Gattis hits 2 home runs in Astros' 7-2 win over Angels

HOUSTON -- Evan Gattis doesn't know why he hits better when he catches compared to when he's the designated hitter.

"I've seen the stats and heard it's kind of a big split, but I just want to pretend like I'm catching when I'm not," Gattis said.

He was catching Saturday night, and his bat came alive.

Gattis had two home runs and four RBI in his return to the lineup, Collin McHugh threw six strong innings and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-2.

Gattis sat Friday with a bruised right hand after being hit by a pitch Wednesday. He came back Saturday and launched a three-run homer into the Crawford Boxes in left field in the second inning and added a solo shot off the facade in left-center in the fourth to give Houston a 5-0 lead.

"Glad I got a good pitch to hit," Gattis said. "The first one I took I thought I took it well. It was borderline ball/strike away. Just really let the ball travel a little bit today as best I could."

It was his sixth career multihomer game and first since hitting a pair Aug. 26, 2015, against the Yankees.

For his career, Gattis entered hitting .260 with a .512 slugging percentage as a catcher, compared to .230 with a .422 slugging percentage when he's the DH. He's also hit 38 homers in 153 games as a catcher, compared to 31 homers in 187 games as DH.

"I'm sure someone smarter than me can figure it out," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't know if it's actually true in the numbers. It feels like it and in all seriousness I think it's the result of keeping him occupied, keeping his mind occupied, keeping his mind in the game."

Carlos Correa had a solo home run to right in the fifth.

McHugh (7-6) allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts in six innings. He continued his string of solid outings, allowing two runs or fewer for the sixth time in his last seven starts.

"I probably could have made some better pitches in better situations," McHugh said. "But I think for the stuff we had Gatty did a really good job of guiding me through a couple of spots where I just wasn't feeling it."

Houston has won 10 straight against the Angels. It tacked on a run in the third when Jered Weaver (8-8) hit Preston Tucker with the bases loaded, scoring George Springer. Springer knocked an RBI single in the fourth.

Ji-Man Choi had a solo home run to the upper deck in right field to lead off the fifth, and Andrelton Simmons hit an RBI single in the sixth for the Angels.

Weaver was roughed up for six runs and seven hits in four innings. The right-hander has struggled against Houston this season, allowing 16 runs in 15 1/3 innings.

"I just think that obviously, I don't have the same (stuff) that I used to have is first and foremost," Weaver said. "They have become a pretty patient team. Not as free swinging. They make you work for it. I had to work my (butt) off there in the second and third."


Astros: C Jason Castro was out of the lineup Saturday after being hit on the back of his right hand on a foul tip in the ninth inning Friday. "This morning he felt it was OK," Hinch said. "He took a few swings and felt a little bit of soreness, so I decided to scratch him."


Angels: Los Angeles called up Carlos Perez from Triple-A Salt Lake. Perez started at catcher and went 0 for 3. The Angels optioned C Juan Graterol to Salt Lake.

Astros: 3B Matt Duffy was claimed off waivers by Texas. Duffy was designated for assignment July 16. ... Houston announced the signing of 22-year-old Cuban SS Anibal Sierra.


Angels: RHP Tim Lincecum (2-3) will make his seventh start of the season Sunday and is looking for his second straight win.

Astros: RHP Mike Fiers (6-4) will make his 18th start of the season and look to bounce back from two straight starts of four innings or less, including Monday's outing in Oakland where he was tagged for six runs in 3 2/3 innings.