by another solid offensive performance led by Dominguez, the San Fernando Valley native who delivered his 15th homer.

Houston boosted its lead to 7-3 in the eighth on Jose Altuve's sacrifice fly. Trumbo trimmed the deficit with his two-run shot to left off Jordan Lyles, the Astros' scheduled Monday starter, who pitched 2 1-3 innings of relief before leaving with two runners on in the ninth.

Rookie Kevin Chapman got pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos to ground into a game-ending double play, earning his first career save.

The Angels (55-68) have lost 11 of 16 and 22 of 34 - yet Houston (41-82) is still 14 games behind Los Angeles for fourth place in the AL West. The Astros hadn't won back-to-back series since June 20 before taking two of three in Oakland and Anaheim.

Kole Calhoun replaced Trout in the lineup. Trout is batting .333, second in the AL to Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, and sits among the league leaders in several offensive categories.

At least the Angels got the type of performance they expect from Hamilton, the $125 million slugger mired in the worst season of his career.

Hamilton followed up his game-ending, extra-inning homer Saturday night with a second-inning triple and a game-tying solo shot to center in the fourth.

Jason Vargas recovered from an awful beginning to his first home start in two months to pitch into the sixth for the Angels, allowing seven hits - all in the first three innings. The left-hander walked three and struck out three in his second start since returning from the disabled list.

Eight of the Astros' first 11 batters reached base against Vargas, who made his first home start since sitting out nearly two months following surgery to remove a blood clot in his left armpit.

Hoes homered in his 19th major league game, drilling a one-out shot in the first inning. Houston added two more runs in the second, including Robbie Grossman's RBI double.

But Hamilton tripled to right and scored on Chris Nelson's sacrifice fly in the second, and Trumbo singled home Trout in the third. Hamilton tied it with his 19th homer to straightaway center.

NOTES: Lyles unexpectedly made his first relief appearance of the season. ... Dominguez also had four hits July 31. ... Hamilton's triple was his first since May 21. ... Gutierrez, who made his major league debut with Houston in 2007, struck out four during his 1 2-3 innings of work. ... Corporan, a switch-hitting catcher, hadn't been intentionally walked since 2011.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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