HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman and José Abreu had two RBIs each and Kyle Tucker added three hits to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-2 win over Los Angeles on Thursday night in a game during which Angels manager Phil Nevin was ejected.
The victory was the 2,126th of manager Dusty Baker’s career, moving him past Joe McCarthy into sole possession of eighth place on baseball’s all-time list.
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Houston’s Ronel Blanco (1-0), who was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land before the game, allowed seven hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings for the win in his first major league start. The 29-year-old has made 16 career relief appearances.
“He was good after he settled down,” Baker said. “He started out a little shaky and ... then he settled down and he got out of a couple of tough jams with some tough hitters.”
Ryan Pressly allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his 11th save.
Houston trailed by 1 in the fifth when Corey Julks doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch by Reid Detmers (0-5). The Astros tied it on a one-out single by Yainer Diaz. Jose Altuve singled and Detmers walked Yordan Alvarez with two outs to load the bases.
Bregman then smoked a single on a grounder to left field to put Houston up 4-2. He has hit safely in a season-high eight games and is hitting .406 with eight RBIs in that span.
“Some hits are falling,” he said. “Just continue to work every, single day and, as Dusty says, think lucky.”
The Angels had a shot to close the gap in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out. But Taylor Ward was called out on a low strike, bringing Nevin out of the dugout and face to face with home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater.
He was quickly ejected, but still yelled at him for a few seconds before ripping off his own cap and screaming at him some more.
Second base umpire Mark Wegner came to the plate and got between the men, lightly pushing Nevin away from Scheurwater.
Nevin then walked off the field before stopping at the top steps of the dugout to yell at Scheurwater some more before leaving the dugout. Mike Trout lined out to end the inning after the ejection.
"Stu’s one of the better umpires in our game,” Nevin said. “You guys saw it. Yeah, I don’t ever blame an umpire or a call on a game. We had a lot of chances today and we didn’t come through."
Detmers gave up four runs and six hits with two strikeouts in five innings to remain winless this year.
“You look at his game and very easily it could turn around and say one run in the fifth ... just one of those nights for him,” Nevin said. “I think he’s throwing the ball great. I love the way he mixed his pitches. They didn’t take many good swings off him. They didn’t hit many balls hard.”
Brandon Drury hit a solo homer that put the Angels on top in the fifth and Hunter Renfroe added three hits in the loss.
Gio Urshela singled with one out in the second before Jared Walsh walked. Ward’s two-out single to left scored Urshela to put the Angels up 1-0.
Tucker doubled to the corner of right field with one out in the bottom of the inning before stealing third base. Houston tied it when Tucker scored on a sacrifice fly by Abreu.
Drury connected on his shot to the seats in left field with two outs in the fifth to make it 2-1.
Tucker doubled with one out in the eighth and scored on a double by Abreu that pushed the lead to 5-2.
Shohei Ohtani and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson met and chatted for a bit before Thursday’s game. Jackson, who works as a special adviser to Astros owner Jim Crane, also posed for pictures with the two-way star.
LHP Parker Mushinski was optioned to Sugar Land to make room on the roster for Blanco.
NOT QUITE THERE
New Houston Rockets coach Ime Udoka threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. He had good form, but didn’t quite get the ball to the plate, bouncing it in front of catcher César Salazar.
Ohtani (5-1, 2.91 ERA) opposes LHP Framber Valdez (5-4, 2.38) when the series continues Friday night.