ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jason Castro's leadoff homer triggered a three-run fourth and Dallas Keuchel pitched seven effective innings, leading the Houston Astros to a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

Keuchel (2-2) allowed two runs and six hits, struck out four and walked none in the opener of a four-game series. The 25-year-old left-hander was making his fifth start after beginning the season in the bullpen.

Paul Clemens came on in the eighth with the Astros leading 6-2 and gave up Erick Aybar's first homer of the year before walking two batters. But then Travis Blackley retired Josh Hamilton on a popup with runners at the corners, and Jose Veras pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 12 chances.