ANAHEIM -- Andrelton Simmons lifted the Angels to a 2-1 win over the Astros by delivering a walk-off single off relief ace Chris Devenski on Saturday at Angel Stadium, evening the series between the American League West rivals and snapping the Halos' three-game skid.With the game tied, 1-1, Kole Calhoun
ANAHEIM -- Andrelton Simmons lifted the Angels to a 2-1 win over the Astros by delivering a walk-off single off relief ace Chris Devenski on Saturday at Angel Stadium, evening the series between the American League West rivals and snapping the Halos' three-game skid.
With the game tied, 1-1, Kole Calhoun led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing a walk off Devenski and advanced to third on Jose Pujols' single to left field. Devenski struck out former Astro Luis Valbuena for the first out of the inning, but Simmons chopped a first-pitch changeup to short, allowing Calhoun to dash home and score the winning run.
Saturday marked the Angels' fourth walk-off win of the season, the most in the Majors.
"This team just doesn't quit, doesn't give up," Calhoun said. "Any time we've been down lately, we find a way to get back in it."
After Michael Trout was scratched from the lineup with left hamstring tightness, the Angels struggled to generate many scoring chances against Astros right-hander Lance McCullers, who allowed one unearned run on two hits -- both singles by Valbuena -- over seven innings.
Valbuena produced the Angels' first hit with a leadoff single in the second inning and advanced to second on Simmons' groundout. With Cameron Maybin at the plate, McCullers fired a pitch that deflected off catcher Brian McCann's helmet for a passed ball, allowing Valbuena to take third. Valbuena then scored on Maybin's groundout to tie the game at 1.
"That's on me," McCullers said of the passed ball. "I had to tell Mac 100 times I felt really bad. Obviously, that run was big for us and at the time, it's the second inning and we got one in the first, so you don't think about it too much there. You just try to go about your business and let that be the only run that crosses the plate, but when you're in the ninth inning and it's 1-1, you think about it a lot. I felt really bad. I crossed him and I feel like it may have cost us the W today."
Angels right-hander JC Ramirez weaved in and out of trouble all night, but he limited the Astros to one run on eight hits over six innings in his fifth start of the season. Ramirez surrendered an RBI double to Carlos Beltran that briefly gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the first, but he induced three key double plays to escape jams and held the Astros scoreless through the rest of his outing.
"We didn't do enough with our opportunities," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We had some runners on. They turned some double plays and we had one punchout with first and second, but we couldn't really mount much once we got a couple of runners on. It felt like we had somebody on base every single inning, but it wasn't our night."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Altuve thrown out: One day after Jose Altuve set up the game-winning run with a stolen base in the 10th inning, he was thrown out at second base trying to steal when it was tied at 1-1 in the ninth. Alex Bregman reached on a strikeout-wild pitch by Bud Norris with one out in the ninth, and Altuve pinch-ran for him. Catcher Juan Graterol threw him out.
"They executed well," Hinch said. "I don't know how his jump was, but everybody in the ballpark knows he's going to go and put some pressure on them. They executed the play and threw him out, but I'm glad he came off the bench to be aggressive. It was a night of limited offense and you've got to create your own opportunities."
Ramirez wiggles out of a jam: The Astros threatened to break the 1-1 deadlock in the fifth after Norichika Aoki and George Springer opened the inning with back-to-back singles off Ramirez. Josh Reddick then hit a potential double-play grounder to Valbuena, who flipped to second for the forceout, but Ramirez was late covering first, preventing the Angels from turning two. Ramirez ultimately redeemed himself by coaxing an inning-ending double play from Carlos Correa, leaving the two runners stranded.
"I was kind of happy," Ramirez said. "I have to get myself to first base to get a double play. It was in my head through the whole at-bat [against Correa]."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Beltran's double was the 543rd of his career, which ties Tony Gwynn for 32nd all-time.
Astros: Right-hander Mike Fiers (0-1, 5.68 ERA) will start Sunday's 2:37 p.m. CT series finale against the Angels at Angel Stadium. Fiers, who leads the American League in home runs allowed with 12, gave up four homers in his last start Tuesday against the Rangers, but sent down the final eight batters he faced.
Angels: Right-hander Matthew Shoemaker (1-1, 4.78) will take the mound on Sunday when the Angels play their series finale with the Astros at 12:37 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Shoemaker took the loss in his first start against Houston this season despite allowing just two runs over seven innings at Minute Maid Park.
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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.