MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Alex Bregman hit two of Houston’s five home runs and the Astros broke out the bats in a big way, routing the Los Angeles Angels 14-2 Saturday night.
Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel and George Springer also homered for Houston in the opener of a two-game series in Mexico.
After totaling just four runs in losing their previous two games to Minnesota, the Astros teed off at the raucous Estadio de Beisbol de Monterrey. Houston scored in each of the first six innings in building a 10-2 lead.
Albert Pujols hit a solo homer for the Angels, who had won four in a row. He now has 1,999 career RBIs.
Wade Miley (2-2) allowed two runs in six innings. Trevor Cahill (1-3) was tagged for six runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Bregman hit a solo homer in the first inning and added a three-run shot in the eight. Springer hit his 10th homer and Brantley drove in four runs.
The Angels and Astros both played a regular-season game in Mexico for the first time. Both teams had played exhibition games in the country.
Major League Baseball has committed to bring games south of the border until 2021.
Besides reliever Roberto Osuna, who was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Astros president and general manager Jeff Luhnow is also Mexican, making the trip to this city a special occasion for both of them.
While he was a young prospect, Osuna lived in El Carmen, Nuevo Leon, just 20 miles north of the Estadio de Beisbol de Monterrey where his father pitched for five seasons for the home team Sultanes.
“They just gave me a picture from the time I was in the (baseball) academy, I got a lot of memories, every player wants to go to the majors and I never imagined that the majors will bring me back to Mexico,” Osuna said. “I also have seen photos and video from the time my father played here so it’s going to be very special.”
Luhnow stayed in Mexico City until the 10th grade when he moved to the United States.
“It’s a pleasure to be in a country where I was born,” Luhnow said in Spanish.
Cahill and Miley became the first major league pitchers to make regular-season starts in four different countries. Cahill and Miley started games when Arizona played the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia in 2014 and they also have starts in the United States and Canada.
RACKING UP WINS
With the victory against the Angeles, manager AJ Hinch reached 393 wins with the Astros, breaking a tie with Art Howe for third place in franchise history. Hinch trails Larry Dierker (435) and Bill Virdon (544) on the Astros’ list.
Angels: RHP Matt Harvey (1-2, 6.54 ERA) earned his first win of the season after tossing seven innings and allowing two hits and one run against Kansas City on April 28.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (4-1, 2.45 ERA) absorbed his first loss of the season in his last start, allowing just two hits and a run against the Twins on April 29.