ANAHEIM -- A trio of home runs, including a grand slam by Marwin Gonzalez (Margo), carried the Astros to a 9-3 win over the Angels on Friday night, spoiling Michael Trout's (A. Cox) emotional return as Players' Weekend got underway at Angel Stadium.Jose Altuve (Tuve) put Houston on the board
ANAHEIM -- A trio of home runs, including a grand slam by Marwin Gonzalez (Margo), carried the Astros to a 9-3 win over the Angels on Friday night, spoiling Michael Trout's (A. Cox) emotional return as Players' Weekend got underway at Angel Stadium.
Jose Altuve (Tuve) put Houston on the board with a solo shot off left-hander Andrew Heaney (Heandog) in the third inning, and Gonzalez extended the lead to 5-0 in the fifth with his second career grand slam. Carlos Correa (I am Groot) then padded the Astros' lead by homering off reliever Cam Bedrosian (Bedrock) in the seventh.
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Heaney was charged with the loss after giving up five runs on eight hits over six innings.
"In the fifth, he just couldn't make that pitch to Gonzalez with the bases loaded to get out of that inning," manager Mike Scioscia said. "That would have been a big out, obviously. But I thought Andrew had good stuff. When he made mistakes tonight, it seemed like those guys were on it, but he pitched a little bit better than I think the five runs are going to show."
Trout, who honored his late brother-in-law, Aaron Cox, by wearing "A. Cox" on the back of his jersey, went 2-for-3 with a walk in his first game since Aug. 1. In the first inning, Trout ripped left-hander Dallas Keuchel's (David Burd) first-pitch fastball off the left-field wall for a triple. He added a single in the eighth, showing little rust following a three-week absence that was caused by right wrist inflammation and time off to mourn Cox.
"Every so often, you think about him," Trout said. "You come to the field, you hear a song that you listened to when you were with him. But it's good to get back and get on the field. It was tough. I was fighting emotions tonight, and obviously, coming back yesterday. I was emotionally drained these last couple days."
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The Angels were shut out through the first six innings by Keuchel before Taylor Ward launched a two-run shot to cut Houston's lead to 6-2 in the seventh. It was Ward's second home run of the season and his first at Angel Stadium.
The Angels added another run on Andrelton Simmons' (Simon) two-out RBI single in the eighth and had a chance to trim the deficit even further after putting runners on first and second against Collin McHugh (Mu Q). After Scioscia sent up Shohei Ohtani (Showtime) to pinch-hit for Rene Rivera (Moncho), Astros skipper AJ Hinch opted to bring in left-hander Tony Sipp to face Ohtani, who struck out swinging on a slider in the dirt to end the inning.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gonzalez's big blow: Heaney allowed only a solo home run to Altuve through the first four innings, but he couldn't limit the damage in the fifth. After snagging an 84-mph liner off the bat of Tony Kemp (Kempy) for the first out, Heaney yielded singles to Alex Bregman (A-Berg) and Correa, followed by a four-pitch walk to Tyler White (Whitey), loading the bases with two outs for Gonzalez, who deposited a 1-1 sinker to center field for his second career grand slam, putting the Angels in a 5-0 hole.
"It was supposed to be a heater in and I just left it right over the middle," Heaney said.
Reddick, Altuve throw out Rivera: The Angels finally showed some life against Keuchel in the seventh after Rivera reached on a two-base throwing error by Bregman, putting a runner in scoring position with one out. Rivera was waved home after Jefry Marte (El Bley) followed with a single to right field, but he was thrown out at the plate after right fielder Josh Reddick (Red Dawg) and Altuve executed a perfect relay throw to catcher Martin Maldonado (Valdez). The Angels challenged the call, but the ruling would stand following a review.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the fifth, a pair of double-play calls against the Angels were overturned by two successful challenges. Marte was initially ruled to have grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, but the Angels appealed the call after replay showed that Marte avoided first baseman Yuli Gurriel's (La Pina) tag. The next batter, Ward, also appeared to ground into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play, but the Angels challenged the call after replay showed that he beat out Altuve's throw to Gurriel.
Rookie Jaime Barria (8-7, 3.41 ERA) will match up against veteran ace Justin Verlander (12-8, 2.65) on Saturday as the Angels and Astros continue this three-game series at 6:07 PT. Barria is 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA over his last five starts. He did not factor into the decision in his only outing against the Astros, May 15, despite giving up only one run over seven innings. Verlander has thrown 23 consecutive scoreless innings at the Big A.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.