Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 6/19)

Game 1: Friday, June 18
Game 2: Saturday, June 19
Game 3: Sunday, June 20

Angels 6

(37-30, 17-16 away)

Astros 4

(34-33, 16-18 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 19, 2004

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    ANA 012020100 6 13 1
    HOU 000000400 4 8 1

    W: R. Ortiz (3-5)

    L: R. Clemens (9-2)

    S: F. Rodriguez (6)

    Clemens loses second game

    HOUSTON (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels knew plenty about Roger Clemens. Houston was clueless about Ramon Ortiz.

    Anaheim's right-hander put on a performance Saturday night that the Astros will definitely remember next time.

    Ortiz pitched six scoreless innings, Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in three runs and the Angels handed Clemens his second straight loss by beating Houston 6-4.

    "I have my confidence back now," said Ortiz, who had never faced the Astros before Saturday. "Everything is fine."

    Ortiz (3-5) easily outpitched Clemens, allowing only three hits with five strikeouts in his best start of the season. In his longest outing of the year and first start since April 30, Ortiz virtually shut down the NL's second-best offense.

    But Angels reliever Kevin Gregg nearly blew the victory, giving up four runs in the seventh. Scot Shields replaced Gregg and got the final out of the inning to thwart the comeback.

    Shields pitched a scoreless eighth and Francisco Rodriguez got three outs for his sixth save, helping Anaheim snap a three-game losing streak.

    "The fact that we pressured the Astros when we needed to every inning, that was really good to see," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We really haven't been doing that."

    Houston has now lost seven of its last nine games, continuing its rapid descent down the NL Central standings. The Astros dropped to 34-33, good for fifth place in the division and 6{ games out of first.

    Even Clemens, who's won more games against the Angels than any other pitcher, couldn't snap Houston out its month-long funk.

    After starting the season with nine straight wins, Clemens (9-2) looked nearly as bad in this game as he did last time out.

    He lasted only 4 2/3 innings -- his shortest outing of the season -- and gave up five runs on nine hits with only three strikeouts. In his last outing, a 7-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs, Clemens allowed five runs on a season-high 10 hits.

    "I was trying to keep us within striking distance because I figured our guys were going to score some runs," Clemens said. "We got some late runs, but not enough."

    Anaheim took an early lead in the second when Robb Quinlan doubled and scored on a single by Adam Kennedy.

    Chone Figgins led off the third with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Guerrero, and Jose Guillen hit his 12th homer of the season to give the Angels a 3-0 lead.

    The Angels really roughed up The Rocket in the fifth, though.

    Darin Erstad hit a leadoff single, moved third on a double by Figgins and scored when Guerrero grounded out. Garret Anderson drove in Figgins with a single. Astros reliever Kirk Bullinger came in for Clemens two batters later.

    "You're going against one of the top pitchers of all-time, so you take a little pride in that," Figgins said. "You really don't think you're going to score a lot of runs, but you just want to try to hit him."

    Meanwhile, Houston couldn't get anything going against Ortiz, who came in the game with a 5.32 ERA.

    The Astros blamed their struggles on unfamiliarity with their AL opponent.

    "We didn't know what to expect from him. We didn't have a clue about him," said Lance Berkman, who struck out and walked three times. "By the time you get a feel for a guy like that, it's the sixth inning and you haven't done much."

    Bagwell nearly sparked a late rally, though, leading off the seventh with his 11th homer of the season. Craig Biggio later had a two-run double and Morgan Ensberg added an RBI single to close the gap to 6-4.

    Game notes

    Bagwell hit the 430th homer of his career, moving him one behind Cal Ripken for 32nd place. ... Guerrero hit his 250th home run in the seventh. ... The Angels had a season high five doubles and eight extra-base hits. ... Houston RHP David Weathers, acquired in this week's trade with the New York Mets, made his first appearance with the Astros. He pitched two scoreless innings. ... Anderson increased his hitting streak to 12 games with a fifth-inning single.


    David Knight contributed to this story.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press