ANAHEIM -- Collin McHugh outdueled Parker Bridwell to extend his winning streak against the Angels to six games and lead the Astros to a 2-1 victory in Friday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.
McHugh (aka "Snap Dragon 2" for Players Weekend) yielded one run on three hits while walking two and striking out eight over six innings. He has not lost against the Angels since Sept. 3, 2014, posting a 2.51 ERA in nine starts.
"Any time you can beat a division opponent, it's big," McHugh said. "We have a really good division. We've got five quality teams, and four of us are in the playoff hunt. So, you know, every game down the stretch, especially against a division opponent, is going to be a playoff game essentially."
Kole Calhoun gave the Angels a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the first inning, but the Astros tied it on J.D. Davis' home run off Bridwell in the third. In the sixth, George Springer then doubled and scored on a wild pitch to produce the go-ahead run for the American League-best Astros.
Bridwell allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings, but he received little help from the Angels' offense, which has now been held to one run over its past two games. The Angels have lost three in a row and are now 1 1/2 games out of the second AL Wild Card spot following the Twins' 6-1 win at Toronto.
• Pair of mistakes cost 'PBrid' in strong start
"The bottom line is we need to start pressuring teams, getting on base and doing some of the things we can do," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The last couple nights, we haven't been able to do that."
Astros bench coach Alex Cora was ejected by home-plate umpire Laz Diaz just 10 pitches into the game for arguing from the dugout in the first inning.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Springer breaks tie: Springer led off the sixth by lining a double to left field before advancing to third on Alex Bregman's groundout. When Bridwell's 2-2 cutter to Josh Reddick skipped off the dirt and got past catcher Martin Maldonado, Springer raced home and scored the go-ahead run on a headfirst slide.
"It was pretty wild," Bridwell said. "I pulled off the fastball and yanked it, in the wrong situation."
Devo escapes bases-loaded jam: The Angels threatened in the seventh after loading the bases with two outs against Astros relief ace Chris Devenski (aka "Devo the Dragon"). C.J. Cron singled, Kaleb Cowart walked and Cameron Maybin produced an infield hit to bring up reigning AL MVP Michael Trout with the Angels down by a run. Devenski induced a popup from Trout on a 3-2 pitch to emerge from the jam unscathed. Trout is hitless in his last 11 at-bats, though he does have five walks over that span, including two on Friday.
"Anybody that bought a ticket tonight bought it to see that type of matchup," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We have one of our best relievers, an All-Star, against one of the best players in the game, bases loaded, 3-2 count, nowhere to put him. I'm glad Devo won it." More >>
"We have families back home, so we're paying close attention. Every TV has been on The Weather Channel, which is rare for a Major League clubhouse. Usually we're watching something different. It's pretty terrifying to think of what's possible with a storm like this, especially in our city. Our families are there, our friends are there, our fans are there. Just thinking good thoughts." -- Hinch, on Hurricane Harvey
Astros: Players Weekend continues Saturday in Anaheim with Game 2 of this three-game set at 8:38 p.m. CT. Right-hander Brad Peacock will make his 16th start of the season. He's 3-2 with a 5.15 ERA in nine career appearances (six starts) against the Angels.
Angels: Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (1-4, 3.96 ERA) will take the mound on Saturday at 6:38 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. The evening will start on a festive note, as Vladimir Guerrero will be inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame during a special pregame ceremony. Preview >>
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.