Hansel Robles gave George Springer a Homer with two outs in ninth place and the Los Angeles Angels looked depressed. Her leaky pen had blown another late lead and brought her to another daunting loss.
For the first time in this short season, the angels reacted to the problems of their helpers with their own clutch violation.
And they even did it twice.
Matt Thaiss met Michael Hermosillo's base-loaded victim fly in the 10th inning, and the Angels snatched their three-game skid with a 5-4 win over the Astros on Saturday night.
Jason Castro delivered an RBI double for the Angels in ninth place, which improved the majors' worst record to 3-6, despite wasting a two-race lead in the ninth. Victory seemed unusually important for the angels, whose dreams of a quick start by one of the worst of the majors, a bullpen, were dashed.
When Robles gave up Josh Reddick and Springer's homer in ninth place, the angels had enough reason to lose their focus and trust. Manager Joe Maddon saw none of this.
"We've been through it several times this season," said Maddon. "We are very close to being in good shape and (then) we are only in mediocre shape. We just have to pin down these profits. … Hopefully that will give us a little energy for tomorrow."
The angels did it by making two late runs against the Astros, whose own relief problems mainly focus on health. These worries are worse after Roberto Osuna suddenly left in ninth with an obvious arm injury.
"It's scary," said Springer of Osuna's departure. "This is one thing across the league. I think you see a lot of people across the league starting to hurt a lot of jugs. It's scary, especially when it hits." Osuna was an absolute anchor for us. "
After the starters Zack Greinke and Griffin Canning had performed excellently, both bullpens discouraged the lead.
Los Angeles led 3-1 to ninth place, but Robles had another disheartening outing. The Angels seamstress gave up two homers and the first goal of the season from backup catcher Garrett Stubbs, who kept the game alive for jumpers.
"We were waiting for that, some people kicked the ball out of the stadium," said Astros manager Dusty Baker. "We left a lot of runners on the ground and finally redeemed some."
But Luis Rengifo got a unique single at the end of ninth place before Osuna, who then had to leave the game. Cy Sneed was rushed in by the bullpen, and the former Astros catcher Castro drove the double from the wall in the deepest midfield.
"It's a real downer when it signals to you to come out," said Baker. "It's not the news you want to hear."
The Bullpen of the Angels finally got through on the 10th. Noé Ramirez got two outs and Ryan Buchter (2-0) beat Abraham Toro with loaded bases.
David Fletcher then hit a leadoff single in the 10th ahead of Nivaldo Rodriguez (0-1) and sent Thaiss into third place. After the Astros Anthony Rendon ran to load the bases, Thaiss hit Reddick's inaccurate throw from the middle right field.
"I was in a good situation right now to get the ball into play and get them to play," said Hermosillo. "It's great to be in a pressure situation."
With the typical shadows of the Angel Stadium in the late afternoon creating visual barriers between the launcher's hill and the plate, Greinke withdrew the Angels' first 16 hits on 65 fields to sign up for the first perfect game of his 17-year career the major league to apply. He didn't get out of the sixth inning: Taylor Ward released Greinke's no-hitter with a clean single and scored the first run of the Angels just before Greinke was chased.
Ward also tripled and finished eighth on Rendon's infield single.
Canning threw a six-hit ball into the seventh inning and hit five before Springer drove an RBI single in the seventh in the Astro's first run.
Felix Peña threw two strong innings to ease canning before Robles flopped.
The Angels played their third game in a row without Mike Trout, whose first child was born on Thursday. The three-time AL MVP is expected to return to the halo lineup soon, said manager Joe Maddon.
Astros: Osuna returns to Houston for an MRI scan. … OF Michael Brantley was kept off the starting line-up with an aching leg. Last Tuesday, he stepped on Dodger's reliever Joe Kelly. Brantley hit the pinch in the seventh.
Angels: 2B Tommy La Stella was not on the grid due to neck stiffness. Rengifo replaced him and went 2 for 4.
Shohei Ohtani is back on the hill after a catastrophic season debut last Sunday, when the Angels' two-way star in Oakland had no out. He meets Josh James (0-0, 9.00 ERA), who gave up three runs in three innings in his season debut against Seattle.