- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Huston Street started out the season by converting his first nine save opportunities. Despite giving up two ninth-inning leads in two nights, the 11-year veteran isn’t panicking.

“It’s only two nights, so it’s super easy to put it behind me,” Street said after the Los Angeles Angels lost 3-2 to the Houston Astros on Thursday night to fall six games behind them in the AL West. “I mean, I don’t get excited when I save 20 in a row - which I’ve done a number of times - and I don’t get frustrated if I blow two in a row, which I haven’t done very often. But it happens, and you just turn the page.”

Preston Tucker, a 24-year-old outfielder making his major league debut after his contract was selected from Triple-A Fresno, singled home the tying run for his first hit during the Astros’ three-run rally. The hit came one pitch after an RBI single by Jake Marisnick.

“I wasn’t trying to think about the situation. I was just trying to be aggressive and put the barrel on the ball,” said Tucker, who was leading the minor leagues with 10 homers and 32 RBIs. “I was looking for a fastball, but I got a changeup. I was out in front of it, but I got enough on it to get it through the hole and it worked out in my favor.”

After a walk to No. 9 hitter Jonathan Villar loaded the bases, Jose Altuve beat the relay from shortstop Erick Aybar on a potential inning-ending double-play grounder to second base as Marisnick scored the go-ahead run.

On Wednesday night, Street (0-2) gave up the lead on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Ackley before the Angels came back in the bottom half to win it on an RBI double by Johnny Giavotella.

“I’ve always said that your save total isn’t going to get you more saves, and your blown saves aren’t going to blow any more for you,” said Street, a two-time All-Star with 284 career saves.

The loss spoiled a solid outing by left-hander Hector Santiago, who allowed one hit over 6 1-3 innings.

Altuve, the reigning AL batting champ, opened the game with a single to left field - but the Astros did not get another hit until Villar led off the eighth with a single against Joe Smith.

Santiago was charged with balks in the third and fourth innings, but escaped each jam unscathed.

Astros right-hander Collin McHugh got all seven of his strikeouts through the first six innings, and his 71 pitches were still 30 fewer than Santiago had to that point. Santiago faced one more batter, striking out Jason Castro to open the seventh, and Smith stranded the potential tying run at third base in the eighth by striking out Evan Gattis.

The defending AL West champion Angels got a first-inning home run from Mike Trout. They added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Kole Calhoun greeted Joe Thatcher with his RBI single.

Los Angeles had runners on second and third with two out in the eighth, but the inning ended when Albert Pujols’ hard-hit ball struck Chris Iannetta between second and third base. Pujols was credited with a single.

Marisnick, the Astros’ center fielder, executed a rare unassisted double play to end the bottom of the inning after Pujols singled and lost track of the outs. He was almost at third base on a shallow fly ball by Matt Joyce when Marisnick raced in to catch the ball and continued all the way to first instead of throwing it to Chris Carter.

McHugh was charged with two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, but his string of 11 consecutive winning decisions remained intact.

Pat Neshek (3-0) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the victory and Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.

In their two previous seasons since switching from the NL Central to the AL West, the Astros had losing records against the Angels, Oakland, Texas and Seattle with a combined mark of 60-92. But this season, they are 16-8 against the division.

COMINGS AND GOINGS:

Astros: Tucker got his opportunity after OF George Springer went on the seven-day concussion DL in Wednesday, started in left field and was 1 for 3 with a walk. … INF Ronald Torreyes was designated for assignment.

Angels: Acquired INF Ryan Jackson from Kansas City in a trade that sent backup C Drew Butera to the defending AL champion Royals.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Roberto Hernandez (1-2) is 0-4 with a 2.47 ERA lifetime against the Angels.

Angels: RHP Jered Weaver 0-4 with a 6.29 ERA in six starts - including a six-inning no-decision at Houston on April 17.

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