Feldman bounces back with 6 solid innings as Astros beat Angels 4-3

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HOUSTON — Scott Feldman bounced back from a bad outing to give Houston a good start Sunday.

The hitters did just enough, too, helped by a bad bounce.

Feldman threw six solid innings and the Astros took advantage of a wild throw by catcher Drew Butera to beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-3.

Feldman (1-2) allowed two runs and six hits.

"He threw the ball very well," manager A.J. Hinch said. "I thought that as the game went on he got a little bit stronger and his best inning was probably his last with pitch quality and efficiency with where he was trying to throw the ball."

In his previous start, Oakland tagged him for eight runs in five innings.

"I felt like it was a battle," Feldman said. "I still wasn't as crisp as I'd like to throw. I thought I was getting ahead of more guys today. I had a little trouble putting them away, but it seemed like I wasn't giving up as much loud contact as I was last time."

Luke Gregerson threw a perfect ninth for his second save.

Garrett Richards (0-1), making his first start since having knee surgery late last season, gave up three earned runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.

"It wasn't a terrible first outing, I don't think," Richards said. "They had some balls that went their way, and sometimes, that's the game."

Richards struck out four. He fanned a swinging Jed Lowrie in the fifth, but the ball was in the dirt and bounced away. Butera's throw to first deflected away — it appeared to hit Lowrie's helmet, but he said it missed — scoring a run and setting up another.

Lowrie said he had his hands up so he didn't run face-first into first baseman Albert Pujols' glove.

"You play the game right, you play the game hard, and you let things play out the way it should," Lowrie said. "It went our way today, and it got us a win. It extended the inning."

Luis Valbuena homered for the Astros and Jose Altuve had three hits.

Pujols and C.J. Cron homered for the Angels.

Richards walked two in the first inning before escaping a bases-loaded jam.

Valbuena's two-run shot in the third put Houston on top 2-0. Cron's homer tied it in the fourth.

The wild throw by Butera allowed George Springer to score the go-ahead run, and put runners on second and third. Jason Castro followed with an RBI single on a dribbler to make it 4-2.

"We didn't play a crisp game, defensively," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We let some things slip away. If you're not swinging the bats, you've got to make sure you're getting the outs you're supposed to get, and we're having trouble doing that."

Pujols connected against Pat Neshek in the eighth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: Richards was activated from the disabled list Sunday. The Angels optioned LHP Adam Wilk to Triple-A Salt Lake after the game Saturday.

Astros: RHP Josh Fields (groin) is set to throw a two-inning outing Monday for Triple-A Fresno. He has made four rehab appearances for Fresno, allowing two earned runs in four innings.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (2-0) goes for his third straight win to begin the season at home against Oakland on Monday. The Angels have won 10 straight games he has appeared in dating to last season.

Astros: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (0-1) makes his second start of the season third appearance Monday at Seattle. Wojciechowski, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno Friday, threw four scoreless innings in relief Monday against Oakland.

ALTUVE HEATING UP

Altuve extended his hitting streak to nine games. The second baseman, who led the majors in hits last season with 225, already has four multihit games this season and two three-hit games.

FRIENDLY CONFINES

Pujols received scattered boos from fans at Minute Maid Park, possibly from fans who still remember his deciding homer in Game 5 of the 2005 National League Championship Series in Houston.

Pujols now has 25 home runs in his career at Minute Maid Park, which is tops among visiting players all-time. His third homer of the season was the 523rd of his career.

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